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Lancashire businesses working together and achieving international success

16 January 2017

A Lancashire business is making a splash in the international superyacht world with its bespoke watersports tenders.  MasterCraft Boats UK, a long-time client of Preston based Haleys Business Advisers, exhibited at the prestigious Monaco Yacht Show in 2016, home of glamour, glitz and luxury. Plans are already underway for the 2017 show.  MasterCraft Boats UK, also based in Preston, handle sales throughout the UK of MasterCraft watersports boats, a leading brand in the world of wakeboarding, wakesurfing and waterskiing. The boats are first choice as the official tow boats used in wakeboarding competitions throughout the UK, including the British Championships.

MasterCraft has worked with Haleys Business Advisers for 11 years and Michael Hardicker, MD of MasterCraft Boats UK, is quick to praise their involvement with the business and their importance to its growth. ‘It was clear from the start that Haleys were going to be more than traditional accountants. They quickly understood our business and our challenges. They recognised our strengths and highlighted areas where small changes could result in significant improvements to our bottom line.  We consider them part of the MasterCraft team and we’ve learned to take advantage of the fact that someone is looking at our business from the outside in, and can see things from a different perspective. There’s a lot of value in that.  We like that they think about us as people and not just as a balance sheet, reminding us that there is a life outside of the business.  Haleys get us thinking about the bigger picture, not just next month or next year but the next five years, and they remind us of our long-term goals for both the business and for ourselves.’

MasterCraft Boats UK has handled UK sales of MasterCraft boats for over 10 years and in 2014 they developed a custom install of a Yanmar diesel engine into one of their models to meet the needs of the superyacht industry, MasterCraft sportsboats come with petrol engines as standard.  Superyacht captains quickly appreciated the benefits of a dedicated diesel watersports tender. They prefer a diesel engine in a tender as it is safer to refuel at sea, and some of the larger superyachts are offshore for several weeks at a time. The popularity of the diesel engine quickly became apparent and MasterCraft Boats UK set up a division to handle the special requirements of the superyacht industry.  Their specialist knowledge and expertise quickly became recognised and in 2015 they were awarded responsibility for sales of bespoke MasterCraft superyacht tenders worldwide.  In fact, following on from their success at Monaco Boat Show, the team flew straight to the US to MasterCraft Boat Company’s manufacturing facility in Knoxville, Tennessee where they were awarded ‘Top International Dealer’ for the second year running.  They are a top twenty dealer worldwide, also a position they’ve held for two years.

Tim Haley, MD of Haleys says, ‘MasterCraft is a great example of the type of business we work well with, a SME that is successful and growing fast. Sometimes that success involves a lot of rushing around being successful perhaps without the time to sit back and look at the bigger picture. That’s where we come in. It’s common for entrepreneurs to be working such long hours in their business that they don’t have time to work on the business.  Our regular meetings and in-depth understanding of clients’ businesses mean we can be the catalyst to make changes that can take the business to the next level.  Haleys mission statement, helping business owners increase profitability, maximize capital value, protect their assets and enjoy life to the full, really sums up what we do.  We get great satisfaction from knowing we’ve played a part in our clients’ successes.  We also take great pleasure in being able to shine a light on the success of client’s such as MaterCraft Boats UK, and it means a lot to our team that we played a part in it.’

There are now five boats in the MasterCraft range that are available for the bespoke superyacht treatment. The bespoke aspect goes way beyond the diesel engine and superyacht owners can opt for colour matched upholstery, custom decals, GoPro-ready camera mounts, bespoke windscreen height and quick release wakeboard towers to name just a few options.

As superyachts get bigger and bigger they can accommodate more toys and many have garages that house a limousine tender, for carrying guests ashore, a RIB for the crew to run errands in, as well as a tow-boat for waterskiing and wakeboarding. Wet bikes, climbing walls and even mini submarines are the norm now, particularly for charters, where fun on the water is very much part of the package.  And that’s’ where MasterCraft comes into its own.

Michael Hardicker says, ‘We produce a luxury product and offer the bespoke finish and options that owners want. With the Yanmar inboard diesel and custom lifting solutions, we meet the requirements of the captain and crew too. An important part of what we offer is the technology that allows a crew member to give the perfect ride to a waterskier, wakeboarder or wakesurfer.  MasterCraft’s Gen 2 Surf System is the industry’s first customisable surf system. This makes maintaining a consistent speed and creating perfect wake conditions every time a piece of cake. Crew members can very quickly become expert drivers, giving a professional tow to the owner’s family and guests. Whether for watersports or just the thrill of riding in a purpose built luxury performance boat, our bespoke tenders fit the needs of the superyacht community.’

As yacht builders become more creative with their designs and superyachts become bigger and bigger, the market for MasterCraft’s bespoke tenders continues to grow. MasterCraft bespoke tenders which start at around £120,000 fit the needs of these new ‘megayachts’ perfectly.

It’s good to know that Preston based firms are making an impact internationally, and interesting to get a glimpse into the glamorous world of superyachts.

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