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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.

Published in News Update

Dun Laoghaire Marina, Ireland's largest marina and the 'gateway to Dublin city', welcomed two impressive Sunseeker motor cruisers at the weekend.

Firstly, a Manhattan 56 model that was in transit on the Irish Sea stopped for fuel, one of the few places boats of this size can fuel–up. A second 75–foot yacht is in port to avail of the services of the local Sunseeker dealer, MGM Boats.

The arrivals are the first of the summer's big visitors. At the end of the month a 115–foot Swan will also visit the 800–berth Dun Laoghaire Marina.

Unfortunately, Dun Laoghaire Harbour missed out on a weekend call from Superyacht Lady M, that was on a tour of the Irish Sea and the Western Isles of Scotland.

At 65 metres in length and 9.5 metres wide Lady M is far too heavy for the town marina facility but could be accommodated elsewhere in Dun Laoghaire harbour if there was a plan to attract such vessels. The yacht instead visited Whitehaven Marina in Cumbria and Belfast. 

Lady M super yachtLady M super yacht at Whitehaven in Cumbria. At 65 metres and 9.5 metres wide Lady M is far too long to fit through the sealock in Whitehaven under normal conditions so the marina staff lowered the sea level in the marina to allow both sets of gates to be opened and let the vessel through on free flow. The sealock is 30 metres long and 13 metres wide; with only a couple of metres leeway the captain expertly manoeuvred through the lock before swinging round to the berth on Sugar Tongue. The owner and his family enjoyed a fantastic day out exploring the Lake District.

Published in Dublin Bay

Sunseeker International powerboat firm is celebrating a triumphant start to the boat show season following the successful Cannes Yachting Festival and Southampton Boat Show, with £70m of confirmed retail orders (exc. tax), and an expected £25m of additional orders to be agreed shortly.

At this year’s Cannes Yachting Festival, Sunseeker launched four new models - the 95 Yacht, 116 Yacht, 68 MK II and Manhattan 52. The Cannes show, which is the first of the Autumn season, was extremely busy for Sunseeker with very high levels of visitors to the stand and pre-booked meetings with clients and prospects at a record high.

Sunseeker continued to see high levels of visitors at the Southampton Boat Show, the UK’s largest in-water boat show, and held a record number of pre-booked meetings with existing and new customers. In particular, interest in the new Manhattan 52 has been exceptional. This new yacht is Sunseeker’s smallest flybridge model in over a decade and exemplifies the latest in Sunseeker’s cutting-edge design. The Manhattan 52 is designed to maximise entertainment options, light and living space throughout the boat and it sets the design direction for a new wave of Manhattan models that will be introduced over the coming years.

Sean Robertson, Sales Director at Sunseeker International, commented: "This year’s Cannes and Southampton Shows have been truly excellent - we've enjoyed really positive events with substantial confirmed retail orders, on sales of 25 luxury motoryachts across the range, with an additional £25m of orders to be agreed shortly. We were particularly proud to host the world premier’s and UK debuts of our new models, the Manhattan 52, the Predator 68 MKII, the 95 Yacht and the 116 Yacht, all of which have been eagerly awaited by existing customers and those new to our brand. It's also been a real pleasure to welcome so many visitors and special guests to the stands, which included our graduate apprentices and the Minister of Transport the Rt Hon John Hayes MP at the Southampton Boat Show.”

The business also revealed at Cannes Yachting Festival that it moved back into profit in the second quarter of 2016 with a forecasted overall return to profit for the full year. The next five years will see a massive £50 million of investment spent across new products, improved shipyard facilities and the continued recruitment of people. Multiple model launches are set to continue as part of a long term product plan that will see new model introductions across the size range over the next five years including additions to the Manhattan range.

Published in Boat Sales
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Sunseeker International powerboat manufacturer has announced strong retail sales at the Cannes Boat Show with in excess of £25m of retail orders (ex.tax) taken and a further £15m expected to be completed post show across a wide range of yachts including the wonderful new Manhattan 52 and the new 116 Yacht.

