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The History of DiVine Craft
In the beginning… Dreaming up big new ideas or new business venture; we’ve all done it. Some of us though are crazy enough to let it consume us to the stage where it can no longer be just a dream and lots of talk. And for me, well, I had just had to do something about it…
Dreaming up a concept in 1998 to develop a modern-day classic style mahogany run-about similar to the famous Italian boats of the 60’s and 70’s, I decided to stop the dreaming and start designing. After overflowing waste paper bins full of funny concepts, I finally had the foundations for what I envisaged. Before I knew it I had leased a small workshop, purchased some machinery and sourced some quality building materials including the star of the show, some excellent quality Brazilian Mahogany. To give full commitment to this venture, I gave up my day job (building boats for other people) and took on this new venture full time. It was my goal to develop and create a 28’ vessel built to stringent class 2D survey (for commercial operations) within a year and more or less on my own. Eleven months later and after applying 20 protective layers of clear-coat that resembled a grand piano glass like finish, the DiVine 28’ Classic Runabout was finally launched.
A huge community turn-out for the launch, where the Mayor of Mandurah, the local newspaper, a state TV station, a large flotilla of classic boats - some coming as far away as the port of Fremantle - and hundreds of other well wishers, all gathered on a perfect sunny day in May to see the official launch and the blessing and naming of the first DiVine 28’ ‘The Spirit of Mandurah.’ Eleven months of hard work and dedication and now it was time to play!
I then registering a new business (1999) aptly named Classic Water Taxis and The Spirit Of Mandurah was chartered for weddings, birthdays, ‘the James Bond run’ or just to cruise the local canals and clear blue waterways. She certainly became the talking point of the city of Mandurah for a long while after her launch. And being only an hour drive south of the big city of Perth (WA) our Classic Water Taxis business was kept very busy. However, after an article about The Spirit Of Mandurah was seen in a national boating magazine, I had more and more interest to build more boats so the seeds were sown for phase 2... And my family and I took DiVine Craft and relocated 4000kms to the other side (east coast) of Australia in Sydney.
DiVine Craft Pty Ltd
Although admired and drooled over by all who saw her, unfortunately what with the extreme heat and harsh sunlight, timber boats aren’t the most practical boats in Australia. And with the DiVine 28 (The Spirit of Mandurah) still grabbing lots of attention and interest around the country I decided to heed to the markets response and wishes and looked at designing and developing a modern-day ‘retro’ version of the classic mahogany DiVine 28.
Moving across the country I set up a factory on the Central Coast, one hour north of Sydney. There I developed the concepts for the all-new design DiVine 29. Like her sister - the DiVine 28 - she had to turn heads and offer exhilarating perform too. With exquisite lines and classic looks, but using modern hi-tech composite materials along with modern water-jet technology, the DiVine 29 Retro was born.
Over the next five years or so the DiVine 29 Retro proved popular in this quite niche market and gained a number of sales throughout Australia and North America. As with most niche markets though the orders just didn’t come in quickly enough and it was therefore decided to look at other design ideas and opportunities.
Over the years I’ve toyed with other designs including a bigger sister to the D29, the DiVine 37’. This concept design would have used twin Rolls-Royce water jets and would have been a very unique piece of kit indeed. Unfortunately, it’s only stayed as a concept… [see picture]
And after contracting to develop and build a number of large (compared to the DiVine Craft range) power catamarans, I decided to develop a DiVine 65’ concept design. I very nearly got this off the ground but no thanks to the 2008 world GFC it was put to bed; hopefully not forever.
Over the years I have contracted my services out to other companies and marine specialists. Whether it be putting together and managing new building projects or working in marketing and sales. One thing is for sure, although the marine industry can be challenging, it can also be varied and exciting too…
My latest design concept is to build a new 78’ classic river cruiser from the old 1930’s era. For more information on this venture [click here]
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