Boat Brand & Manufacturer
Country of Origin
From the humble origins of a model shop in the West Midlands Norman Fletcher built his first boat to satisfy a boyhood passion for speed and performance. His first boats proved so successful that soon others were asking him to build examples for them.
The time was around the late 1950's, England was recovering from the austere war years and the swinging 60's were just around the corner.
Suddenly it was going to get very busy for Norman.
In the next 10 years Fletcher Boats was going to become a global force in the sportsboat market and be the largest producer outside the USA! I never met the man myself but I know a few who have. ˜Firm but fair' seems to be a reasonable appraisal. Possibly the Alan Sugar of his day? Totally absorbed in his product he was fanatical about producing a quality boat at the right price. He invested in technology and he invested in research and design. Every boat show there was a new Fletcher or a new take on an existing model, and there were literally thousands of people queuing up to buy them. Fletcher was a huge success.
Selling out to the Hornby Group in the late 80's saw significant changes in the company. Not just the move from Private to Public hands but when Norman left a lot of the passion and drive left with him. The R&D budget was cut and the company diversified into other areas. Fletcher became a significant moulder for the likes of Avon Inflatables and Sunseeker - they also produced thousands of mudguards for ERF Trucks!
On the surface things looked good as the range was expanded and by early 2000 Fletcher produced boats from 14', 25'.
However, all was not well in the boat yard. Fletcher was suffering a double blow. Europe was still recovering from a recession and there was a massive increase in cheap imports from the States. Some disastrous Group decisions also served to put pressure on an already stretched company.
In 2002 the administrators were called in.