After a year of major award wins, a world offshore powerboat title, the successful release of a range of new models and induction into the Boating Industry of Australia Hall of Fame, Australian boating industry stalwart Bill Barry-Cotter is finishing 2012 on a high.
The founder of Maritimo says the market has been extremely tough, but perseverance, innovation, new products and a determination to ‘do things smarter’ has paid off.
And not content to rest on his laurels, Barry-Cotter has even bigger plans for 2013.
'We have had a very successful year in terms of the company and while sales have been very tough, we are well positioned going forward,' he said.
The legendary boat designer hailed as highlight of 2012 the naming of the recently released M58 Cruising Motoryacht as ‘the best imported cruising motoryacht in the USA’ by one of the country’s leading marine industry media companies.
That and of course the Maritimo Offshore Racing Team’s win in the World Offshore Powerboat Championships superboat category at Key West in November after a 20 year run at top honours.
'To win both the best imported cruising motoryacht title at Fort Lauderdale and then to take out the World Offshore Championships in the superboat category at Key West was a brilliant double and a credit to the whole team involved,' he said.
Barry-Cotter said the challenge facing the marine industry in 2013, and coincidentally one of the reasons for the M58’s win, was performance and fuel efficiency – attributes for which Maritimo and now Mustang are noted.
'Fuel efficiency and performance are singularly the most important issues we face, particularly with USA and European customers and it is also an area where we excel,' he said.
'In some of our shaft drive models we are 30 percent more fuel efficient than our competitors’ comparable models and this is the way of the future.
'It is an economic imperative, but also in this environmentally sensitive world prospective buyers want to burn less fuel and subsequently have less impact.
'A lot of our time, energy and resources are being devoted to designs which are more fuel efficient. It’s all about going longer distances burning less fuel and we are ahead of the game.'
Barry-Cotter said one of the key drivers that saw the M58 win over the five other models being considered for the imported cruiser title in the USA in November was its fuel efficiency.
He said while some of the Maritimo and Mustang vessels provided the option of either shaft drive and IPS he could see a day when pod drive propulsion systems were very much in the minority.
'The maintenance costs are an issue as vessels get a little older and we can get even better performance and efficiency from shafts with the correct shaft angle and hull design,' he said.
Barry-Cotter said while the new boat buying public was becoming increasingly more fuel and environment conscious the marine industry was doing itself a disservice by continuing to allow the importation of non-compliant grey imports.
'Why for the life of me there has not been a Federal Government crackdown on this I’ll never know,' he said. 'We have a carbon tax, a Government that is hell bent on seeing reduced emissions and yet there is a whole sub-industry in existence which allows the importation of cheap boats with motors that are illegal in many parts of the world.
'The government’s carbon tax even applies to safety equipment, like fire suppression systems, making local boats less competitive than imports that do not have to carbon tax in the country of origin.
'It should be stopped and stopped immediately.'
Maritimo’s plans for 2013 are as big as the year just passed. The new M50 Cruising Motoryacht will be launched at the Miami International Boat Show in February; the M48 Cruising Motoryacht will continue to be pushed as one of the company’s most successful models; a new M50 Sedan will be launched at Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show in May; and a new M54 and S54 are being investigated.
More at www.maritimo.com.au
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9:11 PM Mon 17 Dec 2012GMT
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