by Bob Wonders
Bill Barry-Cotter’s award-winning Maritimo yard has set its sights on further expansion of its worldwide dealer network with the appointment of its first United Kingdom agency.
Bill Barry-Cotter (extreme right) shakes hands on a done deal with new UK dealer James Clarke. Looking on are Maritimo general manager Martin Lewis (left) and marketing man Luke Durman. - Maritimo in UK
Maritimo UK, headed by James Clarke, is headquartered in Dorset, with another waterfront facility at Cobbs Quay, Poole, a strong UK boating region.
The first delivery, a Maritimo 48, will land in the UK in July and will be displayed at the 2008 Southampton International Boat Show.
Maritimo’s Luke Durman described James Clarke as 'the consummate professional.'
'He has a successful import and distribution background and we believe is a great fit with the Maritimo brand, both personally and professionally and we look forward to working with his company to establish Maritimo in the UK,' he added.
Maritimo UK will have a staff of six, with all necessary aspects of interior, electrical and engineering and exterior boat work handled by qualified craftsmen in a professional and efficient manner.
James Clarke admitted the concept of an enclosed flying bridge and an internal staircase was 'completely unique to the UK market.'
'However, given the additional space, safety and UK weather conditions we have high hopes for the reception our market will give these boats,' he explained.
'The enclosed ‘bridge creates an enormous amount of extra living space, as well as comfort, lifestyle and cruising safety.
'I believe people will see these advantages and that Maritimo will be a serious consideration for all considering a new boat.
'With fuel in the UK potentially doubling in price in the next 12 months, fuel efficiency will become a vital factor and the Maritimo breed is massively more efficient than our current brand leaders producing boats of a similar size,' he added.
Mr Clarke said he expected the Maritimo 48 would appeal to the family man seeking safety, comfort and five-star living aboard a long-range cruiser.
'These craft are the ‘Landrovers’ of the sea,' he said, 'they are a true long-range cruiser with a range in excess of 500 nautical miles and I tip them to raise a few eyebrows when they’re unveiled here in mid-2008.'
James Clarke admitted the Maritimo name was unknown in the UK.
'However, Bill Barry-Cotter is recognised for his vast experience and solid reputation and achievements,' he said.
'Simply learning that Bill was the man behind Maritimo, we knew we were onto something.
'No one else but Bill could have achieved such success both in Australia and in the critical United States market.'
The move into the UK now gives Maritimo comprehensive international coverage with stock-carrying dealerships in the United States (8), Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa and Kuwait.
Within Australia, the company has authorised outlets in New South Wales (4), Western Australia, Victoria and Tasmania, with the company headquarters looking after Queensland.
Negotiations are proceeding that will lead to the appointment of additional international dealers in 2008.