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Boatbuilder goes into administration after 100 years in business

PUBLISHED: 11:18 30 April 2020 | UPDATED: 18:41 30 April 2020

Windboats Marine has now gone into administration. Picture: Windboats Marine

Windboats Marine has now gone into administration. Picture: Windboats Marine

Windboats Marine

A family-owned boatbuilder which has been operating in Norfolk for 100 years has entered administration.

Windboats Marine in North Walsham filed for administration due to a “general downturn in orders and the untimely impact of the Covid-19 pandemic”.

The team of 60 who work at the boatbuilders have not been made redundant as administrators are hopeful to find a buyer for the business.

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Ensors Chartered Accountants were appointed joint administrators this morning.

Joint administrator Mark Upton said: “Unfortunately the Covid-19 pandemic and the disruption caused by that, together with a downturn in orders and cash flow difficulties has meant that Windboats Marine Limited has had to enter administration.

“The company has a well-respected name in the market and builds a fantastic British product with a highly skilled workforce and we are hopeful that we will be able to find a buyer for the business.”

The business was originally founded in Wroxham in 1920, and has grown from building small wooden vessels to the crafts it worked on until recently.

These included a luxury cruising yacht for Gunfleet and a range of Hardy motor yachts.

The business has changed hands a number of times since its inception.

Graham Bunn – who was the son of a master boatbuilder- launched the business with a series of hire crafts.

In 1946 the business was purchased by Donald Hagenbach who changed the company’s name to Windboats.

In 1974, the business changed hands for the third time when Donald Hagenback retired. Windboats’ own production director and naval architect, Trevor James, purchased the business.

The company has stayed in the James family ever since, and moved from Wroxham to the larger North Walsham boatyard in 2018.

Parties interested in buying the business should contact Mark Upton mark.upton@ensors.co.uk or Ben Croston ben.croston@ensors.co.uk.


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