Williams Performance Tenders was founded in 2004 by brothers Mat and John Hornsby, together with business partner Roy Parker, applying design and engineering knowledge to the development and construction of Turbojet tenders. Since then the company has built a formidable reputation for itself as a jet tender specialist. Operating out of a purpose built facility in Oxford, the company now employs around 40 staff and had a turnover of £11.2M in 2013. SuperyachtNews.com sat down with co-founder John Hornsby to discuss the first ten years of the business and plans for the future.
With more than 5000 boats commissioned since 2004, the last ten years have unsurprisingly been busy and eventful, with many high points. The company has built many standout projects, including a bright pink Breast Cancer Care Turbojet 325 tender. Offering a wide range of tender models, with both diesel and petrol engines, the company’s Dieseljet 565 and 625 models (launched at MYS 2013) have proved the most popular for yachts of 35m+. “These are popular among our customers who are looking for a high quality tender with the reliability that comes with a fully tested production boat,” said Hornsby. “About 10 per cent of our entire tender production is designed for the superyacht market,” said Hornsby. “The Dieseljet 565 and 625 are our crossover models that prove popular with superyacht owners as well as with production motor yachts. Our existing superyacht customers are very important to us and we hope to maintain a good share of that market going forward.”
Along the way the brothers have been inspired and helped by many business leaders. “When we first started out in the leisure boating industry, Robert Braithwaite [founder of Sunseeker] and David King [founder and chairman of Princess Yachts] offered us a great deal of encouragement and support,” said Hornsby. “In the early days, they took the time to come and visit us and our products at the very first boat show we attended and that gave us a real boost. Both men inspire us with what they have achieved in the industry and with the strength of the companies that they have built. Like Mat and I, they started out as boatbuilders and have dedicated their lives to the marine industry and remain passionate about the products they build.”
Continuing to develop their product range is an important part of the future development plans for the company. “We are currently developing products which will meet the needs of customers looking for more of a sport orientated dayboat whilst still able to function as a yacht tender,” explained Hornsby. “We have tenders which crossover into the dayboat market at the moment, but we are now looking at developing standalone models.”
As for what the next ten years hold, the team will continue to develop and grow their product range and to cater to new customers. “We have some exciting new products in the pipeline that will take Williams Performance Tenders into new markets," said Hornsby. "We are currently working towards some exciting new model launches for later this year, which we are really looking forward to. Another priority for us will be to continue to expand and strengthen our dealership network in the UK and globally.” With their busiest ever order book, it looks like the course is well set for continued growth and success.