Our Marine Industry Team is led by Peter Hall who has experience dealing with companies which have built and refitted commercial boats, luxury yachts and racing craft. The team has experience in dealing with the customers, suppliers and landlords of these businesses in order to achieve the best outcome for all concerned. Sometimes this has meant completing works in hand to extract maximum value from the projects.

Peter Hall says:

“The marine industry is a specialised industry employing an highly skilled workforce, which has commensurately high operational costs. As with other specialised industries, it is not practical for these firms to expand and contract their labour as demand requires, so they must retain their quality staff during periods of low demand. Conversely, when demand is high those employees can often easily find work elsewhere"

Often large premises are needed with access to the water and large specialised equipment and machinery which can be difficult to find and expensive to maintain. The premises and machinery may have laid dormant during the pandemic although the costs of the premises and other machinery costs have continued to be charged.

The work these companies undertake can be highly profitable, but the businesses are often only able to work on one or two key projects at any given time. These projects can be lengthy, and it can be difficult to coordinate the commencement of new work to keep the business operating at full capacity. This type of uncertainty makes financial planning difficult.

We have seen changes in this industry in the way contracts are negotiated with a shift towards fixed price contracts. As the sector has become more competitive, and profit margins have been reduced, fixed price contracts sometimes leave little margin for error.

Delays and unanticipated issues on a project can be expensive to put right and any reduction in profitability as a result can take years to rectify.

Brexit may have a substantial effect on this international industry in terms of demand for services from overseas and in sourcing staff and supplies.

With the experience we have in this sector, we are able to give informed guidance on issues that affect this industry. Please contact Peter Hall should you wish to discuss any matters affecting your business.