Collins Marine was established in 1978 by Frank Collins. As a keen yachtsman, and at that time, a Renault automotive dealer located in Sydney. It was a natural fit for a person with a marine background and an engineering back ground to get involved in the distribution of marine diesel engines.

In 1983, just as the Renault Marine Diesel business was gaining momentum in Australia, Renault in France decided to quit the marine market, and concentrate their efforts in cars & trucks. Renault Marine Diesel was sold to Nanni Diesel Engines. With a name change only, the same people were manufacturing the same engines in the same factory based in Bordeaux – France. Work was then under way to launch the new brand name of Nanni Diesel to the world.

Frank's son, Peter Collins joined the company in 1984. In 1989 the automotive business was sold and full effort was concentrated on the Marine division. This has been shown to be very successful with Nanni Diesel now firmly in the market place with significant presence. The Nanni Diesel engine range now begins at 10hp and goes to 320hp.