Allan Bridge - Team Windcraft’s General Manager

Allan Bridge is Team Windcraft’s General Manager. He is also in charge of systems at Windcraft and making sure sales and after-sales work in harmony. He ensures the smooth running of Team Windcraft.

At Windcraft, Allan’s main role has been to set up and develop the Service Centre as Hanse has grown as a brand. Allan spends around 50% of his time overseeing the Windcraft commissioning and Service Centre, which now all but runs itself.

Group yachts are engineered and built in Germany and they arrive here in Australia without their mast, keel and rudder.

Allan and his team are responsible for making sure your yacht is put together to Windcraft’s exacting standards. Every yacht has to pass through Windcraft’s quality control system before handover and Allan is meticulous in his attention to every detail. Allan often travels interstate to oversee commissioning of our large sailing yachts.

Allan is also responsible for the day to day running of the Service Centre and he organises all the Team Windcraft Events. Boat Shows, the Hanse Rally and the Port Stephens Sail Away all run smoothly thanks to Allan’s legendary attention to detail.

A systematic approach

Allan’s keen attention to detail comes in part from his engineering background and at school he liked maths because it was black and white. He has gravitated towards jobs requiring detail, process and specifics; and applying those principles to ensure a certain result.

As the business has grown, Allan believes in the need for robust application of those systematic engineering thought processes to all aspects of his role at Windcraft – operations, commissioning, contracting. A solid foundation of processes allows for continuous improvement to keep up with industry changes and technology.

Boating is an industry that Allan is passionate about. It’s an ever changing, dynamic environment with a great group of people, who he describes as friends, and not just colleagues.

At home on the water

Allan’s first love was being in the water rather than on it. He grew up on Sydney’s Eastern beaches as a self described ‘mad-keen surfer’. Allan started sailing dinghies as a child and progressed into large sailing yachts as an adult. He’s done a number of yacht deliveries up and down the east coast of Australia, Hamilton Island Race Weeks and Airlie Beach Race Week on a Sydney 38.

And of course his work with Windcraft allows him to spend a huge amount of time on the water. But Allan hasn’t always worked in the boating industry. After finishing school Allan did a Civil and Structural Engineering Associate Diploma and worked as an engineering draftsman for 10 years.

He took the chance to travel with his job, spending 10 years working and travelling in the UK, Singapore and Australia along with travel through South East Asia and South America. He worked on the Sydney Harbour Tunnel, the Docklands Light Railway in London and the Cadia gold mine. Although Allan enjoyed the challenge of engineering his love of water made him seek out a change. Driven by a desire to work in an industry that he was passionate about, Allan headed for the water.

His first on-water job was in Cairns on a 60ft dive charter boat doing day trips and reef diving. Allan then headed back home to Sydney with wife Lisa. They’ve since had two girls Chloe born in 2000 and Jasmine in 2001. Allan naturally introduced his girls to the water and dinghy sailing pretty early on.

Allan started work at Bayview Anchorage Marina in 2001, initially with Pittwater Yacht Charter and since 2006 with Team Windcraft.

‘I feel at home when I’m sailing’.

Allan comes alive when talking about the water and the challenges it brings. When surfing or sailing, the weather makes sure no two days are the same – “It’s not static”, it’s either “hot, cold, too windy – a variable environment…that’s what I enjoy, the ever changing environment of the ocean”.

A body of water such as Bass Strait could be “calm like a mill pond, or blowing a gale”- either way, Allan is at home.

When he’s not out on the water, Allan can walk to the beach at the end of his street and look at the surf, feeling calmed, and getting his ‘fix’.

Like many sailors, Allan found his two Hobart experiences on a Moody 54 Deck Saloon to be “a special thing”. Doing the race “on a special boat with special people” he couldn’t ask for more.

A humble expertise

They say it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in anything… since Windcraft have commissioned over 200 Hanse Group Yachts since 2006 and Allan has notched up well over 10,000 hours on the job you can be sure your yacht is in expert hands. Allan is however humble about his expertise and readily offers that if he doesn’t know something, one of his able colleagues will.

There are always challenges, or something new to learn, but Allan doesn’t find this daunting. He has worked in the industry long enough and has a way of looking at things that mean a solution is never far away. Allan and his team all think this way –  they ask “why?”, they think it through, they find the answer and don’t give up until they do.

Here’s what he had to say… ‘I like the environment the most. I love being near the water. I also like the challenge this environment creates. Boats are in a harsh place. They have to cope with sun, wind, salt and temperature extremes. There’s always something happening on the water. I like the challenge of developing facilities and systems to cope with that.’

You can read more about the commissioning of all our new yachts for sale here.