Looking for Robb Report UK? Click here to visit our UK site.

Sail Globally, Donate Locally: How Yachtmakers Are Contributing to Community Coronavirus Relief Efforts

US and European boatbuilders are donating protective gear to local hospitals and authorities as their communities struggle against the coronavirus.

How Yachtmakers Are Helping Their Communities During Coronavirus Sunseeker USA

Yachtmakers are continuing to donate supplies and equipment to local communities to fight the coronavirus. They all emphasized the importance of giving back to the communities where their boatbuilding facilities are located.

The Azimut-Benetti Group said that it had several initiatives under way to distribute personal protective equipment (PPE) to hospitals, municipalities, volunteer groups and other local entities in the three regions of Italy where it builds boats.

Chairman Paolo Vitelli said the donations symbolize the closeness and gratitude the company feels to the communities where it builds its yachts. “Our ties with them today are stronger than they have ever been,” he said.

Yachtmakers Donate Equipment for Coronavirus Fight

Yacht builders like Azimut say they have thrived because of their local communities, so now they are giving back. “Our ties with them today are stronger than they have ever been,” says Azimut-Benetti Chairman Paolo Vitelli. 

In the US, Brunswick Corp., parent company of Sea Ray, Boston Whaler and Mercury Marine, has made multiple donations. The Brunswick Private Foundation made a $50,000 donation to the American Red Cross. The donation included employee fundraising that was matched by the company. The Brunswick Private Foundation also donated $10,000 to the Salvation Army Metropolitan Division.

“During these very challenging times, it is important for us to continue to look for opportunities to help our employees, customers and the communities in which we live and work,” Lee Gordon, Brunswick’s head of marine communications told Robb Report. “Organizations such as the Red Cross, Salvation Army and many others around the country are stepping up during this time of need, and we want to do our part to assist where we can.”

The Brunswick Boat Group donated 15,000 masks to first responders near its boatbuilding facilities around the country. Mercury Marine has donated 7,500 masks to local hospitals near its headquarters in Fond Du Lac, Wisc., and 1,000 masks to emergency responders.


In the UK, Sunseeker International has donated more than 400 face masks and 4,000 gloves to the local Poole Hospital and the National Health Service.

“We all need to do our bit in these exceptional circumstances,” said Michael Straughan, chief operating officer. “We wanted to support our hardworking NHS workers as they continue their exceptional frontline work against the coronavirus.”

Yachtmakers Join in the Coronavirus Fight

U.K. builder Princess Yachts has donated all of the personal protective equipment at its main production facility in Plymouth to area hospitals and first responders. 

Princess Yachts has donated all of the personal protective equipment at its facility in Plymouth to the local city council for the city’s staff, care workers and NHS employees. The company sent most of its workers home last week during a “controlled shutdown” of its production facilities due to COVID-19 fears.

Princess Yachts’ Chairman Antony Sheriff said he hoped the gear would “go some ways” in helping local hospitals fight the coronavirus. “We’re in regular discussions with Plymouth City Council and if we can find other ways to help in the collective effort against COVID-19, we will do whatever we can to support,” he added.

More Marine