January 2021 see's Marine Matters turning 20 years old. It all started life from a back bedroom from where I set adverts in the yachting magazines (using a dial up internet connection to send the artwork before a print deadline!) touting for yacht delivery work and doing RYA training for other businesses. It quickly became apparent there was a demand for quality training on large motor cruisers. Recognising that it was "all or nothing" I committed to the need and started my own RYA Training Centre, invested in vessels and employing skippers to fulfil the work.
We had a strong and successful start; the days were long but the work was fun and the time flew by until 2008 when it just quietened down a little. Something about a banking sector issue was talked about. Northern Rock was small in banking terms and when they recieved support from the Bank of England people queued at the doors to get their money back. The first run on an English bank for 150 years followed...a few short months later major financial institution were crashing and into the abyss we all went!
Overcoming Adversity & Building Quality
The reccession that started in 2008 saw some very long days for us all but we worked hard and ensured that the we kept our delivery promise to our clients. The efforts through the lean years to 2010 won us the respect and trust that encouraged an approach to operate a few big training contracts which gave a us a much needed boost. In the same year we won the tender to take over as the new operator of Stone Pier Yard Marina. Working closely with the landlord we helped to turn a mucky yard into a clean and professionally managed shoreside business and marina. Today the marina is clean and safe and with only about 50 berths we can provide the personal service for which we have become synonomous.
We had been tested by a deep recession and proved we could be adaptable in the pursuit of business success. Our ambitions were building and we added RIB boat sales and outboard engine servicing to our offering. We dedicated more hard work, committment to customer service, and built a much needed and large workshop in Warsash. From here we've gone from strength to strength with annual growth being the expected standard.
Today we are one of the largest Suzuki Authorised Dealers in the UK, The Mercury Marine main dealer for River Hamble, one of the largest GRAND RIBs dealers holding some of the highest stock levels, and recently we have become River Boats dealers as well. We've added a new USP in recent years to take our customer service commitment to another level with Solent Collect Warranty®. The next evolution is to start inboard engine servicing work now that we have the team that is experienced and capable of doing this professionally.
It's fair to say we have come a long way in 20 years, from a one man band working from home, to a dedicated team of professionals that share one overarching core mindset with those early days - the desire to provide "Excellence as Standard"
Success Today - It's All About The Team
The Marine Matters team today are without doubt the driving force behind our evergrowing success. Despite a totally unpredictable 2020, complete with unique challenges, I can proudly say the team at Marine Matters dug in to make the best of the situation by adopting a mutually supportive way of working in order to achieve together. This year we have a new engineering manager in Simon Jones on the team to support our excellent workshop manager, Rich Thoroughgood, and lead the young, but very capble, team at the workshop. Lisa continues to run the marina and the Training Centre and generally keeps us all in line.
As we enter our 20th anniversary year we launch our new website and have chosen to show case our team in a fun way with pictures from today and yesteryear so you, our customers, can see a little snapshot of us in what I hope is a fun way.
Click this Meet Our Team link to go and find out about those that make it all happen.