Europe Has A New Boat Builder
Hunter Marine US Has New Production Faciliity in the UK
Hunter Marine has opened a substantial manufacturing facility at the former Royal Navy Air Station at Portland, Dorset, UK, under the name Luhrs Marine. The company will build the range of Legend sailing yachts which are marketed highly successfully in the UK by Opal Marine, the UK?s largest sailboat distributor.
Luhrs has commenced its European manufacturing program with the Legend 290, five yachts are already in build. This model will be shortly followed by the Legend 320 with a total of five models in the range being produced by the end of 2001. Other brands of the Luhrs Marine Group will be added later as the company expands into the extensive facilities that it has available.
The rapid start up was helped by the demise of Westerly Yachts, as Luhrs was able to purchase the assets of the company which included considerable machinery and equipment used in boat building. In addition, Luhrs has invested in new advanced manufacturing machinery which will enable the company to expand its production, eventually reaching some 500 boats per year to satisfy a growing European demand for the Legend range. All stages of production from molding to launch will be carried out on site.
Managing Director of Luhrs Marine, Stephen Cutsforth commented “Moving the European manufacturing to UK has enabled the US company to expand its home market production within the existing premises, while allowing us to develop a more Europeanized version of these well found designs. Already we have included bilge keels as an option for the 290 and 320. This has been identified as an important factor for the UK market and called for by our existing and potential Legend owners. Other developments will be included as demand and practicality permits. Being part of one of the largest boat builders in the world allows us to benefit from huge savings through economies of scale and we are therefore able to offer very competitive, high quality, superbly designed yachts. Being based in Europe we are also less vulnerable to currency fluctuations on either side of the Atlantic which helps to stabilize our pricing”.