Birchwood Marine to relaunch with new range
UK motoryacht brand Birchwood, which is more than 50 years’ old, is planning to relaunch following a crowdfunding initiative. The company has plans for several new models.
“Due to the recession, we stopped manufacturing in the UK and decided to look further afield,” says Ernest Vick, head of Birchwood Marine. “Subsequently we had boats built at a shipyard in South East China, but due to the economic downturn in China, the yard decided to close.”
Birchwood is currently setting up a crowdfunding round with the aim of using the money raised to develop the new range. “Our idea is to promote a ‘pre-launch’ of the crowdfunding through the media so that we could let possible investors be aware beforehand, as we have to raise 20% of the minimum funding required prior to the Crowdcube Investors Pitch launch. The due diligence is very thorough and taking a little longer than expected.”
In a related move, Birchwood has signed a Memorandum of Understanding/Joint Manufacturing Agreement with an established yard in Argentina to build a range of models from 10.5m-23m (34ft-74ft) with both sport and flybridge models custom-built to customer requirements. These will be ‘Birchwood branded’ for the UK, EU, US and potentially the UAE and China markets.
If the crowdfunding goes ahead, and appropriate funds are raised, then Birchwood hopes to have at least two boats from the new range at the 2019 Southampton Boat Show in September. Initial models will be the Birchwood 430 Flybridge and the Birchwood 640 flybridge.
Vick comments: “The name Birchwood, founded by the late Ted Andrews, was traditionally considered to be one of the top five UK motorboat companies from which to buy a new boat. Half a century of being known as a quality boatbuilder with a committed dealer network speaks for itself.”
Birchwood Marine, the company, was set up just over a year ago and apart from Ernest Vick it also lists Paul Wagstaff as a director. Birchwood Marine International, which previously handled the sales of the models, has been operating for some 15 years.