Published: Thursday, 10 August 2017

UAE-based shipyard Gulf Craft has sold a passenger vessel, a Touring 36, to a buyer in Tonga, a Polynesian country between New Zealand and Hawaii.

Gulf Craft Sells Passenger Vessel Touring 36 To Tonga 1

(Photos: Gulf Craft - Touring 36)

Erwin Bamps, CEO of Gulf Craft, said: “Gulf Craft is focused on globalisation and we’ve been working hard to be present in far reaching places on the planet. This sale demonstrates that we have achieved that and reinforces our overall strategy of building products for a global audience.

“Gulf Craft does not hesitate to sell boats thousands of miles away because we have full faith in our products’ reliability, durability, and seaworthiness. We’ve been in business for 35 years and during that time the company has grown exponentially. Reaching the South Pacific is a testament that our vessels can go anywhere.” 

Touring 36 has been utilised as a small ferry, an ambulance, by coastguards and law enforcement agencies, and for leisure pursuits such as diving.

Gulf Craft Sells Passenger Vessel Touring 36 To Tonga

The transaction was handled by Toufic Hobeika from Smart Own, which has partnered with Gulf Craft for almost a decade.

Hobeika said: “It is a real joy to team up with Gulf Craft on the distribution and promotion of its utility series around the world. The company builds a wide and diverse product range that meets the clients’ requests and therefore offering something unique.

“I’m especially proud to represent Gulf Craft in emerging economies, whether in Africa, Latin/Central America or Polynesia. It is spectacular that we already find proud owners of the world-famous Touring 36 in markets as far as Peru, Mexico and Aruba. Gulf Craft’s strategy and commitment to its customer base differs from that of other companies – no stone is left unturned. Together, we are identifying more remote and niche markets where people don’t feel catered to. The Kingdom of Tonga sale is the perfect example of that.” 

Gulf Craft Sells Passenger Vessel Touring 36 To Tonga 2

Established back in 1982, Gulf Craft’s biggest seller a quarter-century ago was a passenger vessel similar to Touring 36.

Bamps said: “In any emerging market, when people buy boats, trucks, or cars, the primary purpose is to move people and goods from one place to another. It’s about fulfilling needs, not desires. Recreational boating and yachting are becoming more established in South-east Asia, but in the early days the focus was on functionality. 

“For us it’s not only about chic, glossy and top-end yachts – Gulf Craft is a company that brings people onto the water, transports them and gives them great enjoyment whether they are wealthy business men or fishermen. Yes, we build superyachts and megayachts, but that doesn’t mean that we are not interested in continuing to cater to the market that we grew on. We are still very much loyal to the sport fishing and functionally oriented client base, to our track record and heritage and pride ourselves on maintaining support to our entire customer base.

“Even now, we still feel we’re pioneers in our industry, and we’ve never lost sight of our roots. The adventure we embarked upon 35 years ago continues every single day.”