Ed Roberts Joins Boston Boatworks
Renowned yachting industry corporate manager and marketing professional Ed Roberts is the new director of sales at Boston Boatworks. Central to Roberts’s role is oversight of the company’s new branded series, the 52 Offshore Express Cruiser (BB52) designed in collaboration with award-winning naval architect Doug Zurn and Lon- don-based Winch Design. The BB52 line was launched in April 2023.
“It is a rare pleasure to work with a team of people that are as genuine, authentic and as capable as CEO Scott Smith and the team he has assembled,” Roberts says. “It is the way boat building should be, but so often is not.”
Boston Boatworks was founded in 1996 to apply advanced composite construction techniques beyond custom race boats. Today, the company is known for integrating composite engineering, high-strength construction, and artisanal workmanship at limited-production scale for a line of distinctive, ocean-worthy yachts. Performance, functionality, safety, longevity, and uncompromising quality are its trademark.
“We are very excited Ed has chosen to join us and are thrilled to add his sales and marketing expertise to our team. Ed is as serious about boatbuilding as he is about stakeholder and client relationships,” says Scott Smith, Boston Boatworks CEO. “While Ed is responsible for sales, he possesses a thorough understanding of all aspects of boat design, construction, maintenance, ownership, and management strategies. He also is widely known as an excellent collaborator among members of a vast yacht brokerage network.”
In this new role, Roberts will rely on his deep background in international luxury marine brand management to develop a company-wide sales strategy and oversee dealer networks for new products. “We look forward to engaging a small but select group of dealer organizations that share a similar level of passion for building excellence,” Roberts says.
Within that role, Roberts’s current focus is establishment of a dealer network and oversight of sales around the launch of the BB52 and subsequent models in the series. “Because this is basically a new venture—bringing out a boat under the BB brand—I’m part of the team defining what the new product is,” he says. “It’s the most fun part of the boat business, coming up with a new product, and one of the things I’ve enjoyed most in my career. I’m particularly thrilled to be involved in the Offshore Express Cruiser development program.” The program furthers the ongoing, longstanding successful collaboration between Boston Boatworks and Zurn Yacht Design.
Roberts has devoted the last 25 years to developing business in the luxury yachting market. Among previous positions, he served as vice president of Grand Banks Yachts in New England; North American sales director for Oceanco, one of the top superyacht builders in the world; and global sales director for Hodgdon Yachts.
Those positions allowed Roberts to fine-tune expertise in corporate management, business development, marketing, and sales. Roberts has also worked directly with clients as well as industry stakeholders and is particularly adept at facilitating the communication and interface among the owner’s team, project managers, designers, engineers, and the shop floor. “Working with owners from the start of a clean piece of paper to the launch of their dreams is one of the most meaningful experiences in this business,” he says.
Roberts, who stepped into the new post in spring, is looking forward to its growth. “I think my stamp will be in helping foster a partnership between the sales organization—the dealer net- work—and the company at a professional level,” he says. “To be able to work with the manufacturing side—the people who have a great deal of integrity—and sales partners aligned with those values, if I can foster that, I will feel like I’ve left my mark on the business.”
Roberts has been the event chairman of the Shipyard Cup, one of 11 superyacht sailing regattas in the world, and is also on the board of directors of the International Superyacht Society. A Maine resident, he is on the board of directors of the nonprofit Boothbay Sea and Science Center. He has also served as a member of the board of the Newport County Chamber of Commerce in Rhode Island.