I needed advice, handholding, more advice, and yet still more handholding. I was clueless about marine financing, insurance, flagging, and import documentation rules. I thought it was like purchasing a house. Not so. I can honestly say that without your help, guidance, hand holding, daily calls, and e-mails, I would not be a boat owner today.
~ Carter J. Mills
About fifteen years ago, the South African government wanted to encourage boat building in Cape Town as a means to stimulate the economy and create jobs. It sought out experts from around the world to help its boat building associations understand the marketplace and the factors that drove sales globally. One of those experts asked to share his knowledge of the marketplace was The Multihull Company founder Phillip Berman.
It wasn’t Berman’s first experience with South Africa, as he had won the Hobie Cat World Championships there in 1979 and had sailed its coast and worked with some of the industry’s pioneers in South Africa.
Consider that in 1992 there was just one boat launched annually in South Africa, by 2006, there were 290 luxury boats launched there. Today, South Africa holds 30 percent of global sales, according to the magazine International Boating Industry. Even as its builders compete against traditional boat building nations such as France and England, which dominates catamaran building.
South Africa has come a long way since those early days and worked hard to establish a presence in five key markets: sailing catamarans, power catamarans, large mono-hulled yachts, inflatable boats and ocean-going kayaks.
The fledgling industry was helped along when South African builders undertook building a yacht for the America’s Cup pre-race trials. Called the “Shosholoza,” it went a long way to advertise the prowess of South African builders.
With the establishment of boat building schools, including one for the deaf called The Whisper Boat Building Academy, trained, multicultural workers are regularly tackling projects small and large along the coast near Cape Town.
Sailors Rudi and Deslynn Pretorius wanted to create a yacht that would allow them to sail in comfort without a crew so they could cherish the wonders of the sea together. They suspected other sailors just like themselves would want superb handling and performance from their ultra-deluxe home on the sea.
To make this dream a reality, they acquired the services of expert designer Phil Southwell and teamed him with excellent skilled multicultural craftsmen. The Maverick 400 was the result.
Today, by competing with top South African builders in the region and international market leaders in France, Maverick keeps itself sharp by staying large enough to produce top-quality cats yet small enough to provide one-on-one service and support to its buyers.
These are stand up people, who make a stand up product. I would buy from them again in a heartbeat.
~ Jay Clark, Dolphin 460
I just wanted you to know that your level of service and the high degree of customer satisfaction have made owning my Dolphin a great experience.
~ Daniel Zlotnick, Dolphin