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Small craft building

Small craft building in Saaremaa

Estonia's biggest island Saaremaa has for centuries been famous for its maritime history and shipbuilding traditions. Small craft building sector forms a core of the Saaremaa economy and is one of the top development priorities for the future.

The advantage of boat building in Saaremaa is based on the marine way of thinking and traditions of the past, as well as on modern skills, high quality standards and success in export markets.

Saaremaa small craft building is characterized by a diverse production range: output varies from renovating old wooden boats to building modern high-end yachts and workboats.

Saaremaa boat builders and subcontractors have formed a Small Craft cluster which represents the core of the Association of Estonian Shipyards, a member of European Boating Industry.


Business opportunities in Saaremaa small craft building

Direct investments:

  • Investment in growing companies, M&A opportunities:
    • Small craft building;
    • Manufacturing of boats/sailing components and accessories.
  • Greenfield investment opportunities for extending or relocating manufacturing into a favourable environment:
    • Small craft building, components and accessories construction (manufacturing of yacht keels, sails, stainless steel fittings, furniture fittings, marine electronics etc.);
    • Small craft winter storage and maintenance centre.

Strategic partnership:

  • OEM / Subcontracting:
    • Small or medium series aluminium boats/yachts: powerboats, work boats, sailing yachts.
  • Opportunities for dealers and trade representatives:
    • Marketing and sales of Saaremaa small craft builders own products (original brands).
  • Opportunities for design and engineering companies:
    • Fast developing companies in Saaremaa looking for advanced services;
    • Cost-effective opportunities for pilot projects.

Design, research and development:
The Small Craft Competence Centre is looking for cooperation and mutual business opportunities with foreign Universities, research institutions and companies. The two main R&D headings of the Centre are:

  • sustainability of the environment (e.g. application of organic composite materials; control systems for optimising the use of energy etc.) and
  • intelligent control systems (e.g. integration of control devices; embedded systems etc.).

In material-development, the focus is on the application of natural materials in lamination technology, which can result in production and usage of fully recoverable plastic materials in small craft engineering as well as in other sectors.
For companies, the Competence Centre provides product development and trial manufacturing opportunities in cooperation with the Competence Centre and local companies.


Why Saaremaa?

15 companies are active in small craft business in Saaremaa. In 2011, small craft production in Saaremaa formed 80% of the sector’s turnover, 85% of sector’s exports and 92% of the sector’s net profit in Estonia.

Company Products, clients, brands
Baltic Workboats AS Aluminium and steel workboats.  Major clients:  Swedish Coast Guard and Bulgarian Border Police (patrol vessels),  Ukrainian Ministry of infrastructure (search and rescue boats)  etc.
Luksusjaht AS Recreational sailing- and motor yachts. Brands: Arcona, Delta
Saare Paat AS Recreational sailing- and motor yachts. Brands: Saare 38, Stormer
Alunaut OÜ Aluminium sailing- and motor yachts, rebuilding and maintenance
Vätta Puit OÜ Renovation and maintenance of wooden boats
Lindvart OÜ Recreational sailing- and motor yachts, rebuilding and maintenance
Kasse Paadid OÜ Fishing and rowing boats. Original trademark: Kasse 430
Tekno-Marine OÜ

Recreational motor yachts. Original trademark: Seiskari


Support to the knowledge growth, research and development

The growth of skilled workers and specialists is ensured by the local educational institutions:

The Small Craft Competence Centre in Saaremaa has been established to involve modern knowledge and attract top professionals into the development of a competitive small craft cluster.  The Competence Centre will be fully operational by the year 2014 to provide support for companies in:

  • Design, production and testing of small craft models and equipment;
  • Implementing innovative ideas and organizing special trainings.

Well-functioning infrastructure

  • Modern Internet and mobile networks correspond to the most demanding business needs;
  • Saaremaa, being the largest island in Estonia, has a flight connection as well as fast (30 minute) ferry connection with the mainland;
  • There is a deep sea port to service cruise ships and a network of small harbours for sailing- and motor yachts.  For more details please visit www.visitsaaremaa.ee;
  • Availability of development areas for constructing facilities for production or, for instance, winter storage and service of boats.

Open and friendly business environment

  • Due to the long term existence of a foreign business community in Saaremaa and significant flow of foreign tourists, people in Saaremaa are fluent in different languages and the business culture is close to the Nordic one;
  • Friendly living environment;
  • Saaremaa small craft industry is well integrated in the Baltic Sea region markets via procurement and export logistics.

The value proposition in a pdf-format


To find out more, please contact:

Sulev Alajõe
Investor Consultant, West Estonia
+372 511 2878
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