Boat builder, owner and professional captain, Simon has many years of experience sailing in New Zealand and the South Pacific
Deckhand Ben is from Lelepa Island and has been sailing with Simon for the last 2 years. He is a wealth of knowledge of the area.
We welcome involvement from anyone onboard who is interested and will gladly explain the art of sailing.
Simon and his wife Corrine met after Simon had just launched his first boat STAR back in 1979.
"We sailed around the New Zealand coastline for a couple of years before embarking on our first offshore voyage in 1983. Armed with a $25 plastic sextant and a ton of confidence we made landfall in Fiji, 14 days later.
Bitten by the cruising bug, thus started 4 years of cruising the S. Pacific and East Coast of Australia. We eventually arrived back in NZ in 1987, along with our then 18 month old daughter, Sophie, born in Coffs Harbour Australia."
In '92 Simon gained the qualification of Commercial Launch Master and started skippering various local charter vessels.
"Next came Slipstream, a hot little 9m GBE catamaran that I put through survey and started a charter business with, taking people off Mt Maunganui's popular Pilot Bay Beach, for fast sailing thrills in the Tauranga Harbour. Heaps of fun !"
This experience reignited the idea of building a big sailing charter catamaran, and together with the catalyst of New Zealand winning the America's Cup in '95, the project to build the South Sea Vagabond was born.