Automotive group owner makes waves with marine expansion

Charles Fawcett, founder of North Yorkshire-based Twisted Automotive, is expanding into the powerboat engineering market with the purchase of a marine services company.

Fawcett acquired Devon-based SMS (Salcombe) Limited for an undisclosed sum at the beginning of November and rebranded it as Salcombe Marine.

It precedes the highly anticipated launch of Twisted Marine, the new power boat arm of the Twisted Group.

The intention is for SMS to become a centre of excellence for the service, repair and supply of inboard and outboard engines from a select range of manufacturers.

It marks Twisted’s second acquisition in the past 12 months following the purchase of Hydrographics, a specialist dipping company, late last year.

The company will be run by Fawcett and MD Jake Cronk, a fully qualified marine engineer and member of the Institute of Mechanical Engineer who holds a master’s degree in mechanical engineering.

He joined the business on  2 November 2, having recently worked with the Mercedes AMG Formula 1 and Formula E teams.

An existing team of six will remain with the company to help expand capability and grow the brand.

The company is an authorised main dealer for Volvo Penta, Yanmar and Honda Marine and there are plans to develop these dealership links to support customers in the South West and beyond, with Salcombe Marine Services becoming a byword for marine engineering excellence.

Significant investment will be made into both the existing facilities and staff development as well as branding.

SMS (Salcombe) Limited was founded in 2002 but there has been a workshop at the base in Lincombe Boat Yard since the early 1980s.

Fawcett said: “We identified the business earlier this year and recently concluded the deal. It provides an exciting opportunity to make this well-established business a centre of excellence for the marine industry.

“It also fits perfectly into our overall strategy for the Twisted Group.”

Cronk added: “My engineering foundations were built in the marine industry so I have always had a keen interest in the sector.

“Also, for me Devon is where my family lives so the area is a significant factor – Salcombe is a very idyllic location.”