Sunseeker founder Robert Braithwaite dies aged 75

Robert Braithwaite, founder of Sunseeker, has died during the early hours of this morning (7th March), at the age of 75.

Christian Marti, Sunseeker CEO, took to the company website to announce the news, commenting, “Sadly, in the early hours of this morning, Sunseeker’s founder Robert Braithwaite passed away. Robert was an inspiration to everyone at Sunseeker and to the wider marine industry, recognised as a boating pioneer, a true visionary and someone who changed the face of boating forever. Robert was not only the company’s founder but the father of the ‘Sunseeker family’ here in Dorset, and worldwide through our dealers and clients. He will always live on as the driving force behind our success. Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with his immediate family.”

Robert was born in Yorkshire in 1943. He then went on to leave school aged 14 without any qualifications.

After completing an engineering course and an apprenticeship at marine engine suppliers OMC, Belgium, he began working for Friar’s Cliff Marine, selling boats of a smaller size manufactured by American shipyard Owens Cruisers.

Robert spotted an opportunity when Owens Cruisers announced it would no longer be distributing to Europe. He made an agreement with Owen Cruisers to use its boat moulds, and subsequently decided to buy Friar’s Cliff Marine and renamed it Poole Powerboats.

In 1985 Poole Powerboats became Sunseeker, which went on to become a significant player in the luxury yacht industry.

Robert was awarded Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2007.

Four Sunseeker yachts have featured in James Bond films, before Robert went on to appear in a cameo role in Quantum of Solace in 2008.

Robert and his brother John Braithwaite were awarded the Outstanding Achievement award at the 2018 Luxury Briefing Awards. 

A memorial will be held in a few months’ time, following on from a private funeral.


June 17, 2022
Tried & Tested: Best Water Toys 2022
Tried & Tested: Best Water Toys 2022

In our 2022 Tried & Tested, yacht toy specialist EAMS and a group of captains and crew review a selection of the very best luxury water toys on the market. Find out which toy was crowned the winner...

By Hannah Rankine
March 12, 2021
Tried & Tested: Best Yacht Crew Polo Shirts
Tried & Tested: Best Yacht Crew Polo Shirts

In this Tried & Tested, clothing specialist Sea Design conducts a review into the best yacht crew polo shirts on the market. Which garment comes out on top when put to the test? Find out the number one option...

By Nathan Bees
January 21, 2021
Tried & Tested: Best Yacht Cleaning Products
Tried & Tested: Best Yacht Cleaning Products

In this Tried & Tested, yacht cleaning expert Marine 16 Ltd and cleaning expert Judith Shaw rate and review some of the best cleaning products available to buy. Find out which product was crowned the best following rigorous testing.

By Yachting Pages

Finished reading? Now find your perfect supplier.

Search our industry-leading directory for over 20,000 superyacht suppliers, providers and marinas.

Search now