At this year’s show, Sunseeker launched four new models including the 95 Yacht, 116 Yacht, 68 MK II and Manhattan 52. The business also revealed that it moved back in to profit in the second quarter of 2016 with a forecasted overall return to profit for the full year. The next five years will see a massive £50 million of investment spent across new products, improved shipyard facilities and the continued recruitment of people.

Multiple model launches are set to continue as part of a long term product plan that will see new model introductions across the size range over the next five years including additions to the Manhattan range.

The Cannes show, which is the first of the Autumn season, was extremely busy for Sunseeker with very high levels of visitors to the stand and pre-booked meetings with clients and prospects at a record high, a reflection of the incredible product range from 50-150 feet, first class dealer network and unrivalled after- sales customer support.

Commenting on the strong retail sales figures, Sean Robertson, Sunseeker International’s Sales Director, said: “The Cannes Show has been highly successful and we are pleased to have had such a strong reception to our new models, in particular the Manhattan 52, which made its world debut at Cannes and really stole the show. We will be exhibiting most of our model range at boat shows throughout the world including Southampton and Monaco where we are also expecting strong retail sales.”

Published in Marketplace

Sunseeker International will showcase the exceptional 95 Yacht at this year’s Cannes Yachting Festival, Europe’s leading in-water show. 
The 95 Yacht’s stunning lines and unique layout is the latest in Sunseeker’s cutting-edge design and innovative build processes. With all the spacious elegance of its highly successful sister, the 28 Metre Yacht, it combines a superyacht feel with all the practical advantages of a yacht in this size category.
A standout feature is its unique main deck layout with a special master cabin triplex configuration for even greater flexibility and space from a class above. With the luxurious master stateroom berth on the main deck, a forward staircase leads to a mid-level dressing area and sumptuous en-suite.
The raised pilot house offers greater flexibility contributing to the more expansive main deck layout which is truly remarkable for this size of yacht. Above deck, the spacious flybridge is well equipped with a second helm, bar, optional hot tub and plenty of seating for guests to be entertained in style. As with all Sunseeker’s new models in 2016, the 95 Yacht is based on the classic deep V hull with performance at its heart.
Sunseeker will be displaying its stunning range of motor yachts at the first show of the boating season, as part of over 500 yachts, 500 exhibitors and over 50,000 visitors attending the event in the Bay of Cannes. Visitors to the Sunseeker stand will have the opportunity to view the world premiere of Sunseeker’s 116 Yacht, the striking 95 Yacht, the luxurious 80 Sport Yacht and the agile performance cruiser, the San Remo.
Sean Robertson, Sales Director at Sunseeker International, said “We are excited to be attending this year’s Cannes Yachting Festival and showcasing the new 95 Yacht, it’s a real highlight of the international boating calendar and a great opportunity for visitors to view our exquisite motor yachts! The new 95 Yacht’s design has evolved to perfectly emulate the new design direction of our larger models, yet it still remains unmistakeably a Sunseeker. As the second in a series of five stunning product launches in 2016, this is further evidence of our commitment to invest in developing new exciting models which lead the way in technical and design innovation; providing our customers with the best possible choice within their preferred size category.”

Published in Boat Sales
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Sunseeker have released detials of its new performance craft, the 95–Yacht that is priced at £6.5m (€8.3m). It is the latest in the firm's cutting-edge design plans. Sunseeker say the new yacht featured in the video below showcases the new direction that its larger yacht models will take. Sunseeker's Sean Robertson discusses the yacht's performance, its weight carrying capacity and how the hull shape allows the yacht to carry, for example, 11,000 litres of fuel.

 

Published in Boat Sales
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Sunseeker International has announced that it is now looking to recruit 225 new skilled staff, an increase on its original plan for 100 new employees to support the introduction of several new models planned for 2016. The new roles will be based at its manufacturing operations in Dorset, covering construction trades including Carpentry, Plumbing and Electrical, Boat Building, plus Engineering trades including Mechanical Engineering, and Composites - GRP Laminating and GRP Finishing.

