The story of Ibiza Boats
Master Boats was established
Helge Duus started Master Boats at the age of 21. In collaboration with the designer Jan Bjerke, they developed a number of well-known boat models. Among them was the Master 740, which became Norway's biggest self-builder success.
Jim Wynne and Master Miami
In the period 1981 to 1985, Helge Duus collaborated with the boat designer Jim Wynne. Wynne invented the Volvo Penta stern drive (Aquamtic-powered) in 1959/60. Along with Don Aronow (the man behind brands such as Donzi and Cigarette Power Boats), Wynne is one of the legends of motorboat history. The collaboration between Helge Duus and Jim Wynne resulted in Master Miami which was launched during the Sea for All exhibition in 1985. The boat was a great success and Helge Duus came home from the USA with new knowledge of boat design. With Master Miami, Wynne helped to set the course for what later became Ibiza Boats and formed the basis for Helge Duus' interest in planning and fast-paced day cruisers.
Master Boats was sold to Nidelv
In 1990, Master Boats was sold to Nidelv Boat and Helge Duus was for a time marketing manager at Nidelv. One of the models that was not included in Nidelv's acquisition of Master was the Master 19 Ibiza. This was a leisure boat with an outboard engine that did not fit into Nidelv's model program. It would soon form the basis of Ibiza Boats, Ibiza 19 Sport and the manufacturer's name.
In 1991, Helge Duus saw that the boat market was changing. The market for leisure boats was growing, but the products didn’t follow the changing market. Based on thorough market studies, he developed the Ibiza 20 Touring - a leisure boat tailored for users that had new needs and for the Nordic archipelago. Thus, the foundation was laid for the leading leisure boat manufacturer in Norway.
A few months after the launch, the Ibiza 20 Touring was named boat of the year at the boat show in Gothenburg by design legend Pelle Petterson. The boat’s functionality and innovative adaptation to both lakes and sea aroused excitement.
At the beginning of the 2000s, there was a shift in the boat market. High-power four-stroke outboard engines came in full force and replaced the two-stroke, and eventually also the inboard engines. The launch of the Ibiza 24 Touring in 2004 with Yamaha's new 225 hp four-stroke engine will be the big breakthrough for Ibiza Boats. Ibiza 24 Touring embraced a completely new segment of boat users with its functionality, social solutions, accommodation comfort and not least seaworthiness.
In 2006, Suzuki importer Erling Sande AS bought the majority of shares in successful Ibiza Boats. Helge Duus continued in the company as a minority owner and was actively involved as a product developer.
Helge Duus buys back the shares in Ibiza Boats from Erling Sande AS and becomes the sole owner again. Shortly after the takeover, he puts together a group of experienced people from the industry who together define the next generation of day cruisers from Ibiza.
The Ibiza 680 Touring and Ibiza 760 Touring models are being developed in parallel. With a completely new design expression, the boats mark a generational change in the market. Low threshold for use and focus on functionality are key elements in the development process.
In August, the Ibiza 680 Touring and Ibiza 760 Touring was launched and became immediate major sales successes.
Seaside cottages that are used all year round and conscious year-round boat users with an active leisure time create a need for smart multi-purpose boats. Ibiza Explorer comes on the market; a new generation pilothouse boat with the Nordic walkaround boat's functional deck solution and the comfort of the closed wheelhouse boat.
Some of the most successful boat manufacturers in the Nordic market are family businesses with close contact between management, production equipment and dealer networks. Not long after Ibiza Boat underwent a generational change in the model family, the next generation also became more closely linked to the family business when André Duus joined Ibiza Boats in 2019. André has a master's degree in engineering and a background as a senior engineer in the offshore industry. Today, he has the role of quality manager in Ibiza Boats.
The weekend cruiser Ibiza 911 Touring is launched. New generations of boat users have other needs and requirements for their free time. The needs that once defined the basis for the Ibiza 20 Touring have evolved. While needs for comfort were satisfying in a 20-footer thirty years ago, the same customers now prefer boats in the 30-footers class.
Master 740 and Ibiza 911 Touring belong to two worlds and reflect a development in the needs of the Norwegian boat user. Continuous adjustment, development and market adaptation in relation to lifestyle and usage patterns have been key factors behind the success of Ibiza Boats. The manufacturer's in-depth knowledge of the users has been put into practice in the form of boats that are optimally adapted to a wide range of activities and needs - from the double-ender to the comfortable and fast weekend cruiser of 30 feet. The history of Ibiza shows that change and evolution are a continuous process, and that tomorrow's boat users will have different needs than today.