On 1st October 2019, Two Oceans Marine Manufacturing celebrated 30 years in business
For one of only a handful of large custom catamaran manufacturers globally, it has been an incredible journey. From humble beginnings, Two Oceans Marine Manufacturing has grown into one of Africa’s boat building triumphs.
The company was founded thirty years by Rod Delany, an engineer in the oil and gas industry and a Springbok water-skier. The Delany family had a love of the ocean and boats, and Two Oceans Marine Manufacturing started simply in 1989, selling boats built by Peter Lindenberg from a fuel station in Newlands. Initially, Two Oceans Marine was only a supplier. Within two years the company moved to premises in Paarden Eiland – a wooden wendy house that many people will remember, which was all that the company was initially allowed to erect.
Eventually permission was granted to build a proper workshop, where Two Oceans Marine increased their boat range, incorporating hulls from Supercat in Port Alfred. This was the birth of power catamarans in the Cape waters – before that, one never really saw a power catamaran. The partnership with Supercat was a highly successful one, with a good number of boats sold between 1989 and 1999. Initially, Supercat only manufactured a 17- and 20-foot version. Later, the Delanys persuaded Supercat to produce a 26-foot version – and so the boats slowly increased in size.
Around that time, Mark Delany returned from studying in the USA, and he spotted the opportunity for growth. Rather than fetch the Supercat 780s from Port Alfred, Two Oceans Marine Manufacturing bought the moulds and expanded their operation, thus going into boatbuilding. A small factory was started in Airport Industria and a proper workshop was built in Paarden Eiland.
In 1996 , Two Oceans Marine started building the Magnum Power Catamaran Range – and to date, have launched numerous versions of the Magnum Power Catamarans ranging from 23 to 44 foot, with the first 46-foot model currently in build. The Magnum Power Catamaran range has been a wonderful success story, dominating the local sport fishing fleet in the Cape. The robust nature and ability to customise the Magnum Power Catamarans has led to a successful range of commercial and leisure applications for the vessels over the years.
What followed were several great custom builds, which grew the business further. One was a paddle cruiser for well-known broadcaster and former Knysna stalwart William Smith who owned the Featherbed Reserve; the other was a 780 for world famous novelist Wilbur Smith, together with the build of a commercial patrol vessel for IMT a division of the SA navy .
After the building of the passenger ferry, Two Oceans Marine built two 50-foot sailing catamarans designed by Alex Simonis, and from there, the custom catamarans only got bigger. Two Oceans Marine’s journey into the big custom catamaran market began around 2008, when they sat down with renown South African naval architect Anton Du Toit of Du Toit Yacht Design to design a 65-footer. Soon, a 75-footer was on the drawing board, and since then, Du Toit Yacht Design have designed a range of large custom sail and power catamarans for Two Oceans Marine. Earlier this year, the team launched South Africa’s biggest composite and leisure catamaran – the Two Oceans 110 Day Charter Catamaran.
Two Oceans Marine Manufacturing’s decision to pursue the niche market of large custom catamarans with Mark Delany at the helm also enabled growth that is probably harder to achieve in the production catamaran market. Also critical to the company’s success was the decision to manufacture power catamarans – Two Oceans Marine to a large extent spearheaded the growth of power catamarans into the South African market.
The company has the ability to build a wide variety of vessels for different applications and has an loyal and dedicated staff contingent with a large variety of skills. Today, Two Oceans Marine Manufacturing has 4,500 square meters of covered factory floor space in the Cape Town harbour and in Paarden Island just outside the harbour.
On the immediate launch horizon are a string of Magnum Power Catamarans for South Africa and abroad, The Open Ocean 850 Luxury Expedition Catamaran, and the Two Oceans 82 High Performance Catamaran, an all-carbon high-performance sailing catamaran. Two Oceans Marine has also been appointed to manufacture the NSRI’s fleet of new search and rescue offshore rescue craft (ORCs) – around seven in total. The first ORC is due for launch next year.