Cornish boatbuilder expands with acquisition
Cockwells Modern & Classic Boatbuilding has acquired Hardy Marine, the Norfolk-based motor boat builder.
The Cornish boatbuilder Cockwells, which constructs superyacht tenders, motor launches and sailing yachts, is also the originator of the customisable Duchy Motor Launches.
From its purpose-built, low environmental-impact HQ at Mylor Creek near Falmouth in Cornwall, Cockwells enjoys a reputation for building beautiful bespoke boats, and its boatyard is also equipped to offer refits, restorations and engineering services. The company will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2021.
By 2021, Cockwells, which operates another site in Falmouth, will have built 32 Duchy Motor Launches since the company launched the Duchy 27 in 2011, and demand continues to outstrip supply.
With a heritage spanning four decades, Hardy Marine has earned its reputation for building sturdy, high quality, all-weather motor boats that combine excellent engineering with impressive seakeeping and elegant interiors. The hulls of the Hardy 26 up to the Hardy 65 are semi-displacement designs from the drawing board of UK naval architect Andrew Wolstenholme.
Dave Cockwell, founder and MD of Cockwells, commented:
“Both Cockwells and Hardy are committed to building exceptional motor boats that deliver style, reliability, customisation and all the advantages that technological advances can supply.
“The Duchy is predominantly a stylish day boat and occasional weekender. The Hardy is the Duchy’s rugged, sea-faring cousin. Cockwells is often asked to build bigger boats for cruising – the Hardy is ideally suited to that market.
“We plan to build on the seakeeping and styling of the Hardy brand, and introduce Duchy-like finesse to some of the fittings such as Cockwells’ famous joinery and cutting-edge superyacht technology – to make the Hardy even more yacht.”
Dave Cockwell - Founder and Managing Director of Cockwells
Cockwells’ purchase of Hardy Marine will also create jobs, with the company already increasing its staff headcount from 30 t0 80 in recent years.
Dave Cockwell continued:
“Whilst many other companies are laying off staff as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, Cockwells is proud to be employing more people.
“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 sub-contract almost nothing. On the rare occasions that we do sub-contract, 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.”
The Cornish boatbuilder Cockwells has appointed Julian Weatherill from Hardy Marine to the position of sales manager in order to sustain the continuity of the brand.
Julian Weatherill said:
“The many synergies between Cockwells and Hardy make this a perfect match for me.
“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.”
Julian Weatherill - Sales Manager of Hardy Marine
About Cockwells About Hardy Marine
Cockwells’ purchase of Hardy Marine has been made possible as a result of a £3.15m investment fund from Business Investment for Growth (BIG), financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and delivered by the Cornwall Development Company.