Neil Pryde Windsurfing started in 1970 as a large scale manufacturer of sails for the boat building industry.
Neilpryde was built on our OEM business and in the early 1970's Neil Pryde was undoubtedly one of the largest supplier of sails to boat builders with major accounts including Albin, O'Day, Beneteau, Hobie Cat, Jeanneau and others.
In the mid 70's, the boat building industry took a disastrous dive and Neilpryde windsurf was fortunate in that at that time windsurfing took off. As a major supplier of surfsails, it was natural that the important manufacturers of boards looked to Hong Kong and to Neil Pryde for their sail requirements. From 1977 until 1988, the boardsailing business carried the company through both its high points and low points.
It was inevitable that in that situation, management should focus on the boardsailing business and unfortunately this to a certain extent led to a neglect of our yachting business. While the business had not dramatically decreased, it had certainly not grown and Neilpryde's customer base shrank as boat builders went of business or reduced the number of boats that they build.
By the latter part of the 1980's, they saw that the boardsailing business had matured and the need for diversification had become apparent.
This was achieved in two ways. First, to take a long hard look at expanding the Yachtsail business, which formed the very foundation Neil Pryde. And secondly, to look at three new lines of business.
In late 1987, Neilpryde took the decision to re-launch our yachting business in a new direction bringing in new people with new ideas in order create a market position for Neil Pryde Yachtsails. The boat building industry was no longer a basis on which to develop this business and it became clear that Neilpryde had to develop the capability to supply custom sails to individual yachtsmen around the world.
This represented a complete change in direction not only in marketing but also in manufacturing.
From a mass producer of sails for boat builders they became a custom maker of sails for the individual yachtsman. Obviously this change in direction required a completely different approach to sales and manufacturing. Custom sail making is a service oriented business where close communication with end user is critical. Neil Pryde took the view that centralized efficient manufacturing, employing to maximum effect the productivity and excellent skills of the Chinese work force was the direction Neilpryde should take.
They therefore developed a business plan based on centralized manufacturing with distribution through strategically located selling offices close to the customer in the important sailing centers worldwide. These agents would all be experienced local sailmakers or yachtsmen and women who could give their customers the local service they need, but backed up by a design and production facility that enable them to call the latest design technology and materials.
Today they acknowledge their 37th anniversary in the Marine business and as they do, they are continuing to expand our agents network worldwide and intend to stay at the front of the fleet with our quality and performance.