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Riggers UK is an independent rigging firm established more than 25 years ago and based in Penryn, Cornwall. The company has developed a strong reputation as a local service provider and their core business has a steady ongoing demand.

Their expert team of riggers works throughout the South West to offer on-the-spot diagnosis, advice and assistance on all aspects of yacht rigging, masts and commercial rigging. Riggers UK covers a broad spectrum of vessels ranging from day boats, blue water cruisers, superyachts to grand prix racers. Their expertise has helped organisations such as Pendennis Shipyard, Rustler Yachts, Cockwells, National Maritime Museum Cornwall, Falmouth Boat Construction, and many others.

In order to generate additional growth for their business, Riggers UK wanted to use its skills and experience to diversify into innovative new products. These include new rigging products and the development of a new marine energy device.

Director Ben Carne explains:

“We had identified exciting new opportunities for our business but we needed some help with accelerating their development. Like many companies of our size, virtually all our resources were taken up with the day to day running of the core business. We also faced the challenge of introducing new working practices, methodologies and working structures into our business in order to grasp these new opportunities. So we felt the need for some expert advice and assistance.”

The company engaged with the Marine-i project and benefitted from a tailored package of support.  Marine-i gave business advice and completed an Innovation Toolkit to help the business improve its RD&I processes.  For their marine energy device, Dr Giovanni Rinaldi from the University of Exeter provided research support in the formulation of a numerical model and experimental testing of the device in the University’s ORE flume tank.  Riggers UK also received a Marine-i Rapid Innovation Grant to help develop the detailed design for the device, before progressing to the prototype stage. This was carried out by Solis Marine Engineering.

Ben Carne says:

“It has been immensely helpful to receive such a comprehensive level of support, which has really helped to kickstart the whole development process. In particular, the experimental testing of scaled versions of our device, in order to verify the working principle and obtain indications for the optimization of the device, was a crucial part of the project. Through Marine-i we have been able to access expert testing and analysis from Business Research fellows who are leaders in their field.”

Prof Lars Johanning of University of Exeter, lead partner for Marine-i, says:

“This is a classic example of an established company that had excellent new ideas for diversification, but needed some expert help to get their development process underway. This is exactly the type of project that Marine-i was designed to assist. By helping to accelerate these new developments, it will create important growth opportunities for Riggers UK and bring vital new skills and capabilities into their business.”

Ben Carne adds:

“It has been a great experience working with the Marine-i team. They really understand the needs of businesses like ours and made the whole process very straightforward. We are really excited about the market potential for our marine energy device and feel that its development has now taken a huge leap forward.”