Commenting on the recruitment drive, Sunseeker’s CEO Phil Popham said: “We are pleased to announce these recruitment plans which give a clear signal of the positive times ahead at Sunseeker. We have a clear and robust business plan to invest in long term growth and sustainable success, backed by our majority shareholder Wanda Group whose stable ownership and strong financial backing enables us to plan and invest for the future. Our forward order book for 2016 and beyond is looking very strong, currently up 55% over the same period last year.

Expanding our highly skilled workforce is a key part of our planned investment, and with the introduction of a number of new boat lines in 2016 we are able to recruit 225 new skilled staff to support future growth. This recruitment drive is underway and will conclude in the first half of the year, bringing our total employee number to around 2,150.”

Candidates can apply via www.sunseeker.com/recruitment, or in person at Sunseeker House in Poole. All candidates will need to pass a skills test as part of the selection process.

Published in Marine Trade
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#Superyacht - Irish F1 supremo Eddie Jordan certainly pulled out all the stops when he caught the yachting bug, commissioning the largest recreational vessel ever built by luxury specialists Sunseeker.

And now his €40-million, 155-foot superyacht Blush, which was launched earlier this year, is available to charter over the winter months.

But as Motor Boat & Yachting reports, you'll need a sizeable bank balance to avail of this offer, as prices start at a whopping €200,000 for just seven days on board the luxury vessel.

More details from Sunseeker on Jordan's mansion-on-the-waves are available to read or download HERE.

Published in News Update

#sunseeker – Is this the biggest boat owned by an Irishman? Sunseeker's largest ever yacht for Irish Formula One mogul Eddie Jordan has been revealed this weekend at Poole Quay in Dorset, the Bournemouth Echo reports.

The 155–foot yacht, reported to be worth £32 million, was painstakingly moved out of the shed by Sunseeker staff on Saturday and took more than an hour to move the short distance into the yard.

Eddie Jordan has been enjoying a lot of time on the ocean waves of late. Afloat previously reported (this time last year) on the start of Jordan's Round the World Rally. He was joined on that voyage by Dun Laoghaire sailing school instructor Paul Adamson on the Oyster 885, Lush, for the first ever Oyster World Rally.

Meanwhile in Poole, Stewart McIntyre, Managing Director at Sunseeker, whose Irish agents are MGM Boats in Dun Laoghaire, said yesterday: "This is an extremely exciting time for Sunseeker as we inch ever closer to the completion of the 155 Yacht.

"This is the biggest project we have ever undertaken and since the announcement of its build it has been the talk of the industry.

"We are incredibly proud of what we have created and look forward to showcasing it to the world."

The impressive accommodation can cater for 12 guests and 10 crew, and has an on board nightclub, a panoramic viewing area, a dining area, bar and its own garage for jet skis.

The largest luxury boat ever built by the company had to be moved using a radio controlled multiple wheeled unit from its build shed onto the quay at Poole for the final fitting out.

An extra radar mount was needed to complete the boat but it was far too tall for the current shed so the boat will have to spend at least one or two more weeks on the harbourside before it can be finally launched into the water.

More from the Bournemouth Echo here

 

Published in News Update

Leading Irish boat dealer MGM Boats Ltd is playing golf this weekend. While the Dun Laoghaire firm may not be teeingg off in Killarney, Gerry Salmon, Martin Salmon anf Joe Hill are on the course as the Irish Distributors of Sunseeeker boats, an official sponsor of the Irish Open Golf Tournament 2011.

mgmimage

The event is held at the Killarney Golf and Fishing Club 28th to 31st July. MGM Boats Have a stand in the Tented Exhibition Area area and also have a Sunseeker XS Sport on Display. The Salmon's are in attendance for the duration of the event.

Published in Marine Trade
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The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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