Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

{LUXURY AFL} {Sailing through Storm } AT

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

{LUXURY AFL} {Sailing through Storm } AT

Article excerpt

Byline: Rebecca Marshall

YOU'RE a consumer and you have lost confidence.

You can't escape overwhelming media coverage of the turmoil in global financial markets and, while your spirit brightened a little last week when a few signs of recovery started to appear, you're still anxious about your cash, investments and overall financial position.

The experts are warning against panic and urging you to revisit the basics: budgeting, watching every cent and cutting back on spending on unnecessary items.

With belts tighter than they've been in a long time, we should be seeing the proverbial tumbleweed blowing through luxury car showrooms, jewellery stores and the factories of prestige boat builders' on the Sunshine Coast.

Not so, surprisingly.

Managing director of Yandina business Stallion Marine, David Biggar said there was a feeling the two-year-old business was just starting to find its legs, with more orders for its performance cruising catamarans expected in the coming months.

The cats are worth between $500,000 and $2 million. "At Easter we had 13 guys, but we've now tightened up a bit," Mr Biggar said. "For a few months a while ago it went really quiet, but in the last month it's become really busy with a lot of enquiries and we are hoping we'll get a few contracts which will carry us through for the next few years."

Mr Biggar said it was disappointing to see certain industry players suffering in recent times, including Maritimo who laid off 105 staff, Riviera who laid off 400 and Mustang Marine who sold off to a new Asian owner.

"We're not a powerboat builder. We build boats that are eco-friendly sailing boats and I think people now recognise that they are feeling guilty buying a power boat that burns so much fuel," he said.

"Our sailing boats are highly efficient under sail and that's our bottom line: we like to build fast, efficient sail boats. But it's never good when you see a company go under.

"A lot of industries are facing the same problem ... as we come into a recession, every business will have to tighten up and watch what they're doing.

"But we survive by staying committed to the product and looking out of the square to diversify in what we do. …

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