About Bryan Willis Marine
Origins of Bryan Willis Marine
Bryan Willis celebrates 40 years in the Marine Trade in 2013. He started in the marine trade in 1973,working for Bill Whisker building fibreglass GP14 dinghies. When that business ceased, a new company called Racing Yachts was founded in 1976 by Bill Whisker and John Irwin as a chandlery, boat repair, fitting out, new boat sales etc. Bryan gained valuable experience of many different aspects of the trade during this time which lasted until 1981. Subsequent companies Bryan worked for were Weatherly Yachts in Portaferry, building the Ruffian range of yachts, Carn plastics in Lurgan general industrial moulding (production manager), Carrocon in Co. Down producing their fibreglass moulds,then Jeremy Bryce boat repair yard in Saintfield. When that business ran into trouble in 1987 Bryan teamed up with Mike Wheeler to form WW Marine. This business flourished, but due to personality issues between the two directors Bryan let Mike buy out his shares, and, in 1989, set up the present business, Bryan Willis Marine.
Bryan, a keen sailor, started sailing enterprise dinghies, then crewed for several different good helms in different classes. Bill Whisker in GP14’s: Results:- Top boat in Ireland 1978 to 1981, 2nd Irish 1978, 1st 1979, 2nd 1980 (to Richard Estaugh) 1st 1981. Runner up Worlds 1979, 6th 1981. British nationals 1979 3rd, not to mention winning the majority of the provincial events.
Julian Cook, sailing 505..Irish Champions, Ulster Champions.
John Millar, Scorpions Ulster Champions.
Ruan O’Tiarnaigh Squib National Champions 2002
When Bill Whisker emigrated to Australia at the end of 1981 Bryan decided to have a go at steering his own boat so had the first of 11 new GP14s built by Alastair Duffin teaming up with his best friend John McPeake they gradually rose up the fleet 12th in the worlds in America in 1983, 2nd Irish, 1983, winning their first championship in 1984, the Leinsters. After that they averaged an event win every year and rarely out of the top 10. In 2000, they transferred to the Flying Fifteen class averaging similar results to those they had been used to in the GP, Top Boat in Ireland twice during the 8 years they sailed.
Bryan has now switched back to the GP, and will be sailing a brand new boat owned by his new crew David McFarland with an eye on the Worlds in East Down Yacht Club in 2014.
(We were going to put a picture of Bryan in here, but thought it might crack the screen…)
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