The full Monte at Ipswich Waterfront

IT'S nothing but doom and gloom in the economy isn't it?

James Marston

IT'S nothing but doom and gloom in the economy isn't it?

Petrol is barely affordable, you can't get a mortgage, house prices are sliding - is there any good news? Well today if you take a walk along Ipswich's Waterfront you could be mistaken for thinking you've been transported to a playboy's paradise.

With the sun glistening on the water, the bright yachts bobbing gently in the breeze, it looks more like Monte Carlo and not East Anglia at all.

And for the mega rich life wouldn't be complete without a luxury motor yacht.

Northampton-based boat makers Fairline have their sea trial facility in Ipswich. And at any one time there are millions of pounds worth of motor yachts here in Ipswich just waiting to be delivered to customers across the globe.

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Fairline marketing director Bryan Jones said: “The company has just won the Queen's Award for enterprise 2008 for doubling our export sales between 2004 and 2006.

“We've just opened a new factory at a cost of £8million at our headquarters in Oundle and at the Southampton boat show we will launch a new £900,000 yacht, the Squadron 55.

“We've already got 35 orders for the new boat which is amazing in the current climate.”

With their cheapest boat - the Targa 38 - holding a £200,000 price tag, luxury yachting is only for the affluent. The most expensive in the range - the Squadron 78 Custom - is a whopping £2.5million.

Mr Jones said customers are predominantly individuals who are “fulfilling a lifestyle dream”.

So confident about the future, Fairline is also set to launch a new 85ft flagship yacht in 2010. With a full order book, recent investment and big plans for the future, Fairline may well be a success story in troubled economic times.

Mr Jones added: “The current market is very buoyant.”

Are you beating the credit crunch? Is your company bucking the economic downturn? What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send an e-mail to

Fairline Boats manufacture luxury performance motor yachts in three distinct ranges: Squadron, Phantom and Targa.

Fairline has 63 appointed dealers throughout the world.

The company has a projected turnover for 2008 of £147million (an increase of 11per cent on 2007), with 85pc of production exported.

Recent market development has been in Russia, the Middle East, South Africa and Australia. Future market development will be in the emerging markets of China, India, SE Asia and South America.

The company employs 1,400 people at its design and manufacturing bases in Northamptonshire.

A dedicated testing centre at Ipswich opens to provide a year-round temperature controlled facility for pre-delivery inspections and on-board diagnostics of electronics. With direct access to the sea, dealer and customer trials can now be undertaken.