Booming demand for yachts at home and abroad helped British boat-builders increase their annual revenues by 10 per cent.

The sector notched up sales of £4billion in 2018-19, according to industry group British Marine.

That included exports of £1.5billion, an increase of 4 per cent on the previous year.

The 5,800 marine businesses employing 38,700 people pumped about £1.4billion back into the economy per year.

Lesley Robinson, the group’s chief executive, claimed the upbeat figures showed that political uncertainty affecting other industries had left the boat building sector relatively unscathed.

She said: ‘We are delighted to see the marine industry continuing to prosper – providing a significant number of jobs to the UK economy.’

However, British Marine said the boating tourism sector had been hit by uncertainty around Brexit, which had made consumers more nervous about spending money.

It also said firms were struggling to hire enough skilled staff and planned a campaign highlighting what a career in the marine sector has to offer.