Boat Business

Dec 13, 2010 (LBO) – A Sri Lankan boat yard taken over and revived by Dubai-based interests delivered a trawler for an African client last week and plans to meet Indian navy requirements for small patrol boats, officials said. Solas Marine Lanka is part of Solas Marine Services group, a Dubai-based multinational providing services to the marine and petroleum industry.

The yard last week delivered a 19-metre trawler with a 29-tonne fish hold, on-board ice machine and deck crane for a customer in the Comoros Islands.

The boat, costing 80 million rupees, took six months to build at the yard located on the banks of the Hamilton Canal at Wattala, north of Colombo, leading from the estuary of the Kelani river. It was fitted out at a nearby fisheries harbour.

Sri Lanka is trying to encourage boat building for export markets for both the fishing and tourism industries following the end of its 30-year ethnic war in May 2009.

Solas entered Sri Lanka by taking over the existing business of boat builder Blue Star Marine two years ago and refitted with more equipment like cranes and began commercial operations in April 2010.

“We build mainly for the export market,” a senior company official said.

“Our main