Founder: Nico Bertels (1971)
Being born in a world of watersports, Nico was immediately cursed with the virus of waterskiing and powerboats. Therefore at the age of 11 he attempted to build his first boat using a Punch Engine and some parts of a drilling machine. Unfortunately this first model sank as soon as it hit the water. Typical for Nico’s perseverance he continued a new project by building a catamaran, which was his first success at the age of 14.
4 years later and after multiple projects he managed to secure 2 Evinrude engines from a sponsor. At that time, having a boat accommodating a twin rig set-up was proving way to expensive and very rare in the world of waterski racing. The germ of an idea hatched in a little café in Antwerp to build his own one since he could not afford to buy one. This project proved to be a success that the first 2 models were already sold before and provided him with the platform to for his two engine project. The care and craftsmanship that went into these project meant he won the first race he entered. This way the brand Bernico was established, it has always kept high its attention to detail and high standard of build quality combined with innovating techniques. These make that Bernico nowadays is a well respected international brand.
Due to the waterski racing bonds of its founder, Bernico has close relation and development ties with this sport. After obtaining numerous Belgian, European and even World titles over the years in the classes of Formula 3, Formula 2 and Formula 1, Bernico is proud to see its teams doing well all over the world.
With its primary base in Europe, the company has spread its wings all over the world. Including top teams in Europe, the USA and reaching out to Australia and New Zealand. Where the team also has its partners for support and production.
While boat building is Bernico’s main activity, they also have a great knowledge of engines and engine tuning. This has allowed the team to obtain great results in pure speed races as the Rouens 24h Motonautiques, P1 powerboat racing.
New models nowadays are being designed on computers with CAD-CAM software and integrated with the modern & ergonomic design ideas. These ideas were derived from previous successes and were improved incorporating those new materials and techniques. During development each of the new models is ran through extensive test models in fluid & aerodynamics. This guarantees optimized performance and handling for each of our models.
The eye for detail and quality of production is one of the foundations of the company. Every single boat is still handmade and assembled manually with the greatest care and attention.
Due to the successes obtained in 20 years of waterskiing and racing great demand for building pleasure crafts with Bernico performance characteristics arised. Therefore a production line was offered, based on the known performances and upgraded with an series of luxurious options that will allow the private customer to enjoy these boats in everyday life.
As a result we also developed a RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) with a hull that was developed out of our racing experiences, offering a unique performing boat in this sector. Both in the areas of speed, stability and manoeuvrability.