Carbon Marine Finds Niche in Luxury Boat Market

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When it comes to buying a new center console or high-performance boat, Canada isn’t the first place most buyers look. A Canadian boat builder is working to change that by offering high-performance luxury boats.

Carbon Marine, which was founded in 2015, offers three models from 24 to 38 feet. The company has partnered with Jaguar Marine to assist with design and construction. We recently caught up with Carbon Marine CEO Frank Gairdner to talk about his company.

What’s it like to build high-performance boats in Canada?

Canada has been an unbelievably supportive place for starting a high-performance and luxury boat building company. We have a good history of performance boating and a lot of people are excited to have a boat builder close to home. There is no shortage of interested people, talented workers and spectacular water.

It’s also nice that our boating seasons match up nicely with South Florida’s. As our Ontario season ends, the one in Florida is just getting started. So, it is great to be in Ontario and have relatively easy access to down south to extend the sales and marketing opportunities year-round.

Who’s the buyer for your models?

Our customers are the ones familiar with the advantages that advanced composites provide. They understand the power-to-weight benefits of carbon-fiber and aim to have an experience on the water as close as possible to that of a super car. They are the owners of super cars and yachts that want the thrill of performance combined with comforts of luxury.

Initial customers are in the Ontario market and we’ve partnered with Pfaff Automotive that sells super cars like Pagani and McLaren. We also have a lot of traction in Florida and will be attending the main shows there to keep the interest going.

Can you expand on Carbon Marine creating the first fully exposed carbon-fiber production hull?

Carbon Marine is proud of its history of bringing to market the world’s first exposed carbon hulls. As carbon-fiber gains traction in the market, we find a lot of manufacturers are advertising carbon fiber, but we still seem to be the only one building from the inside structure—stringers and bulkheads—to the exposed finishing layer.

How are your models different from other products on the market?

We specialize in building boats with advanced composites. We utilize the same technologies as in aerospace manufacturing.  All processes are completed with high-grade epoxy and there is not one single layer of fiberglass or marine ply. The difference is experienced in the ride and aesthetics. The ride quality has been said to redefine expectations of boating.

The lighter and very stiff hulls lead to very responsive control and improved rough water handling. Our boats have been compared to super cars on water. This point is driven home further with the exposed carbon fiber aesthetics.

Carbon Marine build sport boats and center consoles. How many models are in production?

We build custom boats to order. We currently offer three distinct models that can all be customized. No two boats will ever be the same. The three models are our 240, 280 and 380. Each boat is built on a tried and proven offshore racing hull.

The 240 and 380 are built using the Pantera Racing hulls and we have designed all-new and modernized decks for them. We have also partnered with Jaguar Marine, who are assisting us with technical developments on design and construction. As your readership likely knows, their racing heritage goes deep.

The 240 is a five-seater sit down, currently designed for inboard power but outboards will be an option as well. The 280 and 380 are center console designs with outboard power.

What’s the price and base power for the 28-foot model?

Each build is custom, so there is a range. A starting figure would be around $390,000 CA ($291,000 US), but it can go quite a bit higher based on power and options selected by the customer.

Can you provide a little background on yourself and when you founded Carbon Marine?

Cam Heaps founded Carbon Marine in 2015 and began to build hull one with Al Barrie. Cam is an offshore boating enthusiast and set out to prove the performance benefits of carbon fiber for power boats. Hull one was completed in 2016 and proved the performance and efficiency gains of using carbon fiber as a build material.

Shortly after, Frank Gairdner partnered with Cam to begin building the business side of things. We now have a production facility established, a product line that includes some of the most famous racing hulls in the world with strong local and international partnerships.

Learn more about Carbon Marine at