Kewatec Aluboat is part of the boat building cluster of Kokkola Region
Martti Vaahtoranta, 19.2.2019
Or should we talk about the Pietarsaari region? It depends on which city residents you will ask the question.
Actually, it is one and the same area. As for me, it was always only a name without any content until I came to work in Kokkola.
I left the coasts of the Bothnian Sea and arrived at the north of the Kvarken. The sea was the same as in the northeast corner of the Archipelago Sea. Otherwise everything was new and weird.
However, it was pleasant to come to Kokkola. There was a lot to see and learn about, and people are nice and cozy.
Even so, I am ashamed that as a boater I had not realized how important the coastal region of Ostrobothnia on both sides of Kokkola is to the Finnish boat industry.
Of course, I knew that the area has international significance. Who wouldn’t have heard of Nautor and the Swan boats?
However, they have not been sold to Finland that much for obvious reasons. The same goes for even more on Baltic boats. In order to buy one, you must have so much loose money that only few in the Nordic region has such amounts. But in Jakobstad, those Baltic boats are being built.
Or should you say “ships”? You may also want to ask who really needs a 10 million euro or even more expensive boat. Still, the trades with millionaires and billionaires bring the roof over the head and bread to the table for many families in this area.
Boat construction is also still handicraft. When boat is sold abroad, you don’t export raw material. When you sell boats, you sell Finnish work and know-how
So, I knew Nautor before I arrived in Kokkola. And long-ago Baltic Yachts was owned by a company in Rauma.
Still, I had also heard the name “Kewatec”. My image of it was high quality work boats. I might have seen one in the internet – and in the boat expo.
The image of the rugged high-quality boat was right, as I soon saw.
However, I did not know that Kewatec has facilities, shipyard and offices right on the shore. I didn’t know it had its own harbor, which is kept open in the winter, if necessary, at least to the extent that one boat can be lifted into the water and carry out tests in it.
It was also new to me that there are two famous leisure boat shipyards in the same area, right next to Kewatec. Also, nearby is the company where welded Kewatec boats are painted. A little further away is a company where Kewatec orders doors and windows. And bit further away is a company that manufactures top quality water jet propulsion units, but also supplies them to boats built by Kewatec. And I didn’t even know that those jets have common roots with Kewatec.
Actually, Jakobstad is not so far away as someone in Kokkola might say. It’s just a bit southern from us. Our dear neighboring town. Or at least a neighboring town.
And in the middle, there is a company from which both Baltic Yachts and Kewatec AluBoat are subcontracting interior decorating. The harsh work boats are not as harsh as you might think. This is how they are linked to luxury boats.
Many of my colleagues have previously worked for Nautor or Baltic. It doesn’t make the aluminium workboat builder any worse. Surely not.
Great bunch of people and excellent boats.