Cockwells Modern & Classic Boatbuilding has acquired Hardy Marine in a deal that will result in the further expansion of this award-winning Cornish company that celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2021.
With a heritage spanning four decades, Hardy Marine has earned its reputation for building sturdy, high quality, all-weather motor boats that combine excellent engineering with impressive seakeeping and elegant interiors from its Norfolk base.
From its purpose-built, low environmental-impact HQ at Mylor Creek near Falmouth in Cornwall, Cockwells enjoys a reputation for building beautiful bespoke boats – from ultra-luxurious superyacht tenders and stylish motor launches to traditional sailing yachts.
Cockwells is also the proud originator of Duchy Motor Launches – a prestigious, semi-production brand that echoes the classical designs of the gentleman’s launch of generations past. These stylish vessels, that range from 21ft to 60ft, can be customised with a seemingly limitless number of optional extras to create a cruising environment that is the pinnacle of modern luxury.
Additionally, Cockwells’ Mylor Creek Boatyard is fully equipped to offer refits, restorations and engineering services for local yachts and superyacht tenders from all over the world.
Delivering a range of boats that meet a variety of requirements, the Hardy name has become synonymous with quality, comfort, strength and experience. This, together with superlative after-sales support, has translated into a loyal customer base, repeat business and robust brokerage values.
In parallel with Cockwells’ Duchy Motor Launches, the hulls of the Hardy 26 up to the Hardy 65 are semi-displacement designs from the drawing board of Andrew Wolstenholme, who is, arguably, the UK’s leading naval architect in this category.
“Both Cockwells and Hardy are committed to building exceptional motor boats that deliver style, reliability, customisation and all the advantages that technological advances can supply,” explains Founder and Managing Director, Dave Cockwell.
“The Duchy is predominantly a stylish day boat and occasional weekender. The Hardy is the Duchy’s rugged, sea-faring cousin. Cockwells are often asked to build bigger boats for cruising; The Hardy is ideally suited to that market.
“We plan to build on the seakeeping and styling of the Hardy brand, and introduce Duchy-like finesse to some of the fittings such as Cockwells’ famous joinery and cutting-edge superyacht technology – to make the Hardy even more yacht,” Dave adds.
By 2021, Cockwells will have built 32 Duchy Motor Launches since the company launched the Duchy 27 in 2011, and demand continues to outstrip supply. Cockwells plans to chart the same course with the Hardy 32 to 65 range and increase demand for these exemplary trawler yachts.
The Duchy 35 and the Hardy 65 are past winners of Motor Boat & Yachting Awards, and both brands attract customers who seek high levels of customisation and craftsmanship.
Cockwells’ purchase of Hardy Marine will also create jobs. The company already operates from two sites – one in Falmouth as well as the Mylor Creek Boatyard – and has increased its headcount from 30 t0 80 staff in recent years. Cockwells has appointed Julian Weatherill from Hardy Marine to the position of Sales Manager in order to sustain the continuity of the brand.
“The many synergies between Cockwells and Hardy make this a perfect match for me,” explains Julian. “Having worked with Hardy clients and owners for the last few years, I am passionate about the brand and know that this new alliance will propel it forward. I am equally delighted to be working with the Cockwells team to drive the sales trajectory of its highly-prized Duchy Motor Launches.”
“Whilst many other companies are laying off staff as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, Cockwells is proud to be employing more people,” comments Dave. “We have our own in-house design department as well as our own engineering capability and electronic programming. We make our own joinery; we manufacture our own components and sub-contract almost nothing. On the rare occasions that we do sub-contract, we partner with local businesses. We have a dedicated after-sales team, which is very important, and we are undergoing a transition to lean manufacturing to increase productivity and enhance our working environment. With an already successful growth strategy, an international reputation for excellence, a healthy forward order book and our acquisition of the renowned Hardy brand, we are in a very strong position to face the future with confidence.”
Cockwells’ purchase of Hardy Marine has been made possible as a result of funding from Business Investment for Growth (BIG). Financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and delivered by the Cornwall Development Company, this £3.15m investment fund aims to create 175 skilled jobs in Cornwall.