PE partnership a first for local boatbuilding
It looks a bit like a James Bond movie set: classic cars and high-speed patrol vessels cheek by jowl at a factory outside Port Elizabeth.
The unusual combination is testimony to an innovative partnership between Nautic Africa and classic car specialists Hi-Tech Automotive, both specialists in their respective fields but at different ends of the manufacturing spectrum. Nautic, a division of Paramount, is known for their eye-catching vessels; Hi-Tech Automotive produces classic car replicas ranging from the X to the Y. The common denominator is high-quality composite materials.
It’s a marriage of convenience that has already reaped an impressive harvest for Nautic Africa, according to the company’s Neil De Villiers who spoke to SABBEX this month. “We have an agreement with them — they build everything to do with composites and then we move in and do outfitting and installation of engines, and then from there obviously testing and sea trials,” De Villiers said. “They had already built six when I was there last.”
Nautic had received two significant orders, including one for 33 vessels, with the first batch already delivered to an offshore client” he said.
The Hi-tech facility near Green Bushes outside Port Elizabeth already accommodates Nautic recreational boatbuilding division, Austral, and as such is a natural fit to for the Guardian production cycle.
Nautic’s Guardian vessel range includes several models ranging from 8.5m up to 24m, and can have either composite or aluminium hulls. Hi-tech produces the composite hull, deck, centre consols and straddle seats. Other parts like stainless steel fittings, pipe work and trailers are also made on site.