South Africa’s flagship boat builder Robertson & Caine is charging ahead with skills training as it seeks to bolster local operations. The company is recruiting 145 new composite trainees this year as the firm gears up for expansion.

Company managing director Theo Loock looks set to have his hands full juggling ten Cape Town facilities that collectively expect to produce over 200 boats. In a recent interview with South Africa’s Engineering News he sketched an optimistic outlook that augurs well for the entire local boatbuilding value chain.

“With our boats you have a product that offers space and comfort, performance and seaworthiness, but one that is also fairly affordable,” Loock said. “We balance on those three points – the triangular maximus.”.

“We don’t want to be the cheapest, or the biggest, or the fastest. For us, it is about balance,” he said.

Loock confirmed what many within the maritime sector already know – that Covid provided a significant sales boost due partly to boats lending themselves to social distancing as well as people fast-tracking bucket-list circumnavigation plans.

The company currently has a team of more than 40 engineers, Engineering News reports.

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