Green gold for the brave
The first of Cheetah Marines new catamarans built at the European workshop is earning its keep in the lucrative but dangerous art of seaweed diving.
8.5m ‘Salvador’ is working from a small inlet just south of Nazare on west coast Portugal. The area is world famous for big wave surfing, adding to the list of an already hazardous occupation.
Compressed air is pumped from the deck of the Cheetah to the divers who are typically working at about 10m. They collect the seaweed from the rocks and send it in bags to the surface. It is then dried and processed for use in pharmaceuticals, food and cosmetics.
Sean Strevens, Cheetah Marine founder and designer comments ‘CM are now manufacturing windscreen models in Portugal to supply the Portuguese and Mediterranean markets. This gives us a good foothold in the European market if trade between the UK and Europe becomes heavily clogged with red tape. Portugal is a great location for manufacturing as the climate and humidity is so favourable.
There is a lot of interest from the coded workboat sector in in particularly hydrographic survey and charter fishing. Our emphasis is on the 8m and 6m series for local markets'
Together with Cheetahs original base on the IOW, the two workshops are simultaneously building at full capacity for both commercial and leisure users. As well as the UK markets, deliveries are lined up for Guadaloupe, Canada and Saudi Arabia.