Anthony Bishop - Managing Director

When Anthony Bishop saw Team Windcraft was for sale in September 2016 he grinned with excitement. He was an existing satisfied customer owning both a Dehler 38 and Axopar 28. He knew Windcraft was Australia and New Zealand’s number one team for importing, commissioning and servicing yachts and had already experienced the unique personal service provided by Peter and the team.

He loved the fact that the company was run like a family business. And he could see some wonderful opportunities to take the brand forwards. With Team Windcraft there was a pull that kept drawing him towards it- “the pull of being a part of what is essentially a big yacht club filled with amazing people”.

The path to Windcraft

Starting out in the IT industry, progressing to helping start-ups get up and running and tackle new markets, Anthony brings extensive Sales and Marketing experience and expertise to the Windcraft team.

His passion for boats, sailing and the brand were already a natural fit, and his approach to the business is as much that of a boat owner and enthusiast, as it is as Managing Director. Anthony saw a unique approach in Windcraft’s protection and development of the brand, and fundamentally their focus on strong, ongoing relationships with customers, suppliers and within the industry as a whole.

A Kiwi who grew up in Christchurch and then Wellington, Anthony first sailed in an Optimist built by his grandfather.

Anthony gathered his racing knowledge doing harbour twilights in Wellington – where it has to be 30 knots before they cancel a race. Anthony also learned to fly small planes in these blustery conditions where landings on the tiny runway are not for the faint hearted. But this family man is equally happy cruising around the Whitsundays with friends and loved ones enjoying a glass of wine or two in a sheltered anchorage.

“Some of the best moments in my life are with family and friends in boats and in the same way Peter’s family have grown up with sailing, I want that for my family too.

Continuing to run Windcraft as a family business and getting to know all the other owners is a priority for me”.

Peter Hrones describes Anthony as “…perfect as the new helm of Windcraft. He brings passion, enthusiasm and solid business skills”.

Getting to know Windcraft as an already satisfied customer

Anthony sees Team Windraft as having lots of moving parts, that come together in a seamless end to end experience for each unique customer. Windcraft consciously offers a relationship to their customers for the life of their ownership of the boat- sometimes multiple boats – and the varied experiences that go with that.

Selling boats alone is not what drives the success of Windcraft in Anthony’s view. The harder and more rewarding part is managing a customer’s expectations honestly and personally throughout the life of that boat.

Customers tell Anthony they love that “You take care of everything for us”.

He wants to make sure they are offering the right combination of things to customers, that there are no hidden surprises, that expectations are set early and correctly and that the Windcraft team are there for the long term.

Key to this service is taking new owners out and showing them what they can do with their boat after they have bought it, opening their eyes to the options available to them. Anthony believes that facilitating Owners regattas, getting people together and socialising with friends and family are what boating is all about.

A passion for good design

Anthony visited the Hanse and Solaris factories recently and was delighted by the experience. He loves the way the boats are made and is passionate about their design. He recognises the function, but is truly thrilled by the form, describing Solaris boats as “pieces of artwork”.

“Both flying and sailing excite me – I guess because there are lots of similarities between the two.

Both give you the ‘wind in your hair’ feeling and in both cases you have to leverage the natural environment with nothing solid on the ground to anchor you.

“But I guess at the root of it all I love great design.

“So for me the design passion of the Hanse Group, Solaris and Brenta absolutely tick the box. My Dehler 38 “Rocksalt” is phenomenal in this regard – she sails beautifully and I still to this day love the way she looks.”

“When I bought Rocksalt the whole experience was effortless and every little detail was taken care of.

Team Windcraft’s unique service

For Anthony it’s all about the team- and customers line up to shake him by the hand and tell him how lucky he is to have such a great group of people. He sees the team’s passion for boating and the customers as distinctive, along with longevity in their roles, and their industry experience.

