Industry faces different challenges

Ian Cooke is the new president of British Marine

Industry Database

We need to treat Covid-19 as a period and not let it divert attention from other challenges and demands.

That’s the message from C-Quip MD Ian Cooke who took over the presidency of British Marine (BM) last month with Paul Gullett as his vice president.

“There’s lots to be quite positive about; different sectors are affected differently,” he said. “There are different challenges now – people have a longer-term concern about selling boats, especially with the industry not having the normal number of boat shows in a year. We don’t know what effect that will have.”

And he explained how BM and the RYA are both working to encourage people into boating with much work carried out over the last couple of years regarding BM’s 2025 plan and national agenda.


“The national agenda programme needs to be put in place; we need to make sure that process stays on track and take this as a period of stasis,” he said. “We’ve started the works to fulfil it, we’ve been concentrating on different demands for members over the last few months.”

One aspect Ian would like to see is some more effective support for small events such as regional boat shows, thus covering all sectors.

“Big shiny boats get the headlines but that’s not the be all and end all,” he said. “When we lost London, a working committee broke down all the stakeholders that were going to be affected by not having the event. We managed in certain sectors but not all of them.”

He added: “I’d like to see other events throughout the calendar. British Marine is made up of all different sectors and it’s a challenging group to satisfy at one event.”

Thought and attention

Another aspect close to Ian’s heart is the environment and the growing understanding it needs to be looked after better.

“We need to have a closer look into the end of life boats and we need to do some research into recycling and see if we have a better solution for repurposing the materials,” he said. “These things require some thought and attention. The whole thing needs a collaborative approach; we’ve got to work together, it’s the whole circular understanding of how the industry works. If we can do that, we have half a chance of success.”

He concluded: “We’ve had a wake-up call these last few months, we all need to work together to galvanise and bring people together in the industry.”

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