obertson & Caine (Pty) Ltd was founded by John Robertson and the late Jerry Caine in 1991. The founders have a long and proud history of boat-building going back 30 years, with more than 1000 boats launched.
Robertson & Caine is South Africa's largest boat-builder manufacturing for the export market, and has delivered hundreds of boats globally.
The 39ft, 44ft and recently launched 48ft and 58ft sailing catamarans and the 39ft Powercat are destined for the world's exotic sailing grounds, including the US East Coast, the Caribbean, the Seychelles, the Mediterranean, Asia and the South Pacific.
As a result, Robertson & Caine remains a serious competitor in the international catamaran market and continues to enjoy a dominant position in the significant North American market.
Initially, the business involved custom sailing-yacht building and over the years it has built boats of various types and size, from basic 36ft fibre-glass mono-hulls to state-of-the-art carbon-fibre racing boats up to 70ft in size.
The company has produced an impressive list of racers and cruisers,
including international winners – all hand-built by master craftsmen in the Cape-based boat yard.
It has some remarkable credits to its name: "Best Overall Import Boat in the USA 2005", "Best Multi-hull 40 feet and Under", Sail Magazine's "Best Boats 2005" and Cruising World magazine's "Charter Yacht of the Year 1998" for the Leopard 45 catamaran. The Leopard 39 was named the "Best Multihull Cruiser" as well as the "Import of the Year" in the 2010 Boat of the Year awards. The Leopard 39 / Sunsail 384 won the "Sail Best Boats 2010" Cruising Multihull award. More recently, the Leopard 44 won the "SAIL Best Boats 2012" Award for Cruising Multihull, Cruising World "2012 Import Boat of the Year" Award and Cruising World’s "2012 Best Multihull Boat of the Year" Award.
The 70ft maxi, Broomstick, won the Cape to Rio International Yacht Race in 1993, and Orion Express impressed international racing enthusiasts. This interest enabled the company to be awarded the licence to manufacture the Mumm 36 racer, designed by one of the world's leading naval architects, Bruce Farr, and to be one of only five boatbuilders in the world to obtain such a licence.
This international exposure drew the attention of The Moorings, which entered into an agreement with Robertson & Caine (Pty) Ltd to manufacture superbly designed sailing catamarans for its global charter fleet.
In the 17-year relationship the South African yard has enjoyed with Tui Marine, which encompasses the two largest yacht charter companies in the world, The Moorings and Sunsail, it has supplied more than 1000 catamarans, and the advances in design in the different models has seen the catamarans winning numerous international awards.
Leopard Catamarans are also bought privately through Tui Marine's Private Leopard Sales division, who have agents worldwide.
Robertson & Caine Inc, based in the Tampa Bay area in Florida, USA, is a subsidiary company of Robertson & Caine (Pty) Ltd in South Africa. This USA office brings the company closer to its market in order to enhance sales and after-sales service.
Other functions of this office include a purchasing department for all components and equipment bought from suppliers in the USA, and the facilitation of spare part purchases for boat owners. The office in Tampa Bay also includes an in-house technical and design department.
The combination of the lifestyle experiences of the charter industry, the functional design by renowned naval architects and the handcraftmanship of Robertson and Caine boat building has evolved in award winning catamarans being sought after and enjoyed by the world's discerning sailing community.
Three boats launched a week
The company's production facility is head quartered in Woodstock, a few kilometers from the Cape Town city centre and the harbour.
The company is currently producing and launching approximately three boats a week and there are several new exciting projects currently in the pipeline.