At StormCats of Islay we have some of the most beautiful testing grounds in the world, literally on our doorstep. We also have some extraordinary neighbours: while across the bay are the ancient ruins of Dunyvaig castle, to our right, a stones throw away, is one of Islay’s eight legendary malt whisky distilleries - Lagavulin.
When each new StormCat of Islay boat leaves the Bay to her new owners, she will also take with her an exclusive edition bottle of Lagavulin whisky, a special memento of a special place. To wish you the very best of luck and enjoyment with your new boat, we proudly present a bottle of one Scotland’s finest malts, signed by the Managers of Lagavulin and StormCats, to all new StormCat boat owners.
About Gus Newman, Managing Director: Gus was brought up on the Island of Islay on the West coast of Scotland, where the sea and boats were a way of life from an early age. He owned his first boat at the age of twelve, and when he was sixteen he embarked on a career as a fisherman, travelling throughout the Western Isles for almost 9 years.
At the age of 23 he trained firstly as a sports diver and then later as a commercial diver, before setting up the highly successful ‘Islay Dive Centre’ with his father. The dive business started with 2 x 9m Ospray Falcon RIBS fitted with turbo diesel engines and outboards. However, the RIBS lacked real protection against the elements, they were uncomfortable, and had limited deck area. Moreover, from a diving point of view, the propellers were a safety hazard for divers…so, the search for a replacement, a Catamaran, began.
The boat had to be, first and foremost, strong and stable. It also had to have a shallow draft, a large deck area, and if possible, Jet Drive for the safety of divers in the water. The search took them to various parts of Britain, but after scores of test drives and extensive research, they still couldn’t find exactly what they were looking for. So, unwilling to compromise on something so important, they decided to build their own, and StormCats was born.
After creating the mould they wanted, they brought in specialists to provide the schedule to adhere to Lloyds Special Service Class rules and began building. Months later, the result was ‘Braveheart,’ a stunning, extremely sturdy 9m Catamaran fitted with two 300hp Yamaha engines coupled to Hamilton water jets, with a cruising speed of 24 knots and a top speed of 33 knots.
Braveheart served and enhanced the Dive Business until its closure in 2002. It was at this time, after the death of Gus’s father, when he decided to concentrate solely on boat building, using his vast experience on the water to build strong, safe boats. Since then the company has gone from strength to strength, and now build boats for clients throughout the world.