Written by Jack O'Rourke
As Australian boatbuilder Maritimo continues to roll on with production, they are pushing ahead with exciting plans for 2020, including new model releases and an action-packed promotional schedule.
Maritimo are also offering customers alternative tour experiences including one-on-one VIP appointments, guided digital inspections and vessel walkthroughs, as well as controlled visits to their sales and marketing centres.
With a strong forward order pipeline and a healthy demand for their boats, they are now looking to find innovative solutions as the industry navigates these difficult times, with a view to come out stronger and with a clearer focus than ever before.
Maritimo’s lead designer Tom Barry-Cotter discusses with Ocean what the prestigious Gold Coast marque is doing to get on the front foot.
With the impact of COVID-19 affecting the entire industry, what contingency plans has Maritimo put in place to deal with this fluid situation?
Obviously, this phase is a difficult time for everybody. We’ve gone about a number of strategies, basically to mitigate risk and remain operational.
We have put in place strict cleaning regimes throughout our manufacturing facility, our sales offices, as well as our products. The health and safety of our staff and customers is most important. We’ve gone to alternating shifts and smaller sets of subgroups within the factory to isolate our staff as best we can.
What are some of the initiatives that Maritimo has launched during this time?
We have just launched our virtual boat show platform. You can get in contact with our team and they can show you through the boat. The platform groups our products all in one place and people can conveniently find information and be in touch with our people.
It’s a common thing for everyone in the industry to have to be very agile in order to adapt to the situation as it changes. It will be interesting because it is something that a lot of companies will see the benefits of.
What do you attribute to Maritimo’s long-term success? How has the company been able to grow?
I think it’s down to the dedication of the team. Since its infancy, Maritimo has been all about constructing a well-built, high-quality product. And that’s what our customers expect of us. They know when they purchase a Maritimo that it will stand the test of time. It will be able to go out in all conditions.
This year 2020 marks the 60th year my father Bill Barry-Cotter has been involved in the boating industry. That wealth of experience, both in boatbuilding but also weathering economic turbulence, really underpins Maritimo. It forms a solid foundation for us to develop new strategies and continue to grow stronger.
Maritimo has had a history of persevering through the ebbs and flows of market stability. What strategies are in place to ensure Maritimo remains sustainable?
Efficient manufacturing is certainly one. We are always looking for innovative new ways to build and manufacture our products. And I think our market research. The investigation and the process that goes into our new product development.
The strategies that we are putting in place now will make us stronger in the future. This situation has forced us to adapt and be nimble.
A lot of those strategies will work moving forward and in terms of our new product development, it raises the bar. We need to do things better; we need to be better than the rest.
We also have a new launch strategy that will coincide with a new product announcement in the coming weeks. We have quite a new way that I don’t think has been seen before.
The means in which we can present this to the media, and to the wider market, is something that’s going to be really exciting. And it’s something that we will continue to evolve with future launches. We can’t wait to show everyone how this product performs when we actually get out on the water.
There has also been interest in our Maritimo One division. It’s a new production division we set up last year that enables client customisation. The One stands for the one-on-one experience with our design team – customers can create a vessel that is considered one of a kind, and fits the need of that client.
Where we’re seeing the most traction with Maritimo One has been the customisation of our boats for the purpose of fishing. We’ve had four new boats go through the Maritimo One division that can be completely set up for game fishing.
Everything from hard tops being redesigned to allow more room for them, to things like game chairs. We have had the transoms of those boats being modified with a rake transom, and a number of other options to make those vessels perfectly set up for fishing. Besides that, we’ve seen some minor changes to the interior layouts.
It’s a division that enables customers to have the ability to build their own boats. It’s been a fantastic offering for the customer.
What is the key message that you want to push out to your clients during this time?
Our key message is that we are absolutely open for business and there’s no better place in the world to be than out on your boat. When these current restrictions pass, our customers will be keen to go boating again and we’ll be there to support them.