Boats for law enforcement and SAR missions
Established in 1997 and focused on the design and manufacture of semi-rigid motor boats for law enforcement and SAR missions in riverine and coastal waters, SAFE Boats International used EXPONAVAL 2016 to reinforce its presence in the Latin American region.
Agencies of the US Homeland Security Department have underpinned sales in the recent past, but demand from overseas has also increased considerably over the last decade.
“There are over 2,000 boats in service around the world, with 5 million hours of operation accumulated to (date),” John Hotz, Sales Director for the Caribbean and South America told Mönch. He recognizes that export success, in addition to being a reflection of the quality and performance of the company’s products, has been in part “the result of the support that we have received from the US Department of Commerce”.
In the case of Latin America, that success is reflected in the 135 vessels in service in the region. Chile is the main regional user, with 42 semi-rigid boats already delivered and in service with the Navy, followed by Mexico with 28 and Colombia with 25.
The Chilean Navy is now being joined by the Carabineros national police force as a customer. The force has ordered its first semi-rigid boat and has indicated an intent to procure more boats for use in rivers and lakes. The first boat was delivered this week to its intended area of operations, Lake O’Higgins in southern Chile, which is shared with Argentina.
Hotz explained the company’s objective is to expand its presence in the South American market; the driving reason behind participation in EXPONAVAL, the region’s foremost naval and maritime show.
“We want to expand our sales and our participation in this regional market. But our interest does not end with the quality of our manufacture and the delivery of boats that perform as the customer expects. We are also aiming to provide the best after sales support in the areas of maintenance and repair, and that is why we always look to work with reliable local companies, including training their technicians,” he explained. “Further, we are also interested in working with local shipbuilders, as we could provide more competitive products adapted to customer needs by delivering basic boats to be fitted out locally and tailored to the requirements of the end user. We are discussing such an arrangement with Chile’s ASMAR and are interested in exploring the same possibility with other shipyards in the region,” he added.
“We are happy with what we have been able to achieve in Chile, for which we must also give credit to our representatives, the NDGC team led by CEO Rodolfo Sanzana. We both want to increase and replicate our success in Chile in other nations around Latin America,” Hotz concluded.