Highfield CEO Down Under
Main photo: CEO Julien Carussi (left) and Highfield Boats Australia Peter Pembroke
CEO, Julien Carussi will attend the 2023 Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show, 25 to 28 May on Queensland’s Gold Coast, hosting the Australian debut of the all-new Sport 660.
Since 2010, Julien Carussi has headed up the Highfield brand of rigid inflatable boats as CEO. With foresight and a focus on performance and strength, the brand has earned a reputation for durability and sustainability.
Highfield boats have become the preferred RIB for major international events, such as the Route Du Rhum, Extreme Sailing Series, Vendée Globe, Transat, Barcolana and the TP52 circuit, as well as being the choice for intrepid sailors and adventurers.
CEO, Julien Carussi will attend the 2023 Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show, to host the Australian debut of the all-new Sport 660, a 6.6-metre offshore capable dayboat, and the all-new Highfield Classic 340 E, which launched at Boot Dusseldorf in January and is the brand’s first foray into all-electric, emission-free boating.
With an international dealer network spanning 43 countries, Highfield Boats is now the world’s number one in the RIB tender sector and is a global player in the 5-metre plus sector.
Here, Julien shares Highfield’s achievements to date and plans for expanding the brand’s reach down under.
What makes Highfield a compelling choice in RIBS?
From humble beginnings, with an unwavering commitment to quality, we have grown in 10 years to now sell over 10,000 boats per year. To achieve this, we have focussed on continually improving our production processes, emphasis on quality assurance in all that we do and delivering value to the customers.
Our boats use the best materials available, teamed with tried and tested production methods to deliver what is a very durable and long-lasting product. We also focus on creating value for our end users and dealers. Highfield has a very strong culture of continuous improvement.
How important is investment in R&D for Highfield?
Extremely important. Research and development doesn’t rest with the creating of new models etc, we invest heavily in analysing and using the very best materials from the world’s best suppliers.
All of our raw materials and final products are rigorously tested to ensure strength and durability. In terms of development of our range, we also spend a lot of time and energy on researching the market and identifying what our customers and market wants and then either develop or evolve our existing products to meet those needs. We have some super exciting developments to announce in the future so watch this space.
What are you looking forward to about attending SCIBS 2023? Have you been to Australia/SCIBS before?
Boat Shows are a great opportunity for us to display our products and meet with our owners and prospects. The most valuable feedback we receive is from those people using our boats, so boat shows are a great opportunity to meet with those people and get their feedback.
Sanctuary Cove is a great event for us as we highly value feedback we get from the Australian customers as they are using our product all the time, and in a lot of cases, in testing conditions. Australia is also critical market for us and we haven’t had the chance to travel for a while, so it’s great to reconnect with our team in Australia and our most important customers. I was last at SCIBS in 2019 so it will be great to attend again, this time with a big new display of our very latest products.
What are the main features of Sport 660 model that will appeal to the local market and impress at SCIBS debut?
Like all of our boats that 660 Sport features leading edge hull design offering an exceptional ride in just about any conditions. The deep-V ensures that the boat rides smoothly whilst also limiting any water coming onboard when underway or at rest. When at rest the 600 comes into her own, settling into the tubes and creating a stable platform.
The forward sunpad is a great spot to relax, while the aft seat and folding table provides space for a casual lunch or drinks. The driver is catered to as well with comfortable bolster seats and a great helm position for a casual cruise, watersports or offshore adventures. Access in and out of the water is great too with the large transom including a boarding ladder and shower after a dip in the water. Really the perfect boat for days out on the water with the family and friends.
What new models, innovations and new materials or techniques are you introducing in 2023-24?
2023 will see the introduction of our 2024 model range towards the middle of the year. We have placed emphasis on developing our Sport range with a selection of new features that will surely impress. We’ll also introduce the first of our new electric powered boats with Sanctuary Cove the location for our Australian launch of the Highfield Classic 340E.
A 3.3 metre tender powered by e-propulsion. We have a few other surprises for later in the year, but I can’t say anything just yet. The future looks bright for Highfield Boats!
Highfield Boats will be on show at SCIBS 2023 on The Promenade above F Arm. For more information, visit highfieldboats.com.au