Cockwells Modern & Classic Boatbuilding has taken over Hardy Marine in a deal that will result in the further expansion of the award-winning Cornish company, which celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2021.

Hardy Marine has built all-weather motor boats from its Norfolk base for the last four decades, while Cockwells builds bespoke boats – from ultra-luxurious superyacht tenders and motor launches to traditional sailing yachts - from its purpose-built at HQ at Mylor Creek.

It is also the originator of Duchy Motor Launches – a semi-production brand that echoes the classical designs of the gentleman’s launch of generations past.

Additionally, Cockwells’ Mylor Creek Boatyard is equipped to offer refits, restorations and engineering services for local yachts and superyacht tenders from all over the world.

Falmouth Packet:

Duchy 27 1. Picture: Cockwells

Dave Cockwell, founder and MD of the Mylor company, said: “Both Cockwells and Hardy are committed to building exceptional motor boats that deliver style, reliability, customisation and all the advantages that technological advances can supply.

“The Duchy is predominantly a stylish day boat and occasional weekender. The Hardy is the Duchy’s rugged, sea-faring cousin. Cockwells are often asked to build bigger boats for cruising; The Hardy is ideally suited to that market.

“We plan to build on the seakeeping and styling of the Hardy brand, and introduce Duchy-like finesse to some of the fittings such as Cockwells’ famous joinery and cutting-edge superyacht technology – to make the Hardy even more yacht."

By 2021, Cockwells will have built 32 Duchy Motor Launches since the company launched the Duchy 27 in 2011, and demand continues to outstrip supply.

ockwells plans to chart the same course with the Hardy 32 to 65 range and increase demand for these exemplary trawler yachts.

Falmouth Packet:

Duchy 35 4. Picture: Andrew Wright

The Duchy 35 and the Hardy 65 are past winners of Motor Boat & Yachting Awards and both brands attract customers who seek high levels of customisation and craftsmanship.

Cockwells’ purchase of Hardy Marine will also create jobs. The company already operates from two sites – one in Falmouth as well as the Mylor Creek Boatyard – and has increased its headcount from 30 to 80 staff in recent years.

Cockwells has appointed Julian Weatherill from Hardy Marine to the position of sales manager in order to sustain the continuity of the brand.

“The many synergies between Cockwells and Hardy make this a perfect match for me,” said Julian.

“Having worked with Hardy clients and owners for the last few years, I am passionate about the brand and know that this new alliance will propel it forward. I am equally delighted to be working with the Cockwells team to drive the sales trajectory of its highly-prized Duchy Motor Launches."

Dave added: “Whilst many other companies are laying off staff as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, Cockwells is proud to be employing more people.

“We have our own in-house design department as well as our own engineering capability and electronic programming. We make our own joinery; we manufacture our own components and sub-contract almost nothing. On the rare occasions that we do sub-contract, we partner with local businesses.

"We have a dedicated after-sales team, which is very important, and we are undergoing a transition to lean manufacturing to increase productivity and enhance our working environment. With an already successful growth strategy, an international reputation for excellence, a healthy forward order book and our acquisition of the renowned Hardy brand, we are in a very strong position to face the future with confidence.”

Cockwells’ purchase of Hardy Marine has been made possible as a result of funding from Business Investment for Growth (BIG).

Financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and delivered by the Cornwall Development Company, this £3.15m investment fund aims to create 175 skilled jobs in Cornwall.