Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Floaters

Brothers keeping firm grip on family business

by Mark Rothfield on 1 Nov 2013
Up and racing in a Signature 1900s - boat driving skill is in their blood. Mark Rothfield
The passing of John Haines Snr some four years ago could’ve sounded the death knell for the family boat building concern he’d built with his two sons, John and Greg.

For the brothers left to run a national dynasty that included Suzuki outboard distribution and the renowned Signature and Seafarer trailerboat brands, it wasn’t an easy act to follow. Economic conditions didn’t help either.
But much to their credit they have kept a steady hand on the wheel. John and Greg weren’t born to be good boat builders but were raised that way.

Their footprints, as young boys, are embedded in the factory floor from the original concrete pour, and both worked their way up without favour, spending time in moulding, time in detailing, time as cleaners sweeping the floor.

Business-wise they are like twins joined at the hip, equals in hierarchy and commonly mentioned in the same breath. It has been John Jnr’s task, working in R and D, to perfect the hull concepts while Greg refined the sales and marketing pitch.


Signature has been one of the few domestic runabout builders still developing new models, with a new 575F nearing completion and a range of fully enclosed hardtop boats from 5.4 to seven metres due in 2013. Other releases since 2008 include the 543F and RF, 502RF and DF, 575RF, 535 bowrider, 602F and Traveller Vanquish.

They struck a deal with Hyundai Yachts to build Signatures under licence in Korea for their domestic market and northern hemisphere, and they’re also being manufactured in New Zealand by Reflex. The Haines Group picked up the Seafarer marque mostly because they didn’t want to see the moulds go to wrong hands … former owner Lindsay Fry apparently felt the same.

Suzuki approached the Haines Group in 2002, looking to sign a distributor who understood the Australian and New Zealand market. The Haineses, in turn, could see that the four-stroke motors were something out of the box.
‘Has it been fantastic for us? Absolutely,’ says John. ‘Has it been fantastic for Suzuki? Absolutely. We are their biggest marine customer in the world in terms of dollars.’


Their commitment includes carrying arguably the best spare parts supply in the industry, at considerable cost.
‘Managing the foreign exchange side of Suzuki takes up most of my day,’ John says. ‘But when I want to get away from my computer screen I walk down through the factory and talk to the guys on the floor.’
Greg has since moved on to Maritimo, working in a marketing role, and under the new working arrangement the two brothers believe they’ve become better mates. John’s two daughters are university bound, and boat building is an unlikely vocation. The family lineage looks set to end with the current generation.

John Jnr isn’t averse to appointing an advisory board in years to come but, for now and the foreseeable future, it’s family business as usual. In the eyes of those who know them, and in their own hearts, the Haines brothers have nothing to prove.

They’ve done the hard yards.

Bakewell-White Yacht DesignBarz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best EyewearNaiad/Oracle Supplier

Related Articles

CruiseCraft releases R Series Bow Riders
Following a five year hiatus, CruiseCraft has reentered the bow-rider market with launch of stylish CruiseCraft R Series Following a five year hiatus, CruiseCraft has reentered the bow-rider market with the launch of the stylish CruiseCraft R Series, two new Aussie built bow rider models. The CruiseCraft R55 and the CruiseCraft R6 breathe revitalised life into the Australian family boating market.
Posted on 23 Aug
Streaker launches new website
Streaker Boats Australia has gone live with new website, showcasing their full range of family oriented fibreglass boats Streaker Boats Australia has gone live with their new website, showcasing their full range of family oriented fibreglass boats. The new website contains all the usual technical data from the manufacturer, together with information on the dealer network.
Posted on 23 Aug
Stacer’s Ocean Rangers are now tougher than ever
The new 589 Ocean Ranger now features more freeboard at 730mm, bringing the model in line with the rest of the range. Due to customer demand Stacer has released two new models in their plate range to now include the 589 and 619 Ocean Ranger Hard Tops offering a more budget friendly option that is still packed with power and strength.
Posted on 17 Aug
Young Aussie pedals with a purpose - London to Monaco to save our seas
This year, 40 riders will be pedalling with a purpose and welcomed by HSH, Prince Albert II of Monaco at the Palace. Arriving by bicycle may not be the standard means of creating an entrance at the annual Monaco Yacht Show - the world's premier superyacht showcase. But this year, 40 riders, including Tom Hill from Brisbane, Australia, will be pedalling with a purpose and personally welcomed by His Serene Highness, Prince Albert II of Monaco at the Palace.
Posted on 16 Aug
PredictWind - One stop shop
PredictWind have taken the bold step of adding government provided forecasts to their award winning forecasting software PredictWind the world leader in forecasting believe that more is better, and have taken the bold step of adding government provided forecasts to their award winning forecasting software.
Posted on 15 Aug
Marine Resources job updates
Marine Resources specialises in providing expert recruitment services to the leisure marine industry worldwide. Marine Resources specialises in providing expert recruitment services to the leisure marine industry worldwide. Jobseekers register your CV now to receive the latest vacancies and be matched to your ideal job. Employers choose from a variety of recruitment options which include a full consultancy service as well as a unique job advertising package.
Posted on 11 Aug
New edition of RYA Powerboat Handbook available now
Purchase the new edition of the RYA Powerboat Handbook and enjoy a Special Bundle Discount of 25% Purchase the new edition of the RYA Powerboat Handbook and enjoy a Special Bundle Discount of 25% when you buy both the print and eBook versions of this title together.
Posted on 10 Aug
Kata Rocks launches new Superyacht Rendezvous
“Welcome to the inaugural Kata Rocks Superyacht Rendezvous in Phuket – this Asian season opening event” From 10 to 12 December 2016 Kata Rocks will proudly host yachting’s elite during the inaugural Kata Rocks Superyacht Rendezvous (KRSR), sponsored by Infinite Luxury, the development and management brand behind Kata Rocks. The KRSR is a complimentary event open to sailing and motor yachts over 24-metres in length along with selected yachting industry partners.
Posted on 9 Aug
Asia Superyacht Rendezvous opening party aboard s/y Dunia Baru
ASR includes the ‘Rendezvous Challenge’ model boat building & races, and the exciting ’Pirate’s Booty’ treasure hunt This year the 16th annual Asia Superyacht Rendezvous will kick off with a sensational opening party aboard the beautiful phinisi-style sailing yacht Dunia Baru.
Posted on 9 Aug
2nd Thailand Yacht Show taking shape!
15-18 December, 3L Events and the Thai Government showcase the emerging marine tourism powerhouse of Phuket With its new timing at the beginning of the season, rather than slap bang in the middle, preparations for the second Edition of the Thailand Yacht Show (TYS2) are well under way. Running from 15-18 December, organisers 3L Events and co-hosts the Thai Government aim to showcase the emerging marine tourism powerhouse of Phuket to the world.
Posted on 9 Aug