Different take

Since taking the helm at Windcraft Yachts, Anthony Bishop has applied his considerable marketing and sales acumen to enhancing the highly regarded brand’s delivery of its core services.

31 March 2020


Where do you see Windcraft evolving over the next two years? Are there new models coming? What’s in the mix?

Windcraft enjoys an enviable reputation in the industry and a key part of that is service. Windcraft has been focused around Sydney and New South Wales, and we’re looking to expand around Australia. We are now in Melbourne and are looking to grow that market. The market for us is all of Australia and New Zealand, and we want to develop and expand that.

I  believe you’re looking at several new flexible models of partnering to help get more people into yachting. 

Yes. Traditionally, Windcraft has been focused on selling new yachts, but we’ve developed relationships with companies in regard to brokerage and yacht share.

One of the big things that is growing for us is European handover; that’s increasingly common.


People just love the idea of buying a boat, picking it up in Europe and sailing it back.

Also, if you’re buying a boat from a European dealer, if there’s an issue, you have to go back to the dealer. If you buy a boat from Windcraft then we provide service coverage on the whole journey home.

You took a career sidestep from IT to get into the yachting industry. How did that happen?

It’s been more sales and marketing, but IT was also a key part. Really, it was less about the technical systems and more about companies doing things better. So for me, it’s always been about looking at problems and working out how things can be done differently. A lot of that translates across different industries. I was one of the group that founded Xero, an online accounting company that started in Wellington. That was a classic case of looking at something and saying there must be a better way. But in parallel to that, I’ve always loved sailing.

I learnt to sail in Wellington in the mid-nineties. The first sail I did was one of the best; the second was one of the worst. A Cook Strait crossing in 50 knots where we shredded the main. I remember the skipper was the commodore of the yacht club and he said, “You could get off the boat and walk away and never sail again. Alternatively, you could get off and learn to sail, knowing that your worst sail is probably behind you.”

From that day on, I’ve loved it. I’ve gone on to do quite a bit of sailing; I’ve done the Tasman from Wellington to Newcastle. Coastal sailing along the New South Wales coast, and up to Hamilton Island. I love Hamilton Island, it’s one of my favourite places. I proposed to my wife on Hamilton Island on a boat.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Definitely handover day. We’ve worked for a month or six weeks to commission the boat. We’ve taken it from something that arrived shrinkwrapped and then the owner(s) arrive and we get to share in their dream and take them sailing – something they may have been dreaming of for years. Some people say those handover days are among the best days of their lives.

They really are special moments, seeing the joy it brings them and their family. For me, by far, that’s the best part of this industry.


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