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BHG Marine bought by Berthon 'safeguarding 20 jobs'

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David Martin (left), of BHG Marine, shakes hands on the acquisition deal with director and co-owner of Berthon Boat Company, Dominic May, with David's son Paul (right)
David Martin (left), of BHG Marine, shakes hands on the acquisition deal with director and co-owner of Berthon Boat Company, Dominic May, with David's son Paul (right)

BERTHON-owned Lymington Marina has bought BHG Marine and Willow Marine at Bucklers Hard, which executives say will safeguard more than 20 jobs.

The acquisition of BHG from David Martin and son Paul takes Lymington-based Berthon’s workforce to more than 150 employees and 30 apprentices. David can now enjoy his retirement after 57 years’ service to the marine industry.

Paul said: “As a long-established marine specialist, with over 70 years’ trading, we are excited at the prospect of a bright future for both companies.

“Both BHG Marine and Willow will retain all their staff and existing operations. The Lymington BHG site will move from their Bridge Road home in Lymington over the next few months to a new showroom in Bath Road.

“It was a difficult decision to sell the family business, but we are relieved and reassured that we have found another family-owned company that recognises our expertise and reputation, and will retain the company names and brand.

“I will be helping to build the company further. I thank Sean McQuitty from First Peninsular Marine on finding us the ideal buyer.”

Director and co-owner of Berthon Boat Company, Dominic May, said no changes were planned. “David and Paul Martin have spent a lifetime building up a brilliant business, and we thank them both for entrusting its future to us.

“The BHG and Willow purchases enable us to offer our customers a much wider product range and servicing expertise. We welcome all the BHG and Willow staff and we will use our strong balance sheet to provide the business with a promising future.”

To provide continuity and expertise, Paul will act as a consultant to both companies.

BHG Marine specialises in the sales, service and parts for Yamaha outboards, Jeanneau motor craft and Zodiac inflatables and RIBS.

It also distributes PropGuards and Hurley Davits in Europe, and Turboswing and Motortoter in the UK, plus the Linder range of aluminium dinghies and canoes. BHG Marine employs 13 people.

Willow Marine, which employs eight, trades as BHG Service through two sites at Bucklers Hard. The original garage site services and repairs all brands of outboard motors and small craft. The chandlery and boat yard operation offers additional inboard diesel engine servicing and maintenance. Willow Marine distributes the range of Rigiflex boats in the UK.

Berthon was established in 1877 and is based in Lymington. It celebrated its 100th anniversary of May family ownership in 2017, and prior to the latest acquisition had 130 employees, including 30 apprentices.

It offers commercial new builds, marine services, yacht maintenance, repairs and refits, along with its own marina and a renowned yacht brokerage and new boat sales team.

It has sales offices in the south of France at Port la Napoule, in Palma, Mallorca, and at Newport, Rhode Island, in the USA.

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