Associated Vehicle Assemblers (AVA) Ltd in Mombasa has inaugurated the first ever multipurpose luxury boat built locally at the Mtwapa creek.
Sailors and boat owners call on the small harbour at the scenic creek to tie up their vessels before embarking on the next voyage.
After five years in the making the luxurious speed boat capable of undertaking various maritime tasks such as deep sea fishing and water sports was unveiled at a colourful ceremony.
Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) officials inspected and certified the boat with capacity of 12 passengers and two crews as seaworthy.
It is made of aluminum and is fitted with modern marine navigation instruments and two Volvo engines for ease of maneuverability at waterways.
The 42-foot long and five-metre wide boat, built by Swedish-born Kenyan Mark Jennings assisted by local technicians and craftsmen is christened ‘Tintin Tu’ Mombasa.
Jennings during an interview on board the boat moored at the marina said the successful completion of the vessel is likely to spur demand in the domestic market.
A joyous Jennings said he designed and built the boat to withstand the rigors of tough marine environments.
From now henceforth people who dream of owning luxury ocean cruisers do not have to look outside Kenya, he told reporters.
The boat builder, a mechanical engineer by training, is optimistic that Kenya has the potential to become the epicentre of the boating industry in Africa.
Kenya has a long coastline hence the potential of the water transport business to boost the economy cannot be gainsaid, he said.
He said aluminum is the ultimate choice material for ship and boat building since they are durable and easy to repair and maintain.
Jennings said with the successful venture the government should start looking seriously into the ship and boat building industry to boost and grow the economy.
Kenya Ferry Services currently buys marine vessels from shipyards in Singapore, Spain and Turkey but with a strong government support the same can be done locally, he said.
David Williamson, the owner of the boat, said after 40 years in the vehicle manufacturing industry; he dreamt of owning a luxury boat that is manufactured locally and meets his demand.
It is most fulfilling for me to see that dream finally materialize, said Williamson.
The owner of the locally made boat said Kenya has great potential to supply and service East Africa with working vessels through provision of incentives to encourage investment of this nature.
With the upcoming second port in Lamu set to increase cargo traffic; the marine manufacturing and transport sector is going to be lucrative, said the luxury boat enthusiast.
Source: Kenya News Agency