Chichester sees popular new marine industry

A new business has arisen from the collapse of Hillyards boatyard which ceased trading on 15 January leaving four part-finished Sadler yachts and 20 employees out of work. On Saturday the company’s old HQ in Littlehampton, then suffered massive damage in a blaze being investigated for evidence of arson.

Navigators Marine Services, based at Chichester Marina, is being run by Susan West, managing director, and former manager of Hillyards’ Chichester arm.

She has taken on two of the former employees of Hillyards: a marine engineer and a laminator and her order books are filling up with customers who had expected to deal with Hillyards.

”I’m the unpaid former manager of Hillyards – it was very very sad because the company was like one big family. Now the fire has struck too and it just gets worse, ‘ she told YM.

Around half the buildings were badly damaged by the blaze, with the rest of
the site suffering smoke and heat damage. The fire is believed to have
started in a large workshop on the site. Arson has not been ruled out.

Hillyards had expanded over the last 18 months into new premises in Gosport. It then acquired Broadblue catamarans and four unfinished Sadler 290 hulls after
Southampton’s Rampart Yachts went under in June 2008.