Sunseeker Yachts announced this morning that its founder, Robert Braithwaite, passed away in the early hours.
“Robert was not only the company’s founder, but the father of the ‘Sunseeker family’ here in Dorset, and worldwide through our dealers and clients. He will always live on as the driving force behind our success,” Sunseeker CEO Christian Marti said in a news release.
Braithwaite worked at Friar’s Cliff Marine (which would eventually become Poole Powerboats) throughout the sixties, a company that sold various brands including boats made by American boat builder Owens Crusiers Inc.
Following the decision to no longer distribute their craft in Europe, Owens announced the closing of its U.K. operation. This is when Braithwaite saw opportunity and negotiated a deal to acquire Owens’ boat molds.
Braithwaite began building the first boats under the Sovereign brand in 1971. Finding early success in providing customers with exactly what they asked for, the Sunseeker brand and company continued to evolve and grow.
Today, Sunseeker employs over 2,500 designers, engineers and craftsmen and is supported by a worldwide network of more than 120 retail and service locations.
“Robert was an inspiration to everyone at Sunseeker and to the wider marine industry, recognised as a boating pioneer, a true visionary and someone who changed the face of boating forever,” Marti said.