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What has Covid-19 taught you about your business?
Covid-19 brought home the fact that things can change overnight, you think you have it all sorted a good work load for the coming week, months and year then over the space of a two week ends we are scratching due to customers changing plans due to the uncertainties that we have been in. I have learnt though that our customer base is very supportive, and many have brought forward works that we were scheduled to carry out later in the year to this time. So probably the point is “Appreciate it when you have it, as it can be taken away very quickly”
How have you found inspiration to adapt to the new “normal”?
What is “normal”? This certainly is not what I call “normal”. When the rumors were indicating that the country was going to go into a full close-down similar to New Zealand, I sat down and wrote a list of things that I wanted to do for the business and also myself if we were going to be at home. One of these things was to further my skills at CAD drawing. Being not so busy and having time in the evenings I have taken this on and have found it to keep my mind occupied and quite satisfying (I am still not very good at it though).
What have you found your regular customers wanted done during these unusual times?
A large part of our work at this time of year is the out of yacht service and checking of rigs. We deal with “leisure money” so obviously the belts have been tightened so some customers have had to postpone, others have stepped up and moved their works forward. (which is appreciated).
Different BIAs have allowed sailing in some states, with maximum 2 people…do you believe it may be the start of solo or double-handed sailing in Australia?
Two Handed sailing has gained some traction with the inclusion of a two- handed division in this years Sydney to Hobart Race. For Shorthanded racing to really gain popularity it needs to be more regular with races that are of interest and of different distances, be better organized and have Yachting Australia & local maritime authorities give it backing. There are good models for short handed weekend sailing from both Auckland and San Francisco to look at that lead into a race that is a challenge. In NZ it is the around North Island Race and in San Fran there is a two-handed division in the Pacific Cup.
Sydney Rigging Specialists have worked with both of the line honours winners of the past two Melbourne Osaka Two Handed Race (Wasabi & Chinese Whispers) in the set-up of their boats for two handed racing so do have an interested in it. I personally would like to take on the challenge of some two-handed racing and look forward to that time.
How do you see the start of the next sailing season?
Hopefully is sooner than later but needs to be in line with government guidelines! My gut feel is that because we have all been told we can not do something (go sailing), when we are able to go sailing with our full crew & friends, people are going to be exited in being able to use their boats and then wanting work done on them. Therefore, I am trying to encourage anyone who knows of/ or thinking of works on their yachts to do it now as I can foresee it being quite busy when we start sailing again.
Most importantly stay safe and have patience.