In September 1912 a company named Finska Yachtförmedlingsbyrån, Innehafvare Geitlin och Brandt, was established in Helsinki. The philosophy of the company was to serve the boating people by fulfilling all their needs concerning boating. The company was situated in the center of Helsinki, on Mannerheimintie, but in 1915 the company moved to new premises in Eteläranta. Next year the company’s name was changed to Finska Yachtbyrån Aktiebolag and in 1918 finally to Oy Maritim Ab.
In the beginning the main business was to supply and sell boats. The boats where marketed in catalogues and posters. During last century Oy Maritim Ab has sold boats not only to thousands of Finns but also to the Russian market. In addition to the boat sales Oy Maritim Ab has always sold boat equipment together with the boats. Sailing became more and more popular and therefore Oy Maritim Ab began to import more boat equipment. By this, new contacts were established. Oy Maritim Ab’s business had got a good start.
The depression in 1930 had an influence also on Oy Maritim Ab’s business, but in 1935-1939 the business was blooming again. The outboard motors had become very popular. Maritim began the import of Evinrude- outboard motors in 1929.
Let us take a look back to the time in the end of the19th century. A company named Österman & Orell was established in 1890. This company sold everything that ships and the boating people needed. After two combinations the name of the company was changed to Hjelt & Lindgren and in 1913 the company was changed to limited company. The company was situated next door to Oy Maritim Ab. Even if these companies were competitors they also completed each other. The consul Ivar Iverus from Kotka bought the company Hjelt & Lindgren in 1938, and in 1941 he bought 82 % of Oy Maritim Ab. Although the war years disturbed the business Ivar developed the companies continuously and in 1946, the first year of peace, the sales raised 100 %. A new period had begun and also the time for war indemnity begun, and related to that, both Hjelt & Lindgren and Oy Maritim Ab had the opportunity to act as suppliers.
Moving to Lauttasaari
The 1950s and 1960s were swaying years for the business. In 1960 Oy Maritim Ab moved to new premises in Lauttasaari, where we are still working today. In 1964 the new office and warehouse building was completed, and all functions were transferred to this building except two shops.
Changes were coming
Hjelt & Lindgren had from the beginning served more the ship sector, as the captains at that time were allowed to decide by themselves what and from where they purchase to their ships. The change appeared when the ship stores companies began to store needed products in their own warehouses. Under these circumstances there was no sense to continue the agency at Hjelt & Lindgren. Hjelt & Lindgren shut down their private business in 1964. Before that the company had already been joined with Oy Maritim Ab.
Consul Ivar Iverus passed away in January 1964. After negotiations all Oy Maritim Ab’s shares were sold to commercial counselor N. A. Etola in 1966. The managing director of Maritim, Thorsten Hjort, retired in the beginning of 1970s, after 28 years in service. Carl-Erik Wilén began as new managing director in 1973. He had acted in the company since 1947 as sales manager.
1970s was a decade of strong growth and development for Oy Maritim Ab. During 1972-1981 the sales rises 175 %. Carl-Erik Wilén retired in 1984 and Pehr-Håkan Lindholm began as the new managing director. In the 1980s the growth continued for Oy Maritim Ab and also the general rating was growing strongly during the whole decade. In addition to boat equipment, also boats and outboard engines were important for the business. Oy Maritim Ab has a long history regarding sales of boats and outboard engines. During 1929-1976 Oy Maritim Ab sold more than 50 000 Evinrude - outboard engines to the Finnish consumers. The import of these engines ended in 1976 when the manufacturer established own sales offices in Europe and also in Finland. In 1978 Oy Maritim Ab started the import of Mariner outboard engines and this continued until 1993. During 1996 – 2001 Oy Maritim Ab acted again as a distributor of Evinrude and Johnson outboard engines. In 2001 the distribution ended as a result of the bankruptcy (chapter 11) of OMC.
Oy Maritim Ab has sold boats from the very beginning. Oy Maritim Ab has also acted as a boat builder during 1930-1980. In 1960 Oy Maritim Ab started the import of Storö- and Storebro-boats from Sweden, and in the 1980s Oy Maritim Ab imported Windy- and Draco- boats from Norway and Boston Whaler- boats from USA. In the beginning of the 1990s Oy Maritim Ab was the first distributor of the Finnish AluFibre Silver- boats.
Pehr-Håkan Lindholm retired in 2004 and Iiro Haakana started as new managing director. Iiro was not a new employee in the company. He had earlier been employed 10 years by Oy Maritim Ab, in 1983-1993, as manager for the import of outboard engines and boats.
In 1996 Oy Maritim Ab decided to give up the import of boats, because it was needless to compete with the main customer groups, such as the boatbuilding industry (OEM). We focused on our main skill, boat equipment, being an important partner to the boatbuilding industry, dealers, authorities and export customers.
In April 2010 Iiro Haakana passed away after a serious disease and Kim Tigerstedt took the leadership of Oy Maritim Ab officially 6.5.2010. Kim started at Oy Maritim Ab in February 2005 as sales manager for the wholesale department. The first touch of Kim to Oy Maritim Ab was in 1989 when he worked in one of the shops, actually at the birth place of Oy Maritim Ab.
Since 2010 has the company developed dramatically in all ways to be able to answer the strong demands from the marine market.
Today Oy Maritim Ab acts mainly as a wholesaler and focuses only on boat equipment. In our assortment we have about 17 000 products. We have one 1100m2 shop, so called showroom, in Lauttasaari close to our warehouse. As an insert we would like to mention our service for life rafts and inflatable lifejackets. We make service for about 850 life rafts per year.
The main customer groups for Maritim are the whole Finnish boatbuilding industry, 450 dealers, other industry, authorities and export to Russia, Baltic States, Poland and Scandinavia. In addition of course are the consumers who visit our shop.
In the beginning of 2010 we renewed our websites and we opened a web shop/order program which is widely growing. Our websites are divided in two categories: consumers www.maritimshops.fi and wholesale www.maritim.fi. In 2014 we will launch a new updated web page to make it even easier for the customers and end users to place and follow their orders.
In 2012 we invested into the logistics a lot. To match the todays demands in terms of delivery time and efficiency we got Kardex warehouse elevators and technology. The automatisation process with these machines gives us a possibility to be able to deliver goods the same day or latest the next day to our B to B customers.
The top end purchasing team run by Mr. Tomi Palomäki and the great sales team run by Mr. Jan Kansanaho makes also the daily business life much easier to handle. Without a good team there are no results.
The strong and loyal co-operation with the best suppliers in the world is the key thing today. With Barton the we are very happy and we like to develop together with the Barton team new possibilities and business making. This is possible in such co-operation. BIG THANKS TO THE TEAM OF BARTON for all the support and great co-operation.