Invest NI helps Redbay Boats sail into export markets

Invest Northern Ireland is helping local company, Redbay Boats Ltd to significantly increase its turnover and increase its share of export markets.

The company has just secured orders from Russia, the Faroe Islands and Norway for their innovative fibreglass boats and orders from Sweden and South Africa are currently being negotiated.

Redbay Boats has been building high quality boats at their premises in Cushendall since 1977. They are one of the top fibreglass boat manufacturers in the UK and have developed a number of new products over the past few years, including the hugely successful Stormforce range of Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIB).

Redbay has been working closely with Invest NI on R&D projects aimed at developing innovative new products and assisting with marketing activities which have been key to the company’s export success.

Tom McLaughlin, Managing Director of Redbay Boats, says: “Redbay Boats has benefited enormously from the range of support provided by Invest NI.  Our expertise coupled with the support of Invest NI has allowed us to incorporate lean manufacturing techniques and develop innovative new products that have delivered substantial benefits.

“Our turnover is on target to increase by 70% over the next 3 years. Exports have increased dramatically - we have already secured orders with customers in RoI, Bermuda, Norway & the Isle of Man – and by 2009, we are confident that 75% of our business will be external to Northern Ireland. The latest contracts in Russia, Norway and the Faroe Islands have really reinforced the importance of innovation and how it has helped to deliver success in even the most competitive export markets.’’

Des Gartland, Manager of Invest NI’s North Eastern Regional Office, says: “Working with the regional office in Ballymena has helped Redbay Boats to access the full range of Invest NI support and advice, including new product development, marketing and participation at trade shows.

“In particular, R&D assistance has opened up new market opportunities for Redbay making the company more competitive. We are delighted to see the positive impact these changes have had on the company’s turnover and export sales.’’