There is a very small turnover of staff, allowing owners to really get to know them and form firm relationships. The team is genuinely passionate about helping customers be successful with their boats, and for many of them this is very personal. They truly love the brands. The Service team wants to roll out more programmes for boat maintenance. For example, they want to see all the boats in the marina looking new and well cared for. The reputation of the end to end service Windcraft provides means that existing customers won’t bother looking at competitors for their next boat, they already know with Windcraft that nothing is ever an issue.

Team members go the extra mile, whether it’s jumping on a plane up to the Gold Coast to help an owner out, or taking a customer out on the water at the weekend; Anthony is delighted by the team’s pride in the product and its reputation.

Out on the water…

In a few short months, Anthony already has stories to tell:

“For our Victorian adventure I was lucky enough to be able to sail on the newest Hanse 385 down there ‘Mell’ for the Friday night twilight and then the morning extras race on Hanse 385 ‘TimeOut’. In the afternoon I was invited onto the mighty Hanse 505 ‘Shimmer’. All amazing people having a great time on the water and to say that each of the owners and families loved their boats is an understatement!

The weather was good to us and we enjoyed flat blue seas and steady breeze that even calmed to nothing for our lunch at anchor and then built again as we headed out for the afternoon race. I need to find out exactly how they managed that! It was my first time sailing in Port Phillip Bay…

…and Nick our Melbourne manager reckons I still haven’t really sailed in Melbourne… because the weather gods don’t always smile so kindly.

I’m very aware that for a lot of people owning your own yacht is a bucket list item that can feel a bit out of reach. And if I can help people reach their dream and enjoy fantastic times out on the water with family and friends then that is very, very rewarding and a great reason to be in business”.

Team Windcraft supported the Sailors with disAbilities ‘Making Waves’ Regatta on Sydney Harbour.

“It was great to see so many Team Windcraft boats on the water and meet more of our owners in Sydney.

It was also great to get back out on my Dehler 38, ‘Rocksalt’.

At the Windcraft Owners Rallies Anthony got the chance to have plenty of rewarding conversations with owners.

“The New Zealand Rally was very special to me being a Kiwi.

I decided to stay on the support boat so I could meet as many owners as possible and chat to them about their yachts.

It was very cool to see how people adapt their boats to their needs – everyone has a story to tell!”

“…in the evening, standing on the shore looking out over the bay at the amazing collection of Hanse, Dehler and Moody yachts at anchor, owner after owner came and shook my hand and made comments about the team.

The positive comments were in abundance, enough to bring joy to any business owner,

“I just want you to know the whole experience of buying a boat from Windcraft has been awesome. Don’t tell Dom but he was fantastic.”

“We looked at a couple of different yachts but the reason we chose Hanse was the level of service we experienced from the team.”

“You don’t know how lucky you are to have such an amazing team.”

Anthony got to hear more of the same in Melbourne the following week from Nick’s customers,

“Nick just takes care of everything and makes things happen.”

“Racing with Ric onboard has been great – our crew have learned so much from him that our skills have improved no end. Nothing but praise for the entire team.

What does the future look like at Windcraft?

“As far as my plans for Windcraft go I am passionate about taking Team Windcraft forwards but in the same breath this is the best team in Australia and New Zealand for selling, commissioning and servicing boats”. Anthony knows that Windcraft is a winning formula.

He is looking forward to gaining a greater understanding of the uniqueness of the boating industry, and coupled with his own Sales and Marketing experience, leveraging the combination. He is focussed on building relationships, and taking Windcraft to the next level

Anthony has another exciting challenge ahead: teaching his 2 year old daughter Tess to sail. Two year olds have a notoriously short attention span, but Anthony is determined that she ‘will learn as soon as she is able!’

On reflection of his Windcraft journey so far, Anthony says “it’s become clear to me that although I work hard this is not a job… it’s just like being part of a big yacht club where I get together with a lot of great people, go sailing together and then enjoy a beer or two as the sun goes down.

Yes, Team Windcraft is a business (not just a hobby) and several owners reminded me of that too.

But when you have the best boats available combined with such a great team who simply love what they do then I suspect that infectious pull I experienced will be felt by many more boat owners too”.