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Sea Otter - more details

Paul Hobson, managing director of recently failed boatbuilders Sea Otter, has provided some background to the company's collapse in a newly issued press release.

He attributes the blame to the company's sole distributor, Walton Marine, cancelling their regular order - but also hints that competition from foreign-built boats may be a factor.

It is with great sadness that I have to announce that Sea Otter Workboats Ltd has gone into 'controlled liquidation' with immediate effect.

Walton Marine cancelled all future orders on the 31st March 2008, and under the instructions of our accountant, we have spent the last month trying to generate sales (at open weekends and 'special offers'). Unfortunately, this hasn't generated any sales which means we are unable to trade forward. If we were to do so then this would be seen as fraudulent trading and none of us at Sea Otter want to jeopardise our reputation and the reputation of the product by defrauding the general public.

All but one customer sale has been completed and delivered. The only boat still in build will be completed and delivered to the customer before the end of May.

Sea Otter's use of marine grade aluminium alloy is a great example of manufacturing innovation from a small family run business. No other narrowboat, especially cheaply built imported products, provides such a good investment as a Sea Otter.

Walton Marine will continue to support owners and boats still under warranty and are able to offer a full statutory warranty on all new and ex-display boats available while stocks last. Sea Otter owners have always benefited from very high resale values and we anticipate that with limited supply, values will continue to hold up very well.

We will continue to offer boat movements, servicing and facelifts, as this was a separately-run company and we have use of the facility and own the vehicle and trailer.

Paul Hobson

Monday 19 May  | Richard Fairhurst  | 9.59am, Monday 19 May 2008


Possibly part of Sea Otter's problems is that they decided to use a sole distributor, rather than selling direct. I appreciate that using a sole distributor means you don't have to have a sales department of your own, but relying one one "customer" has left them very much up a creek without a paddle and has resulted in this sad news.

Brian L Dominic  | 8.18PM, Monday 19 May

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