Britain’s decision to bail out from the EU has led to some severely divided opinions and a certain degree of media panic over the past month.
However, for Burgess Marine, parent company of boatbuilder Meercat Workboats, while the fallout from Brexit does present some concern, it could also spell a welcome opportunity for the yard to expand its export business.
Nicholas Warren, Burgess Marine CEO, claims that the reduced value of the Sterling at present could make Meercat’s newbuild output more attractive to overseas buyers. Warren tells Ship & Boat International that the revenue to be generated from an upsurge in international orders would easily outweigh the initial hit in costs stemming from the weaker pound.
Meercat claims to have built 28 vessels to date, mainly targeting three markets: ports and harbours, aquaculture and marine civils. Warren particularly identifies the aquaculture sector as one in which growth has remained steady; Meercat has delivered two sector-specific boats to Norway and two to Saudi Arabia, “and it would be good to secure more orders in these territories,” he adds.
Approximately a third of Meercat’s output comprises exports, with the yard also having delivered newbuilds to the Republic of Ireland, Sweden, Tasmania, Peru and Australia.
The EU referendum, hosted in late June, coincided with Meercat’s announcement that it will relocate from its Portchester premises to a new 1,600m² facility in Hythe, near Southampton, in September. The new yard will grant Meercat access to a pair of 20tonne gantry cranes, electrical and hydraulic workshop space, aluminium welding bays and dedicated stores areas.