Sunseeker CEO Christian Marti has announced the passing of luxury yacht manufacturer founder Robert Braithwaite
Sunseeker International founder Robert Braithwaite has passed away today (7 March) at the age of 75.
Sunseeker CEO Christian Marti announced the news on the company’s website, writing: “Sadly, in the early hours of this morning, Sunseeker’s founder Robert Braithwaite passed away. Robert was an inspiration to everyone at Sunseeker and to the wider marine industry, recognised as a boating pioneer, a true visionary and someone who changed the face of boating forever.Robert was not only the company’s founder but the father of the ‘Sunseeker family’ here in Dorset, and worldwide through our dealers and clients. He will always live on as the driving force behind our success. Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with his immediate family.”
Born in Yorkshire in 1943, Braithwaite left school at 14 with no qualification but later decided to follow his dreams and learn all about boats, doing an engineering course and an apprenticeship in Belgium at marine engine suppliers OMC.
He later joined Friar’s Cliff Marine where he sold small boats made by American yard Owens Cruisers.
In the late 60s with John Macklin, he bought Friar’s Cliff Marine, renaming it Poole Powerboats after borrowing £5,000 to build their first boat, a 17 ft vessel. Poole Powerboats become Sunseeker in 1985.
Sunseeker went on to become one of the biggest and most prestigious luxury yacht manufacturer.
In 2007 Robert Braithwaite was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
The following year the Sunseeker founder made a cameo in the James Bond film Quantum of Solace as the captain of the Sovereign 17. The yacht was the first produced by Poole Powerboats in 1971.