Seawind sets sail for consumer product success

Wollongong-based Seawind Catamarans took out the 2007 Innovative Australian Product of the Year – Consumer category with Navisafe awarded highly commended. Katherine Crichton reports.

AT the 2007 Endeavour Award’s ceremony held at Doltone House, Sydney, Wollongong-based Seawind Catamarans took out this year’s Innovative Australian Product of the Year – Consumer category, with Navisafe awarded highly commended, sponsored by Seiko Corporate.

Catamarans are becoming increasingly popular amongst consumers, however they still hold only a minority share of the boating market and as a result, Seawind Catamarans is manufacturing for a relatively niche segment.

The company is solely dedicated to the manufacture of catamarans, and with an experienced and knowledgeable team on hand, the Seawind 1160 was created.

It was for this product that Seawind Catamarans was awarded the best consumer product for 2007.

MD of Seawind Catamarans, Richard Ward said taking out top honour in this category, especially considering the companies present at the awards.

“It was a huge effort to get where we are now and an award like this acknowledges all the time and commitment demonstrated by everyone involved with building this product,” Ward said.

As well as attending the Award’s ceremony, Seawind Catamarans was also exhibiting at the Sydney International Boat Show, with the award fittingly displayed on the Seawind 1160.

Mike Rees, production engineer with Seawind told Manufacturers Monthly everyone was very impressed, especially since it was national award encompassing a wide range of manufacturing industries.

“We have been getting a few awards mostly in the maritime industry, but now we are just building up further momentum,” Rees said.

Rees also said that outside recognition is invaluable to demonstrate that the company is a credible and successful business in the industry.

“In Wollongong where the company is based, it can be fairly isolated from other shipbuilding sectors which are mostly in places like Queensland.

“Many of the staff don’t come from an extensive shipbuilding background so may not have much awareness of where the company sits in relation to other shipbuilders.

“This award is recognition for them that we are doing well in the industry and for a company this is great to show,” Rees said.

The 1160 is a luxury sailing catamaran designed with the aim of creating a world class cruising catamaran, capable of sailing anywhere in the world with ease, comfort and safety.

In order to cater for all markets, versatility was a key factor in the development of the SW1160. Using an innovative modular build process involving different fibreglass mouldings that are fitted to the hull, the boat has flexibility in its design.

Another trademark of the catamaran is the maximised use of light and space. At 38” in length, the SW1160 feels like, and has the features of a yacht much larger in size without compromising performance.

Highly Commended

The DOHA Organising Committee (DACOG) requested tenders to be submitted for the supply of 3300 torches for the Asian Games relay.

Sydney-based metal pressing and toolmaking company GA & L Harrington had the responsibility to manufacture a working torch which adhered as closely as possible to an artist’s concept, then supply the torches FCT Flames of Adelaide to provide the torch burning technology and the flame for the main stadium cauldron.

The torch body is made from aluminium tube spun into taper and then curved, powder-coated in a pearlescent white and attached with a leather grip.

The torch top is manufactured from stainless steel which has a circular beads welded to it and a sun medallion is then riveted on. The frame is diverted through a laser cut sun-shaped grill which is clinched on over phosphor bronze gauze.

John Harrington, MD of GA & L Harrington was very pleased and excited to accept the award and said he was “delighted at winning”.

“I am particularly pleased for all the people involved with the project. It is something that is a globally sourced component and we were happy that the judges recognised this,” he said.

Highly Commended

Kableflags (Navisafe) is a manufacturer and wholesaler of several innovative products including its core offering Kableflags, which was entirely designed and developed in Australia.

By identifying a gap in the market and through innovative thinking, the Adelaide-based company has been able to apply an effective solution to a common problem.

Rabih Moughelbay, company director, said it was the simplicity of the product, its application and ability to be marketed all over the world that gave Kableflags the edge over other products in the category.

“Winning an award like this is recognition of six years solid work as a manufacturer and also as an Australian company.

“An acknowledgement like this will also help raise awareness of the product and our company.”

Kableflags are identification tags for electrical plugs and appliances designed to ensure that consumers never pull out the wrong plug or cable when faced with a crowded power board.

They are purpose made for their application and are supplied as easy to write on blanks and also pre-labelled in retail packs for various environments such as computer, home theatre, office, garage etc.

Simple to use and made from soft plastic for increased durability and re-use, Kableflags are now being exported to Europe, the US, South Africa and NZ.