Boatbuilders from across Norfolk and Suffolk are gearing up for this year’s Southampton Boat Show with the launch of new craft.

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Among those launching new boats at the week-long event, which starts tomorrow is Brundall-based Broom Boats, which is premiering its Broom 35 Coupé and Broom 30 Coupé, and Ipswich-based Oyster marine.

However, another well-known Norfolk firm, Catfield-based Haines Marine has decided to steer clear of launching any new models at this year’s show, opting instead to launch its new boats at a special event at Lowestoft last week.

Director Mary Haines said the firm had received five new orders off the back of the Lowestoft event at the Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Club, which was a chance show off its two latest motor cruisers – the 32 Sedan, and the 42 Elegance.

“It has been a deliberate decision,” she said. “We’ve been busy throughout the year and we have got quite a good order book going through to next spring. We wanted to do something different. It was a bit of a radical departure for us, but we have got two new models and we would only have been able to put one of them in.

“We are thriving. We have invested £250,000 in new models and the fact that we are not going to Southampton isn’t a negative,” she added. “We will be there for a couple of days but we won’t have a boat there. We are also looking forward to going to the London Boat Show with our new boat next year.”

Mark Garner, managing director at Broom, said September was proving a busy month for the firm, which has exhibited three boats at the Amsterdam In Water Boat Show as well as making the trip to Southampton.

Last year Broom launched two new aft cabin boats, the Broom 370 and Broom 455, with the Broom 370 being a finalist in the IPC Motor Boat of the Year Awards.

This year has seen the introduction of a new coupé range of boats for the inland, estuary and coastal markets. The 35 Coupé was previewed in April at Broom’s own Brundall Boat Show and the 30 Coupé just last month at an event in Wroxham. He said that interest has been high with a number of orders already won by their dealer network.

Broom has also launched a completely updated version of the 395, which left the Norfolk yard for Belgium and is already planning the launch of a new Broom 430 in the Spring of 2013.

“Rather than sitting and hoping for the economy to improve we decided to invest heavily and make sure our boats were best of breed, with outstanding quality and seamanship taken for granted with a Broom boat,” Mr Garner said.

“We also recognised the potential for Broom Boats internationally and we have increased the overseas reach of our dealer network, accessing up and coming export markets. This strategy is already paying dividends with interest from Finland, China and Northern Ireland.”

Alastair Clayton, chairman of Anglia Boatbuilders Association and managing director of Seaglaze Marine in Rackheath, said the show would be a good opportunity to test market conditions.

“A good Southampton show is vital for market positivity,” he said.

For a full preview of the show see the current edition of Anglia Afloat.

shaun.lowthorpe@archant.co.uk

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