Death of one of the fathers of the Sunseeker shipyard

Sunseeker Sovereign 17

Robert Braithwaite, co-founder of Sunseeker International Shipyard, passed away. A look back at the career of an industrialist who left his mark on British boating.

Disappearance of Robert Braithwaite

The pleasure boat builder Sunseeker is in mourning. The company has just lost one of its founders, Robert Braithwaite. At the age of 75, he died of Alzheimer's disease after suffering from several cancers.

From outboard engines to powerboats

Robert Braithwaite began his activity in the boating industry by repairing outboard engines, before undertaking engineering studies through apprenticeship. When the Friar's Cliff shipyard, renamed Poole Powerboats in 1969, which distributed American Owens Cruisers, was in danger of closing its doors, Robert raised funds. He bought the moulds and started building new boats, a new activity for Poole Powerboats. He then designed his first stars, the Sovereign 17 and 20 in 1971. The growing demand for sports cruisers makes Poole Powerboats popular in the United Kingdom and Northern Europe

Sunseeker, boats looking for the Mediterranean sun

Joined by his brother John, Robert joined designer Don Shead to create Offshore 28. This model conquered the Mediterranean basin and marked the launch of the Sunseeker International brand. The Poole site is expanding and the distribution network is becoming global.

Sunseeker enjoys international recognition, as evidenced by the presence of its boats in 4 consecutive James Bond films, where Robert Braithwaite appears as an extra.

Sunseeker under Chinese flag

In July 2012, Robert Braithwaite left the executive management of Sunseeker. The following year, the Chinese group Dalian Wanda acquired 91.8% of Sunseeker International's share capital.

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