Gulf Craft has appointed Gregory Yeakle to be their new chief executive officer. He succeeds Erwin Bamps, who has held the position for the past four years and has now moved to a new role as advisor to the board for international matters.

According to the Superyacht Report, Gulf Craft is now seventh in the world ranking of superyacht builders, having grown considerably in the past 10 years. Current projects range up to 175ft in composite construction, with a planned move to steel taking the company up to 200ft.

Gulf Craft is based in the UAE and has grown into a leading global player in boat and superyacht building since it was established 37 years ago.

Gregory Yeakle joins Gulf Craft with a solid record of leadership, having generated strong growth in companies such as Informix, Alexander Proudfoot Company and Invensys. He has worked successfully in high level positions for over two decades in both business development and operations around the world.

More recently Yeakle was global head of the Oil and Gas division of Accudyne Industrie before working with Gulf Craft in a consultancy role as head of operations for Cornerstone Management Consulting, where he and his team worked with the Gulf Craft group.

According to Gulf Craft chairman Mohammed Al Shaali: “This experience has helped to ensure a smooth leadership transition.”

Yeakle says: “These are challenging yet exciting times for the industry. Innovation and technology are combining to provide amazing new products and services possible for Gulf Craft. As a lifelong boating enthusiast, I am delighted to have the opportunity to lead Gulf Craft into the next phase of its global expansion.”

Erwin Bamps has been with Gulf Craft since 2002. Originally in a consulting role, he progressed to become chief operating officer and then to chief executive officer four years ago. Working closely with Gulf Craft chairman Mohammed Al Shaali, Bamps was instrumental in the transformation of Gulf Craft from a regional leisure boat builder to a major player in the global marine industry producing superyachts up to 175ft.

Uniquely in the leisure marine industry, Gulf Craft still produces a strong small boat range as well as its superyacht portfolio, offering a range of boats and superyachts from 27ft-170ft in length. Bamps has promoted the Gulf Craft brand all over the world and is a well-known and respected member of the boating industry, having also been an ambassador for boating in the Middle East.

In a statement, Gulf Craft says: “The company is continuously exploring opportunities to venture into new markets and is planning to expand even further in the coming years. With the build of the company’s first megayacht well under way, the next chapter in the Gulf Craft story is sure to keep customers engaged.”