Award winning boat firm launched on the market

1:45 PM Wednesday May 27, 2015 Colin Taylor

A Fyran boat on display at the recent Auckland boat show.

Kiwi-owned Fyran Boats, a home-grown East Tamaki-based marine industry company which won a design award for one of its boats at the recent Auckland Boat Show, has been placed on the market.

“The company was formed by fishing buddies and sheet metal workers Trevor Fyfe and Graeme Ranson in 1969,” says Greg Scott, business broker with Bayleys, who is marketing Fyran Boats for sale as a going concern business within leased premises for an asking price of $795,000.

Scott says the sale price encompasses a full manufacturing plant including welding and cutting equipment, machinery, stock at trade, all intellectual property including boat designs, the brand name, website and building lease.

“Fyfe and Ransom bought a welding machine and made their first dinghy out of a small shed in South Auckland,” he says. “They sold the business in the 1977 but the brand name continues.”

In 1971 they upscaled production and boat size when their first V-hull craft was made and sold to the New Zealand market.

“Since then the company has continued growing and improving the on-water experience of thousands of fishermen, divers, water-skiers, and recreational users,” Scott says.

“Fyran revolutionised the construction of small trailer runabouts. Until the company came along, most smaller alloy boats were riveted. By comparison, Fyran boats were fully welded from a pressed plate.”

Fyran successfully survived the influx of competing brands into the market during the 1980s and 90s along with the evolution of fibreglass craft.

“The boats were built on the premise that, top of all, they had to be functional – easy to clean, and could be operated without fear of chipping paint or denting,” Scott says.

“Those fundamentals are still very much at the forefront of buyer demands today, although some degree of user comfort is factored into the equation.

“There is a definite trend towards larger hulled pleasure vessels – with six metres being the entry level boat for anyone serious about fishing now. It is this fishing fraternity which is responsible for the majority of boat demand in New Zealand, closely followed those seeking smaller recreational craft capable of towing sea biscuits or wakeboarders and water skiers

“In the five and six metre plus hull market, Fyran is highly cost effective and has good margins. Focusing on this sector, the company now has four new models to market.”

Scott says the current owners of the business, who have just invested significant resources into a complete redesign of most of the boat models, have decided the business does not fit the group’s strategic direction and have placed the business on the market for sale through the business broking arm of Bayleys.

“The company, by its own admission, made some unfortunate business decisions over the past few years with its bottom line suffering accordingly.

True Commercial - Fyran boat in the water.jpg

 A Fyran boat on the water. 

“The worst decision was abandoning the ‘Kiwi-made’ philosophy which underpinned the reputation of the Fyran brand almost 50 years ago, by sourcing cheaper and inferior parts, trailers and engines out of China,” Scott says.

“These products were of a lower quality and there were significant warranty claims. Resources within the Fyran factory were distracted on repair jobs ahead of building boats not to mention the negative ‘word-of-mouth’ endorsements that ensued among the boating fraternity.

“The second big mistake was selling directly to the public and undercutting a loyal and extensive Fyran dealership network nationwide.

“Both these practices have been eliminated in favour of building a high quality local product working alongside an established dealer network.

“The company is returning to its proverbial grass roots – manufacturing wholesome Kiwi fishing and family boats built at a good price and to high quality standards.”

Scott says that under the control of production manager Nick Herd, the Fyran Boats range has been completely revamped to produce a better finish and more practical craft.

The Fyran 670 Gulf Cruiser model won the All-Round six to seven metre class at the Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show held in Auckland. The craft was displayed on the Rogers Boat Shop stand as part of the company’s recommitment to selling vessels through a dealership network. The 550 model was also a finalist in the five to six metre category.

Scott says Fyran’s Auckland factory is staffed up to produce between four to five boats a fortnight depending on seasonal demand. The production facility has been set up to enable the fabrication of ‘runs’ rather than one-off builds, allowing for efficient assembly of new hulls.

The business currently employs 14 staff ranging from welding and fabrication engineers, through to a production manager and administrative staff.

The company’s manufacturing factory, storage facility, display warehouse, and head office are all based in East Tamaki. The company is currently rationalising its nationwide dealership network to 12 regional locations: Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Coromandel, Taupo, Bay of Plenty, Napier, Gisborne, Wellington, Nelson/Marlborough, Central Otago and Southland.