Published: Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Sirocco Marine, Australian distributors of Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIBS) under the brands Brig, Williams Performance Tenders, Sealegs and Sirocco, will soon extend its footprint to the US market.

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(Neil Webster flying Australian flag at Brig Headquarters)

The Australian distributor will open the first of several showrooms in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Annapolis, Maryland

The Fort Lauderdale showroom will be managed by Boyd Tomkies and will open early November, while the Annapolis showroom, opening in early December, will be headed up by Vince Palmeri. Each showroom will display the entire Brig range of RIBS and Sealegs Amphibious craft.

Managing Director Neil Webster explained that the decision to open stores in the US was a strategic move to expand the business to a larger market and as a form of hedge in the current climate as the Aussie dollar is comparatively weak against the US dollar.

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“Importing boats from the US or UK has gone up 50%,” says Webster. “Boats from Europe have gone up 20%. It makes sense to look further afield and the US is a massive market with a mature boating culture.”

Webster revealed that he is looking for more sites to open across the US as part of an ambitious roll-out plan.

“We have reached saturation in the local market where Brig is the number one RIB brand,” says Webster. “Brig is the largest RIB manufacturer in the world and constantly investing in R&D and innovation. With the professionalism and enthusiasm of our US personnel, we are confident we will soon establish a loyal clientele.”

The first major boat show planned for Sirocco Marine in the US will be the 75th Miami International Boat Show (Feb 11-15), where Sirocco Marine has secured the largest stand in the inflatable boat section (Hall C). 25+ boats will be on display, ranging from 2.7-metres to 10m.

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Brig Headquarters is excited to see the expansion into the US.

“Neil and his team are our current International Dealer of the Year,” says Brig Founder and General Manager Slave Rodionov. “We fully support his plan to take the same exceptional product, service and ethos to America.”

Earlier in the year, Webster and his team received the Dealer of the Year Award at the annual Brig conference.

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(Brig's Eagle E480)

“It was a surprise, but we work hard in all facets of the business,” says Webster. “It’s not just about sales figures and volumes. Brig judges the annual award on customer service and dedication to the brand: presentation at boat shows, brochures, advertising and marketing support, website development and training.”

In early 2016, Webster is expecting delivery of the first 10-metre Brig, among other new releases.