Boat builders closing

SUSAN STRONGMAN
Last updated 13:26 16/01/2014

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Luxury yacht builder Fitzroy Yachts has announced it is closing its boat building operation.

Managing Director Rodney Martin announced the decision, which would result in a substantial number of jobs lost, to the company's 120 staff this morning.

He made the call after the company, which has been in business 15 years, was unable to secure a contract to build a yacht following the completion of its current project, FY17, on February 28.

Mr Martin said the resulting loss of jobs was extremely regrettable, but unavoidable.

''Our priority now is to complete the boat in time to the quality standard the company is known for.''

Mr Martin said finding work for staff, who would be jobless after FY17's completion, was also a top priority and he had been speaking with local employers about opportunities for his staff.

''In New Plymouth, prospects look good for 2014 and the business community will do everything they can to help out our boys.

''We are optimistic that many of our staff will be able to gain new employment.''

He said the company was looking at continuing with a design and technology team and Mr Martin would stay in his role as managing director, to which he was appointed in 2008.

''We are not ruling anything out for the future.''

He said several factors contributed to the company's inability to secure a contract to build a new yacht this year, including the fact that super yacht customers were mainly in Europe and America.

He also said the damage done by the global financial crisis and the strong New Zealand dollar had contributed to the closure.

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