After a year of major award wins, a world off-shore powerboat title, the successful release of a range of new models and induction into the Boating Industry of Australia Hall of Fame, Australian boating industry stalwart Bill Barry Cotter finished 2012 on a high.
The founder of Maritimo says the market has been extremely tough, but perseverance, innovation, new products and a determination to 'do things smarter' has paid off.
And not content to rest on his laurels Barry Cotter has even bigger plans for 2013.
"We have had a very successful year in terms of the company and while sales have been very tough we are well positioned going forward," he said.
The legendary boat designer hailed the naming of the recently released M58 Cruising Motoryacht as 'the best imported cruising motoryacht in the USA' by one of the country's leading marine industry media companies as a highlight of 2012.
That and of course the Maritimo Off-Shore Racing Team's win in the World Off-Shore Powerboat Championships superboat category at Key West in November after a 20 year run at top honours.
"To win both the best imported cruising motoryacht title at Fort Lauderdale and then to take out the world off-shore championships in the superboat category at Key West was a brilliant double and a credit to the whole team involved," he said.
Barry Cotter said the challenge facing the marine industry in 2013, and coincidentally one of the reasons for the M58's win, was performance and fuel efficiency, attributes that Maritimo and now Mustang are noted for.
"Fuel efficiency and performance are singularly the most important issues we face, particularly with USA and European customers and it is also an area where we excel," he said.
"In some of our shaft drive models we are 30 percent more fuel efficient than our competitors' comparable models and this is the way of the future.
"It is an economic imperative, but also in this environmentally sensitive world prospective buyers want to burn less fuel and subsequently have less impact.
"A lot of our time, energy and resources are being devoted to designs which are more fuel efficient. "It's all about going longer distances burning less fuel and we are ahead of the game."
Barry Cotter said one of the key drivers that saw the M58 win over the five other models being considered by the imported cruiser title in the USA in November was its fuel efficiency. (Greg lets add in some actual stats and figures)
He said while Maritimo and Mustang vessels both provided the option of either shaft drive and IPS or pods he can see a day where pod drive propulsion systems are very much in the minority.
"The maintenance costs are an issue as vessels get a little older and we can get even better performance and efficiency from shafts with the correct shaft angle and hull design," he said.
Barry Cotter said while the new boat buying public was becoming increasingly more fuel and environment conscious the marine industry was doing itself a disservice by continuing to allow the importation of non-compliant grey imports.
"For the life of me why there has not been a Federal Government crackdown on this I'll never know," he said. "We have a carbon tax, a Government that is hell bent on seeing reduced emissions and yet there is a whole sub-industry in existence which allows the importation of cheap boats with motors that are illegal in many parts of the world.
"It should be stopped and stopped immediately."
Originally published by: Maritimo Yachts December 14, 2012