Jobs expansion at Hoveton boatbuilding firm

PUBLISHED: 08:00 30 July 2014 | UPDATED: 07:10 31 July 2014

General manager, Kevin Webster, on the deck of an Oyster 625 being built at Oyster Yachts workshops at Hoveton. Picture: Denise Bradley

General manager, Kevin Webster, on the deck of an Oyster 625 being built at Oyster Yachts workshops at Hoveton. Picture: Denise Bradley

Archant 2013

EDP Top 100 firm Oyster Yachts is seeking to hire a range of new tradesmen as it prepares to step up production at its newly-expanded workshops in Hoveton.

Site general manager Kevin Webster said they would be looking to take on an extra 10 staff in the next two months and probably a further 10 by the end of the year.

Jobs advertised last Thursday in the EDP included boat joiners/ outfitters, electrician, marine engineer, technical and quality assurance manager and technical administrator.

Mr Webster said: “With 130 on the workshop floor at the moment we are already the second biggest employer in Hoveton after Roys. Apart from the jobs advertised we have just taken on six apprentices, two more stores people and other joiners.”

The luxury yacht builder, which bought the former Landamore’s site in Tunstead Road, Hoveton, two years ago, has been successful in bucking the tough economic climate and seeking out new markets such as Russia and Poland.

Mr Webster said: “Some of the boats we now have on order are not for delivery until 2017.”

To further build on their impressive order book, they are currently working on two new models, the 545 and 475, both revamps of earlier designs.

And next year, a totally new model, the Oyster 675, will go into production at Hoveton. It is described as a model that will “appeal to those who enjoy fast passages and have, perhaps, a keen eye also on the trophies at Oyster’s exclusive regattas”. Mr Webster said investment in new workshop facilities had increased their build bays from seven to nine.

“We have got plans to expand up to 12 by the end of next year,” he said.

He explained that their focus on apprentices - they had taken on five last year as well - was driven by the skills shortage in the sector.

The company’s buoyant outlook comes on the back of a positive start to the year with strong sales interest at Europe’s most important boat show in Dusseldorf.

Special owner events including Oyster’s own world rally - a guided world cruise to celebrate the company’s 40th anniversary which ended earlier this year – have helped to stimulate interest from buyers.

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