Cockwells Modern & Classic Boat Building, best known in the superyacht industry for producing custom tenders, has acquired Hardy Marine in a deal that will result in further expansion of the Cornish boat builder. Cockwells’ purchase of Hardy Marine has been made possible as a result of funding from Business Investment for Growth (BIG), financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and delivered by the Cornwall Development Company.
“Both Cockwells and Hardy are committed to building exceptional motorboats that deliver style, reliability, customisation and all the advantages that technological advances can supply,” explains Dave Cockwell the founder and managing director of Cockwells.
Cockwells acquisition of Hardy Marine will also create a number of jobs. The business already operates across two sites – one in Falmouth, as well as the Mylor Creek Boatyard – and has increased its headcount from 30 to 80 staff in recent years. The acquisition of Hardy Marine is expected to create more skilled jobs in the local area.
“Whilst many other companies are laying off staff as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, Cockwells is proud to be employing more people,” continues Cockwell. “We have our own in-house design department as well as our own engineering capability and electronic programming. We make our own joinery; we manufacture our own components and subcontract almost nothing. On the rare occasion that we subcontract, we partner with local businesses. We have a dedicated after-sales team, which is very important, and we are undergoing a transition to lean manufacturing to increase productivity and enhance our working environment.
“With an already successful growth strategy, an international reputation for excellence, a healthy forward order book and our acquisition of the renowned Hardy brand, we are in a very strong position to face the future with confidence.”
Cockwells has appointed Julian Weatherill from Hardy Marine to the position of sales manager in order to sustain the continuity of the brand.
“The many synergies between Cockwells and Hardy make this a perfect match for me,” comments Weatherill. “Having worked with Hardy clients and owners for the last few years, I am passionate about the brand and know that this new alliance will propel it forward. I am equally delighted to be working with the Cockwells team to drive the sales trajectory of its highly-prized Duchy Motor Launches.”
While the synergies between the two companies are primarily to do with their interest in the sub-30m yacht motorboat market, the increased size of the group will allow Cockwells to offer more capacity to service superyacht tenders at its Mylor Creek Boatyard facility and it is extremely positive to see a business not only surviving the pandemic but growing and offering new and exciting opportunities to its local community.
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