icon_arrow_down icon_arrow_left icon_arrow_left_large icon_arrow_right icon_arrow_right_large icon_arrow_up icon_bullet_arrow icon_call icon_close icon_facebook icon_googleplus icon_grid_off icon_instagram icon_login icon_mail icon_menu icon_message icon_minus icon_pinterest icon_plus icon_quote_end icon_quote_start icon_refresh icon_search icon_tick_on icon_twitter icon_video_play icon_youtube

Sign up to our mailing list for the latest Boat International & Events news.

SIGN UP

Missing your newsletter?

If you’ve unsubscribed by mistake and would like to continue to hear about the latest Boat International & Events news, update your preferences now and let us know which emails you’d like to receive.

UPDATE NOW
No, thanks

Sunseeker founder Robert Braithwaite dies

Poole-based superyacht yard Sunseeker has announced the death of its founder, Robert Braithwaite. Braithwaite, who was born in 1943, died in the early hours of Thursday, March 7.

A statement released by Sunseeker chief executive Christian Marti on behalf of the company described Braithwaite as “an inspiration.”

“He is recognised as a boating pioneer, a true visionary and someone who changed the face of boating forever,” he said. “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. Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with his immediate family.”

Lesley Robinson, chief executive of British Marine, added: “Robert was a true industry icon and great personal friend to many.

"He will be sincerely missed by all those who worked with him here at British Marine during his years as chairman, exhibitor and member, as well as in the wider industry by those who either knew him personally or who simply recognised his huge contribution and achievements within the sector."

The journey of the superyacht powerhouse began in the 60s, when Braithwaite was working for Friar’s Cliff Marine. Here, he sold smaller boats built by American yard Owens Cruisers.

When Owens Cruisers announced it would no longer be distributing to Europe, Braithwaite spotted an opportunity. He made a deal to buy Owens’ boat moulds and renamed Friar’s Cliff Marine to Poole Powerboats. It was later renamed Sunseeker International in 1985.

Accompanied by his younger brother John, who remains the company’s product development director, Braithwaite became a pioneer in fibreglass construction and built a reputation on employing revolutionary materials and technology.

In the 70s, Sunseeker began designing boats for the sports and leisure market, launching the Sports 23 and Daycab 23. The Braithwaite brothers then teamed up with legendary designer Don Shead, resulting in the Offshore 28 cruiser.

Other standout moments in Sunseeker's journey include the production of the Renegade 60 in the nineties, the yard’s first production boat with twin jet drives, and the Predator 80, which set a new benchmark in luxury yachting.

At the turn of the century, Sunseeker scooped two International Superyacht Design awards for its then biggest motor yacht, the 105. It was a key moment in the company’s transformation into a leading superyacht powerhouse and it has since gone on to produce increasingly larger models culminating in the 161, the yard's first metal yacht which was announced in September 2018.

Upgrade your account
Your account at BOAT International doesn't include a BOAT Pro subscription. Please subscribe to BOAT Pro in order to unlock this content.
Subscribe More about BOAT Pro