The South Coast Marine Cluster is leading development of technologies, systems, processes and skills in design, manufacture and repair for the marine engineering, commercial ship, yacht and boat building industry. There is a significant Ministry of Defence presence across the South Coast, which offers varied and plentiful R&D and supply chain opportunities.

For full details of the South Coast Marine Cluster’s Design, Engineering and Manufacturing research institutions and testing facilities and examples of South Coast businesses succeeding in this field, please download the brochure here.

SC Group launch trials at RNLI Dorset
Princess Yachts

The South Coast Boat Building Industry

The South Coast is home to the global headquarters of two of the largest luxury yacht manufacturers in the world: Sunseeker International and Princess Yachts.

Sunseeker International, headquartered in Poole has manufacturing units in Poole and Portland, exporting c.140 yachts a year to more than 45 countries. Princess Yachts International builds M Class yachts in Plymouth.

North Sails Gosport has the largest global network of any sailmaker. Pendennis, Cornwall, has one of the world’s leading custom superyacht build and refit facilities.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has its headquarters and award winning training college in Poole. The ALC (All-weather Lifeboat Centre), which officially opened in August 2015, is the Charity’s very own boat building facility which brings every stage of the lifeboat building process in-house, ensuring that they are fully equipped to build the next generation of all-weather lifeboats (including the new Shannon class lifeboats; their most advanced all-weather lifeboat to date).

The University of Exeter Additive Layer Manufacturing Centre works on all stages of the manufacturing process. The University of Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute and Lloyds Register partnership offers excellence in engineering, legal and environmental disciplines and human factors. The National Composite Centre aims to accelerate the growth of UK industrial output by enabling design and manufacturing enterprises.

University of Exeter
Southampton Solent University

The University of Plymouth Advanced Composites Manufacturing Centre has a particular strength in marine environment composites. The Marine Navigation Centre uses state-of- the-art facilities to demonstrate and teach navigation of super tanks or super yachts. Almost all the technical leads of the world’s superyacht design houses are alumni of Solent University’s Southampton Solent University Warsash Maritime Academy.

Caterpillar Marine Power UK designs, develops and manufactures marine generators and propulsion engines for a export market at it’s state of the art manufacturing facility in Ferndown, Dorset. The products are specifically designed to meet the rigours of the marine environment in particular stringent emission regulations both in the commercial and pleasure craft markets.

The products compliment the range of marine applications and systems offered by the Caterpillar Marine Division, which includes engines and generators, propulsion systems and asset intelligent services for a diverse marine market.


Wärtsilä are based in several locations in the UK (including Havant in the South Coast). Wärtsilä Water Systems in Poole, Dorset, specialises in advanced waste water treatment technology such as grey and black water, dry waste and sewage; as well as systems to treat and manage ballast water, which threatens to have a serious ecological effect if not dealt with. They also manufacture Compressors and Oily Water Systems at the location in Poole.