Sunseeker International founder Robert Braithwaite CBE DL is celebrating winning the Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s Boat Builder Awards

Sunseeker International founder Robert Braithwaite CBE DL is celebrating winning the Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s Boat Builder Awards announced last night at an awards ceremony at The National Maritime Museum, Amsterdam.

The prestigious awards celebrate business achievement within the marine industry, organised jointly by IBI magazine and METSTRADE. They recognise individual and team success within boat building companies globally across eight categories of business achievement.

Sunseeker Manhattan 66

The 66 is available with IPS pods or traditional shafts

The Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Side-Power (Sleipner Motor AS), recognises Robert’s outstanding contribution to the marine industry in establishing the world-renowned brand, Sunseeker International and its leadership in its market.

“It is a great honour to receive such an award,” said Robert. “I’ve dedicated much of my life to this industry and have strived to make Sunseeker the world-renowned luxury brand that it is today.

“As Britain’s biggest boat builder I’m very proud of what Sunseeker International has become over the last 47 years; it is quite an achievement.

Sunseeker apprentices at work

Sunseeker apprentices at work

“We’re continuing to grow worldwide thanks to our investment in new products, shipyard facilities and our people, it is exciting to see what the future will hold.”

In 1969, Robert dreamt of building a new kind of boat using revolutionary materials and technology. His early designs were tailored to a handful of customers, keen to embrace new-found freedoms. There were no significant builders of boats for the sports and leisure markets in the UK. The first yacht to launch was the Sovereign 17 in 1971, closely followed by the Sovereign 20. By 1972, the company was exhibiting at the Southampton Boat Show.

Sunseeker International was also recognised for its apprenticeship scheme and has been shortlisted for Best Apprenticeship and Training Scheme. This recognises Sunseeker employees who help in the development of apprentices across the business.

Sunseeker International employs over 2,100 highly skilled designers, engineers and master craftsmen supported by a worldwide network of over 80 retail and service locations, exporting approximately 140 yachts a year to more than 45 countries.