Can you present us this new brand?
Morningstar Boats is a brand of boats made in Taiwan for about 8 years. The yard sells mainly in South East Asia and Australia where aluminium boats are preferred to fibreglass boats. The yard produces 350 boats per year.
Skyboats, of which I am the commercial director, has just concluded an exclusive contract with Morningstar Boats, which produces aluminium boats with a new process resulting from the automobile industry which consists in forming aluminium sheets in presses, which makes it possible to form the hull in only 4 parts and no welding on the keel...
Can you tell us more about this construction process?
This process consists in positioning aluminium sheets in presses in order to obtain the 4 pieces which will form the hull. A robot then welds the transom, the hull and both starboard and port sides.
Once the hull is assembled, a structure with a patented process that stiffens the whole takes place in the bottom. The deck is then welded on the inner sides of the hull. Then a paint - also from the car - is applied to the hull, hiding the aluminium. An advantage for boat maintenance.
What is the range and for what use?
We have a hull of 4.98 meters that comes in 4 versions :
- 498A, Angler, with console to starboard
- 498F, Fischer with centre console and optional 36 litre or 80 litre livewell
- 498R, Rover, open launch
- 498S, Cuddy type welder
Our boats are equally well suited for family outings, fishing, sliding sports and even sportier fishing. There is also a range of 4 boats on the same principle for lakes.
What are the advantages of these boats?
Lightness first thanks to aluminium and this construction process. The 5 m boat weighs only 400 kg. Still thanks to this lightness, no need for a big motorization. The recommended power is 60 HP and the maximum power is 90 HP, with a speed of about 35 knots.
They are also robust and have a good passage at sea with an efficient and stable hull profile. Finally, with a bare hull selling price of 12 000 to 15 000 ?, they are cheaper than the aluminium boats on the market.
Why did you decide to import it into France?
I have been working with China for several years and we have been importers for 20 years. That's how we discovered this brand. We then saw how they were manufactured and carried out tests with the site. The boats proved to be really strong with a really good finish.
It was also easier to set up a new brand of aluminium boats than to import yet another brand of fibre boats. In this aluminium hull market, there is little competition and the prices are high or the models are quite rough.
What is your business strategy?
We are going to set up a network of resellers in France. We do not sell directly. We will present 4 boats at the Grand Pavois in September, which will serve as a gateway to the market for both boaters and professionals.
Following the show, we will also take a tour of France to canvas our future network.