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09.02.2007

Finnboat's 2007 Marine Retailer of the Year hails from Turku

Ulkoiluaitta Oy Meredin's roots go way back to 1952 when Tauno Wiljanen got involved in the marine industry. By the 1960s, the company had two retail stores in Turku and a branch in Parainen. In 1955, boat trading strongly came into the picture at which time the company marketed the entire fibreglass production of Turun Veneveistämö, creating a nationwide dealer network in the process. In 1960, sister company Venetukku Oy was established and began boat production. Venetukku Oy is currently engaged in the wholesale trading and importation of boat equipment. Boat production was transferred to Finmar-Pemar Ky owned by Tauno Wiljanen and at its peak operated three boatyards and employed 165 workers. The company managed to build more than 16,000 boats which were delivered to, among others, Finland's president, the Swedish royal family, the Finnish navy, coastguard, police and to many companies, not to mention numerous clients around the world.

The company was sold in 1980 and boat production relinquished. In the same year, a decision was made to concentrate on importing, wholesaling and retailing boat equipment and accessories only, and to create the Meredin Calendar, a catalogue for boat equipment. To date, 15 editions have been published. The catalogue comprises 485 pages and includes 23,000 products and 8,000 colour photos.

In the autumn of 2006, Marina Pargas Ab ­ Paraisten Marina Oy was established. In association with Ulkoiluaitta Oy and Venetukku Oy, 23 hectares of harbour real estate and 28 hectares of waterways were purchased in Parainen. A marina to accommodate some 600-800 boats with land-based facilities for dry-docking some 1000 boats over winter and a central warehouse for Meredin will be developed in the area. The aim is to provide docking space for 200-300 boats by the autumn of 2007.

Now for the seventh time, the award Marine Retailer of the Year, which is granted by the Finnish Marine Industries Federation Finnboat, will be presented by the executive committee of Finnish Marine Retailers' Association. The award is granted to especially deserving boat retailers, equipment traders or boat agencies who operate on the domestic market. In choosing its recipient, particular attention is paid to the merits of the enterprise with respect to its handling of customer relations, the development of its business premises and business operations, and to how it upholds the good reputation of the marine industry as a whole. In addition, special attention is paid to the length of time the enterprise has been operating in the marine industry as well as its active participation in organising and developing the marine industry.

MEREDIN - Ulkoiluaitta Oy (stand 5 A 4)
Puolalankatu 6, 20100 Turku
Tel: 02-275275
For further information, please contact: Tauno or Petteri Wiljanen

For more details, contact:
Managing director Jouko Huju (jouko@finnboat.fi, 040-550 9310)
Finnish Marine Industries Federation Finnboat
Käenkuja 8 A 47, 00500 Helsinki
tel. 09-696 2160
fax 09-696 21 611

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