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Maritimo – Service, loyalty and a dedication to perfection

No people. No boats. It’s so true, no matter whether you’re talking lamination or design, accounts or electricians, reception or woodworking, engineers or fabricators. The hands craft the dreams, and Maritimo is certainly proud of the people who constitute the big family.

Maritimo’s Operations Director, Phil Candler, comments on the value of the individuals that come together to form the organisation. Himself an 11-year service ‘veteran’, his knowledge not only comes from that overarching role he performs, but also from the time spent with the Founder, Bill Barry-Cotter, over the decades, and the management team at Maritimo.

“It’s one of the most important things for us. We have three key elements in how we recognise the team. It starts with how we attract new members to the clan in the first place, how we then maintain their interest, and also how we train our people on an ongoing basis,” said Candler.

“Firstly, we look for people with the right attitude, the right ability, and the right fit for our team. This all stems from the interview process, as the cornerstone is developing the right people for the future of the company. We have over 30 apprentices that we’re training in house currently, and our objective in all of that is to train the people with the right skills for the company.”

“Not only do we have to build the right product to market, we also have to ensure we create a pathway for the future for ourselves as a company, and our key staff.”

“Success comes in the form of staff retention, and then also final placement into their chosen field, once their apprenticeship ends. Some of our key leaders have come through apprenticeship training programs in all areas of the business, so it is not just words, but a practice we adhere to.”

“There are over 35 people that fit in to our 10, 15, and 20-year service categories. When I joined, there were 100 in the team, whereas now we are over 360. So, it shows just how many are in for the long term. They have trained, developed and stayed with the company, which is great. We not only have to build the right boat, we need to have the right relationship with customers and staff alike, as we really are one big family that needs each other.”

Candler added, “Manufacturing and all processes of manufacturing are all interlinked. If you have the right quality of people, you can then develop the right boat, manufacture the right boat, and then do it in a timeframe that is achievable. Doing all of that cost-effectively is crucial as the years have gone by. Continuous improvement and innovation are essential in all we do.”

Given today’s vessels are bigger and have more gear inside them than ever before, the importance of this statement becomes even more apparent. The requirement to have components that can be built together in a timely manner to deliver the final product is self-evident, and much of Maritimo’s work is in making sure that quality, speed, and time have been given equal attention, all the way from design to manufacture. So, it is not just what does the market want, but equally, just what is the manufacturability of that request, and it is all done inside the realm of never forgetting Maritimo’s revered blue water credentials and sea keeping prowess.

“The overall success of the company is dependent on the way we treat our staff, how we communicate with them, and how we relate to them. I am boat builder way back when, so I understand the difficulties of some areas of manufacturing. What Maritimo fosters is the requirement to continually look, enhance, and help our staff reach their goals, and then as we help them reach their goals, we also will achieve the goals for the company overall. This is the true value of our staff, who are the fabric of the organisation,” said Candler to underscore the point.

There are a lot of teams and groups that all work together inside the bigger framework to get the job done, and the final element of the process is to garner information into what additional tools the team would like to make their world even better, and by extension, that too of the boats and the owners that buy them.

Production Manager Kym Fleet certainly has a lot on his plate at any one time, especially as more and more Maritimos get produced each year, but it’s his humour that allows him to maintain an even keel. The ‘fun’ part is rewarding teams and individuals as it arises. By way of example, Fleet commented, “Just the other week we took the entire timber shop and the CNC computer cutting team go-karting, because they were deemed to be the most outstanding department for 2023. The timber shop is involved in supplying all other departments with the product they need to do their job. We say that they have a customer in every department of Maritimo. So this was in recognition of the quality of their work and the expeditious way in which they delivered it.”

“We’re also rewarding all those with 10 or more years’ service soon, and I really cannot say more about that, other than it is special.”

“Other things we do include having a catered birthday breakfast every three months for anybody that’s celebrating their birthday during that quarter. All our staff receive complimentary boat show tickets, and we hold numerous staff functions throughout the year, as well.”

Fleet concluded, “With the kinds of deadlines we have for shows and shipping departures, we always recognise the super-efforts made to get us over the line. Ultimately, everyone’s very, very proud of what we do. We look on fondly at what leaves the facility and gets launched to go off to the customer.”

Maritimo currently has three staff who have been with the company for 20 years, 14 who have been at Maritimo for 15 years or more, several of whom are just about to join the 20-year club, and a further 18 family members in the 10-15 year bracket.