Lightwave Yachts Celebrating 20 Years
I story ROGER OVERELL, FOUNDER AND BUILDER, LIGHTWAVE YACHTS
We recently celebrated 20 years at the Lightwave Family Reunion at Great Keppel Island, Queensland, with 18 Lightwave vessels in attendance and 60 people present. What a moment. What a sight. What an effort from all involved.
We are so thankful to everyone involved in the special celebration of 20 years. Quite a few travelled for days and weeks to get there by boat, challenging the weather, and based holidays around the weekend. Some flew thousands of miles and used several forms of transport to be there to support us. To each and every one of you, we so very grateful for your efforts.
This is a significant milestone for Lightwave Yachts. Twenty years of manufacturing catamarans, proudly in Australia. From humble beginnings out in the farm shed at Maudsland, through the turbulent global financial crisis that wiped out so much of the Industry, when we were building up to 10 boats at once, operating two factories, by the waterfront at Coomera. To our current location, condensing to one factory facility, within the Gold Coast Marine Precinct, we have now produced over 80 Lightwave catamarans, plus countless other parts and various other products.
There are plenty of special people that I need to thank who have shared this successful journey. No one stands out more than my wife and family. Louise has done so much in supporting me in our business. From supporting us on a single teachers wage in the early days for three to four years until the business could pay me a wage, to managing an office of 12 people and a grumpy stressed husband, to organising boat show and regatta events and bringing the happy spark to everything that she is involved in. But more importantly, raising our sons, Ned and Will, who are so involved with Lightwave family. I am so happy and proud that they are part of what we do, and share a passion for the water and boating.
Our parents played a huge part in supporting us right from the beginning, being wonderful grandparents and helping us make the home world go around. My parents have always offered amazing support, allowing me to not follow in the family rag trade business, and forge my own career, offering the hand on the shoulder support. My father Peter, gave his time at boat shows, despite not having the boat knowledge he needed to be there, he was the chief crowd controller, and kept spirits high. And my mum, Barbara, with always the encouraging word.
We want to thank all the Lightwave owners, both past, present and future ones. It has been a privilege to build each Lightwave for
each owner and share their journey of achieving their sailing and boating dreams. It is a very personalised process building a boat for the owners, and long standing friendships are formed. We literally haveshared births, deaths and marriages and are very proud of the strong bond shared with the Lightwave family. Starting a business at a young age, many of our owners offered great counsel and advice to our growing business.
The observation has been made that we have a lean marketing budget, and instead put that into creating exceptional vessels, allowing the boats speak for themselves. Consequently our owners are very much a big part of our ‘marketing’ team. Our owners’ pride and passion for their Lightwaves has always shone through, and given great strength to the Lightwave brand. Two very special couples have played a major role in helping us at special events and showing off the Lightwave product to the world. Wayne and Donna, former owners of Lightwave 38 Axis Mundi, and current owners of Lightwave 45 Maestro Axis Vitae, have been amazing supporters. They have provided many design ideas that following owners incorporated into their Lightwaves, and helped us for many boat shows. Our unofficial New Zealand sales office of Ross and Gill, have also done the same, allowing us to exhibit their LW45 Double Shot at three boat shows, have done countless unofficial test sails, and have been an amazing support in helping sell our product.
Playing a big part of our history, are the owners who have had not only one, but two Lightwaves built by us.
- Peter and Penny, Lightwave 38 Innforeapenny and Lightwave 45 Sports Innforeapenny II and who now own a Raider racing cat
- Steve and Hermi, Lightwave 35 As If and Lightwave 47 Motor Sailer Two 4 One.
- John and Pam, Lightwave 45Sports Allikat, and Lightwave 45Grande Allikat II
- Nils and Mayte, Lightwave 38 Muscat 7, and Lightwave 45Sports Muscat
- Wayne and Donna, Lightwave 38 Axis Mundi, and Lightwave 45 Maestro’ Axis Vitae
- The late Ian, & Lyn, Lightwave 38 Pretty Puss, and Lightwave 38 Fluffy Muffy
- Geoff and Anne, pre-owned buyers of Lightwave 38 Two Shea, and Lightwave 45 Sports Skedaddle.
A huge commendation to our Lightwave team, both past and present, the Lightwave craftsmen who create, sculpture, and customise these vessels with me, including the likes of Ash and Shane who both started as apprentices and are now heads of their areas. Our accounts manager, Sharon, has been with us for 11 years. She has poured her heart and soul into our business, and we are very grateful for her efforts, loyalty and commitment.
Special thanks to our suppliers, who like us, stand by the high quality products that go into each Lightwave. There are a handful who we have shared the 20 year journey with, including All Yacht Spars, Ronstan, Ashtia, and NCS Resins, and Power Equipment. Longevity is hard to come by, and is not easily achieved, and we appreciate the long standing relationship we share with these companies.
