Shed i16 caters to the demand in the market for sailing yacht expertise and facilities. Located within The Boat Works, Shed i16 proudly offers the country’s only mast-friendly shed, meaning there’s no need to de-rig and thus, a quicker turnaround time for any repairs, maintenance and refit work.
Run by Craig Humphries, a passionate and seasoned yachtie and shipwright with thousands of nautical miles under his belt, Shed i16 provides the full spectrum of services to cruising and racing mono and multihulls.
“We offer a complete project managment package service in-house,” Craig explains. “We will fully project manage all repairs and maintenance from air-conditioning and plumbing to delivery and commissioning of new boats.
“Our team comprises boatbuilders, carpenters, electricians, painters, riggers, sailmakers and multiple apprentices to assist the trades and train the next generations.
“Along with the size of our shed, which has a cut out in the roof to allow catamarans and monohull yachts to get into a shed with the mast standing, our key benefit is that we are all passionate sailors and have an understanding of what owners are aiming to achieve.”
Shed i16 provides shade and a controlled environment for the talented team to undertake repairs and keep dust and overspray contained. The Shed keeps the yacht and the workers cool even on the hottest Queensland day, maximising their expertise.
Significantly, Craig is mentoring the next generation of shipwrights and trades in a partnership with TAFE, offering complete vocational training for three apprentices.
“It’s vital for our industry that we encourage and support the next generation. One of our apprentices is heading to the Maritime College in Tasmania to further his career early next year. We tend to only employ people who are already sailors, or who have a genuine interest in learning how to sail.”
Craig’s love of sailing was innate and his own pathway to the marine business was influenced by his uncle.
As he recounts: “My uncle is a shipwright, I learnt to sail and a lot of the stuff I do now I learnt from him. From school, I was solely focused on travel, sailing and boat yards, and at age 19 I ended up in the Caribbean.
“As my experience grew, I moved from working underneath a boat to working on deck. Then my wife and I operated charter boats overseas for 10 years, always sailing boats, and usually boats that required a lot of upgrades in-between charters and owner commitments.
“We undertook multiple Atlantic crossings, cruised the Caribbean, USA, Europe and the UK. When our children arrived 13 years ago, I set up a business in the south of England doing running repairs on typically bigger yachts, and I loved it, but not so much the freezing winters! So we returned to Australia 10 years ago.
“Signature Yacht Services has enjoyed steady and consistent growth over the past 10 years, with the last five years growing rapidly with The Boat Works as we know it today.”
Craig and his team are in high demand to work on the largest and fastest sailing cats in Australia.
“We service Seawind, Lagoon and Schionning, amongst many others, on a weekly basis, and we specialise on setting up boats for long term cruising an circumnavigations.
“This year 2018, we have dealt with a number of boats who are continuing around the world with their tour. They stop at The Boat Works as they have heard about it whilst crossing the Pacific, and they have heard about the passionate team at Shed i16 who have an understanding of what is required for long ocean passages.”
Once a sailor, always a sailor. The allure of sailing is strong and Craig makes time for his own sojourns at sea as often as he can.
“I race as often as work and family time allow, and I like to get out on the water whenever possible.”
And while Shedi16 is seriously high-tech in its set up, the ‘old school’ fundamentals hold firm, according to Craig. “There is rarely a day where I don’t refer back to my uncle’s early advice nearly 30 years ago. What has kept me in the business is the challenge; no day is the same and I genuinely enjoy what I do.”
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