Sadly, in the early hours of this morning, Sunseeker’s founder Robert Braithwaite (76) passed away.
Braithwaite was an inspiration to everyone at Sunseeker and to the wider marine industry, recognised as a boating pioneer, a true visionary and someone who changed the face of boating forever.
A frequent visitor to Irish boat shows, the Sunseeker creator developed a close relationship with Gerry Salmon and the team at MGM Boats that in turn led to the staging of several international dealer conferences in Ireland.
"He lived his life building a brand and was a perfectionist"
"He had a passion for the boat business that was unique. He lived his life building a brand and was a perfectionist with attention to detail and customer service his priorities, Salmon told Afloat.ie
"He loved his company and all the people who worked with him. We had so many good times at boat shows and he hosted legendary dealer conferences over the years. He was quite simply fantastic, Salmon said in tribute at his passing.
Robert was not only the company’s founder but the father of the ‘Sunseeker family’ in Dorset, and worldwide through our dealers and clients. He will always live on as the driving force behind our success.
In further tributes, the Directors of Sunseeker Charters David Ward and Stefan Wertans said "Having fought prostate cancer and bowel cancer successfully, Alzheimer's was the battle he lost, having bravely tackled this dreadful disease the past few years".
Lesley Robinson, CEO of British Marine, added: “This is a sad day for the industry. Robert Braithwaite CBE, DL was not only pivotal in the success of one of Britain’s marine powerhouses but in shaping the wider UK industry and in particular its boat shows.
“Robert was a true industry icon and great personal friend to many. He will be sincerely missed by all those who worked with him here at British Marine during his years as Chairman, exhibitor and member, as well as in the wider industry by those who either knew him personally or who simply recognised his huge contribution and achievements within the sector. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues at this sad time.”
*Robert Braithwaite CBE, DL served as Chairman of National Boat Shows in 1991-92, 1997-98 and 2003-04.
The funeral will be private followed by a memorial in a few months time.