Final thanks to our promoters, Multihull World magazine, who have offered great support and have played a significant role in promoting multihulls in Australia and indeed the world. The charter companies including Charter Yachts Australia, Cumberland Charter Yachts & Sydney Harbour Escapes, who have Lightwaves in their fleets, and provide opportunity for charter investment and Lightwave lovers to experience the joy of sailing and being on board a Lightwave.
Eight years ago, we partnered a company, FujiClean. Fuji Clean is the biggest manufacturer of Waste Water Treatment Tanks in Japan producing 40,000 units per year. To date Lightwave Group has produced nearly 4000 waste water treatment tanks for the Australian market to all States, and we are very proud to have this strong relationship, and be involved in a growing market that is outside the marine game, providing income stability and security.
We remain focused on building our current models, and are very excited to be announcing a new model in the New Year. We will continue to remain focused on remaining a leading International brand, Australian manufacturers of exceptional quality, customised, blue water catamarans. Manufacturing fibreglass parts and tanks remain a strong part of Lightwave Group’s future, securing our position as an Australian manufacturer. We welcome any additional growth that this market provides. Maintenance and refit of our Lightwave fleet remains strong and is a service seen as essential support for all our Lightwave owners, to allow them to keep the boats and the brand to the highest and most sought after brand on the market. Here’s to riding the wave for another 20!
Lightwave Family Reunion at Great Keppel Island
I story ANNE & GREG RYAN, OWNERS LW35 CHANCES
Our boat, along with 79 others, was built by an Australian company at Coomera, Gold Coast, owned by Roger Overell, the Builder, and his wife Louise.
To celebrate 20 years in business, they organised a get together at Great Keppel Island, Queensland, from 14th to 16th October. 60 Lightwave family members attended, including 2 owners from New Zealand, 1 owner from Malaysia, 2 previous Lightwave owners, and a fleet of 17 Lightwaves. Special guests, Toshiro and Rebecca Otowa, from Fuji Clean Japan, also attended (Lightwave Group is also the Australian manufacturer for Fuji Clean). Long time Lightwave upholster, Bill & Carol from Ashtia, also were in attendance.
A program was set but with winds of 20-30 knots forecasted, it was soon dismantled and totally rearranged! We couldn’t anchor at the beach near the
Hideaway Resort so we ferried from Svedson’s Beach anchorage around the corner, to the resort, where we met for lunches instead of dinners.
Friday was registration, cocktails, introductions, speeches and a great power point presentation showing the progression of the business. Gary made a speech on behalf of all the owners, acknowledging the successful 20 year journey of Lightwave Yachts, and the pride Lightwave owners share of their beautiful catamarans. We were glad to spend the night on our boats as it was a rough night even in the better anchorage.
Saturday morning we ferried around to Hideaway Resort for a day on the island. A hearty breakfast was had by all. We competed in Tug of War, a Treasure Hunt and a game involving a stick and roll of toilet paper (you don’t want to know!!). Attendees could then attend the Lightwave Owners Forum or go for a walk to Long Beach. I opted for the walk with three others and Toshiro. He’s a lovely man and asked the question, “what do we do we do when we fight on the boat?” We walked over to Long Beach, and upon arriving there, we discovered it was a nudist beach!
We arrived back in time for lunch which was followed by “Lightwave Has Talent” entertainment. Great acts were performed by Lightwave owners and guests, including a tribute poem by “Banjo Paterlamb”, incorporating all the Lightwave boat names that were in attendance.
Late afternoon, we returned to our Lightwaves, some via a walk over the hill and around the beach. The crews enjoyed a fire on the beach and sundowners
were shared, whilst other guests who didn’t attend with their boats, stayed at the resort accommodation and worked their way through the bar tab.
The winds eased and we finally got to have a sailing event Sunday morning. We retired hurt, tore the Screecher, but the fleet continued on to meet at Fisherman’s Bay and ashore for lunch.
After lunch, there was presentation of prizes and the annual trophies. Sponsors including Ronstan, Evolution Sails, Ashtia, Fusion, Garmin, Marine Trade Supplies, Globatec, Yanmar, Seabreeze & Vetus contributed prizes that were shared around. A trophy was presented to Roger and Louise for 20 years in business, and a book of commendations from all the Lightwave owners. The afternoon was spent drinking, talking, and laughing. We went to Blue Spirit for more drinks and then said goodbye as they headed off next morning. We have only known them for a week but feels like ages!
We woke up Monday morning to the fleet slowly disappearing into the horizon. Some had spent months cruising to the Family Reunion destination at Great Keppel Island, catching up on the way. Others would continue to cruise in company home. Thanks to Louise and Roger, with their kids, Will and Ned, for a great family weekend of proud Lightwave owners.