THE chief executive of Sunseeker has praised the “passion” of its Dorset workforce as he announced the first in a greatly expanded range of luxury boats.

The company was at the Southampton International Boat Show for the world premiere of its Predator 60 EVO, the first model in a “renovation” of its product line financed by a £50million capital investment over five years.

Sunseeker International chief executive Andrea Frabetti told the Daily Echo: “It’s the first of an entire renovation looking at the future of the brand. In 2018, we offered to the market 11 models. In 2021, we will have 20 models and in 2022 we will have 24 models on our range.

“That’s important for this market, because every customer would like to have his own product to be unique and so Sunseeker, like in the past, has to maintain that dominant position.”

He said the expanded range represented a “wide open offer from 38ft up to 50 metres, with a lot of products in the middle that touch different customers”.

He added: “Sometimes the customer enters in a 38ft and then moves up and they need to see the next boat. They dream and they need to know that in the Sunseeker family, every dream can become reality.”

Sunseeker, owned by the Chinese Dalian Wanda corporation, employs around 2,500 people in Poole and Portland. It said its profits grew from £1.1million in 2017 to £6.6m in 2018, while its “pure boat” revenue was up by more than £10m.

Mr Frabetti said: “It’s not a financial company. We are delivering dreams for our customer. Of course we would like be paid for what we deliver in terms of experience and in terms of product and quality. It’s important to sustain the business but it’s not the leader. We are delivering dreams. Our shareholders understand that.”

Mr Frabetti, previously Sunseeker’s chief technical officer, took the top job in June after the resignation of Christian Marti.

After 30 years with industry in the US, Germany and his native Italy, he said he had been impressed by the skills of the Dorset workforce.

“We have no robots. We have humans. Sometimes when I see a boat I say ‘This boat, it’s not msising the knowledge, it’s missing the passion'. And if you’re a customer immediately you realise that. But the passion is strong in Poole. They are proud to demonstrate to everybody that the passion is there.

“A yacht is a piece of art. It’s hand craftsmanship. If you put your passion in construction, immediately the owners realise it. Open a shelf, it’s sliding fine. Open a door, it’s moving fine. Everything. Because it’s an experience to own a yacht.”

Forthcoming models include the 87 Yacht – previously known as Project 8X – in summer 2020, the 65 Sport Yahct in autumn 2020 and the 133 Yacht 2021.

He said of the Predator 60 EVO, which will cost around £1.1m plus VAT: “It’s the best in class. No compromise. Very good performance, stylish interiors, wonderful impressive lines.”

The Southampton event was also the first UK boat show to see Sunseeker’s new Hawk 38. The first 10 of which were a limited edition in memory of the company’s founder Robert Braithwaite, who died earlier this year.

“Everybody in the company really loved Robert,” said Mr Frabetti.

“Unfortunately, I never met him, but he’s alive when you talk to everybody. They remember what he did but also what he said. Some people had very few opportunities to talk to Robert but they can’t forget him.”