US sailboat builder Hunter is continuing its European expansion with the appointment of distributors in Ireland, Portugal and Slovenia
Hunter, the US sailboat builder, is continuing its European expansion with the appointment of distributors in Ireland, Portugal and Slovenia. The boatbuilder is also looking to increase its distributor presence in Switzerland and Germany. All sales and marketing for the UK and US factories for Europe, Africa and the Middle East is coordinated from Hunter’s new Portland, UK factory, home to Luhrs Marine Limited, the UK manufacturing facility of Hunter/Legend Yachts which began operations towards the end of last year.
The factory, located on a deep water harbour in Portland, Dorset, is looking to expand with the introduction of new product lines. The first boat, a Hunter 290, was completed 14 February 2001, and has been followed by regular shipments throughout the UK, France, Spain, Portugal and Germany. The first UK-built 326 is set to be shipped by early November, with the first all-new UK built Hunter 356 shipping in early 2002. The company says it has a strong order backlog resulting from excellent results at some of the recent Autumn boat shows.
In step with the opening of the UK facility, many adaptations are being made to the US designs to increase their appeal in Europe, says Hunter. The new 356 sports has a sleek deck profile, and large-volume teak interior, while still maintaining the hallmarks of the American boat. Other product lines are also being adapted to make them more suited to the European marketplace. Hunter’s largest distributor continues to be the UK’s Opal Marine. Opal is part of B A Peters, Europe’s largest boat retailer.