Cockwells Modern & Classic Boatbuilding has expanded its offering following the acquisition of Norfolk-based Hardy Marine.
Hardy Marine’s parent company, The Windboats Group went into administration in April – not because of Hardy Marine, which has a healthy order book – but as a result of financial difficulties and the negative impact of Covid-19. This resulted in the closure of Hardy Marine, which enabled Cockwells to acquire the company’s assets.
Over the past 40 years, Hardy Marine has delivered more than 4,000 boats worldwide, which ranks the company as one of the most prolific British boatbuilders.
Production of its boats will now switch to the Cockwells yard at Mylor Creek.
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 one of the UK’s leading naval architects in this category.
Cockwells MD and founder, Dave Cockwell, explained: “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.
“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.”
Cockwells’ acquisition of Hardy Marine’s assets 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 to 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.
This 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 £3.15 million investment fund aims to create 175 skilled jobs in Cornwall.