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SPEEDTRIPLE

Robert Braithwaite

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Hi All,

I don`t know whether any of the forum members have Sunseekers, but i saw on faceache this morning that former owner, and i believe, founder of Poole Powerboats, later to become Sunseekrs, has sadly passed away at the age of 75.  My father in law worked at Sunseekers for over 20 years, being instrumental in helping the company grow from a small local speedboat builder to one of the biggest supper yacht builders in the country, possibly THE biggest, and also possibly in Europe.   Robert Braithewait was always a great boss to work for, being of the old school, who knew about building boats, and always looked after his employees who worked hard and went the extra mile for him, unlike the money men who eventually took over.

My father in law used to be a good friend as well as a dedicated employee, and upon his retirement, Robert Braithwaite was more than generous with his retirement gifts.

R.I.P. Mr Braithwaite.

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He sadly passed away yesterday morning, he'd not been well for some time.  Yes he did create Poole Powerboats along with John Macklin, borrowed some money and built his first boat in the late 60's.  I've met him about 5 or 6 times over 17 years, always a pleasure.  Most memorable was at a suppliers award ceremony, my colleague dropped the award plate and quick as a flash Robert grabbed it before it hit the floor and smashed to pieces.  To this day we have no idea how he moved so fast !!

 

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We watched the rise of Sunseeker in the 70s and early 80's. Before we moved to Ridge Wharf up the Frome towards Warham we were in Holes Bay at Cobbs Quay.

In those far away days Martin Sadler (son of David of Contessa fame) was building his first Sadler 25s at Cobbs and he would rope in Rodney Patterson the Olympic Flying Dutchman gold medallist to help with demo sails. Happy days, The Poole scene was great to be around, very different from today.

Sadly a drying marina coupled to a bridge lift, that did not happen in very hot weather , a young family and a 120 mile drive home sent us up the river to Wareham. Tides we could cope with, but not getting through the bridge until late Sunday evening was too much.

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This thread has got my grey matter going. Poole is synonymous with Sunseeker. However the really big story in the 70s/80s was George Steads Southern Ocean Shipyard who built the Ocean range of fast "World Cruisers" in 60, 70 and 80 foot versions. I think something like 70 were built about half being the 60ft. I am pretty sure the 70 was the first "Maxi" racer.

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2 hours ago, ChrisB said:

This thread has got my grey matter going. Poole is synonymous with Sunseeker. However the really big story in the 70s/80s was George Steads Southern Ocean Shipyard who built the Ocean range of fast "World Cruisers" in 60, 70 and 80 foot versions. I think something like 70 were built about half being the 60ft. I am pretty sure the 70 was the first "Maxi" racer.

Hi Chris,

I was told some while back that Southern Ocean Shipyard was based in Wallisdown which is about 3-4 miles inland (north) of Poole Quay. I`m not 100% on that though.  Now, that area is covered with many car showrooms. Again, i could`nt believe they would be able to transport them from there, but when you see where some rather large Windboats were built (Wroxham), i suppose anything is possible?.

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I am not sure, I just remember them afloat opposite the quay with guys working on them across the way from the old Truckline terminal. They seemed absolutely vast as we passed them in our Centaur.

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