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Last Updated
Tuesday 03 August 2021, 12:07 pm.
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Nigeria-bound aluminium boat unveiled

MAUN: Aliboats, one of the leading boats builders in Maun and Botswana, have completed the building of the 14.6m Aluminium Boat.
By Calvin Mangwiro
Correspondent
(GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Nigeria-bound aluminium boat unveiled








This is not the first time the company is exporting boats abroad. In 2005, they built a 12.6m Aluminium Landing Craft for the British Red Cross.

This time around, they are exporting this 14.6m boat to Nigeria, after they were awarded the contract by the Nigerian Government, after beating other tendered boats builders from South Africa, United States of America and Europe. The boat was designed by Specialist Marine in the United States of America, Steve Pollard, as well as the other boats the company produces.

The unveiling ceremony was attended by members from the business community, and also present was the Assistant Minister of Trade and Industry the Honourable Duke Lefhoko.

Aliboats has been building boats in Maun for the past 22 years, where up to date they are manufacturing over 100 boats a year and exporting over 90 percent of them.

The boats are mostly used by private individuals for recreational or commercial purposes and they are more extensively used in the tourist sector and they are also to be found in various government departments throughout Southern and Central Africa.

When giving his presentation on the boat, Aliboats Managing Director, Rod Bateman, said the boat took about five weeks to complete, after being two months behind schedule.

We worked tirelessly to meet [the] schedule, the boat weighs about 7 tons, and it is powered by two 315hp Yanmar turbo charged diesel engines coupled to jets.

"The estimated top speed is 70kph but will confirm that when we have completed the sea trials in Walvis Bay. Once the sea

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trials have been successfully completed, the boat will be shipped to Lagos, Nigeria, said Bateman.

Guest speaker Lefhoko said Aliboats' production of boats fits in perfectly with government's wish to grow the economy while reducing heavy dependence on mining.

He also mentioned that it is skeptical about boat manufacturing project in a country that boasts only three perennial rivers, Okavango Delta, Limpopo and the mighty Chobe. We don't need to have the sea, lakes or rivers everywhere to run successful boat-making factories.

We are all aware that we have a small domestic market and the only way to continue to grow the economy and create job opportunities for our people is by exploiting the export market, he says.

Lefhoko added that Aliboats will grow their business to be competitive; the government on the other hand will do everything in its power to remove any bureaucratic red tape that might affect progress.

My Ministry will also ensure that our assistance programmes such as the Local Procurement Programme are put at Aliboats' disposal. We will therefore encourage prospective consumers of Aliboats' products such as the Police, Botswana Defence Force and the Department of Wildlife to play their part in accordance with Government's decision on the procurement of locally-made goods'.

Aliboats was started by Mike Bullock in 1986, after he realised that there was a need for boats in the Okavango region.

The company now employs a total of 52 people in Maun and Kasane. The boats are built by 39 employees and are aided by nine management staff. 

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