Metstrade 2019 and catching up with Suppliers

The METSTRADE Show is the world’s largest trade exhibition of marine equipment, materials and systems.

METSTRADE Amsterdam 2019After a huge few days at Metstrade, I am back in the warehouse with lots of notes following meetings with a high percentage of our Suppliers. Whilst METS is on during our busiest time of year it is something we try to attend at least every 2 years. With so much happening, we decided we could not skip a year.

A number of our Suppliers have new products on the horizon which is exciting. We hope to announce these soon as we get our heads around the possibilities and pricing.

This trip was the first time I have had a chance to look at the Houdini display as normally they display alternate years whilst attending every year. After visiting their factory a number of years ago it was fantastic to see how they display and promote their range of Hatches and Doors. It is incredible to see the options available via their range.

Most of our Suppliers will be releasing New Catalogues in 2020.

Thanks to all our Suppliers who took the time to catch up during my whirlwind trip. Hopefully, next time will include a visit to one of you whilst in the region. It’s great to catch up in person to discuss what’s happening. Special thanks to the Team at Allen who helped me fight the jet lag on the first day.

I managed to spend a day walking around Amsterdam in some sunshine. It was the first time I have had this chance as usually, it is overcast or raining during METS. So instead of heading to a museum I stayed outside and walked around to get to know the city a little more.

So standby for some product announcements in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, bring on Summer!


Two more sleeps

Just a little excited as I have two more sleeps before I head to Europe as it has been a HECTIC month.  We have not made the trip to METS for a couple of years due to the cost and time of year being the busiest time for DeckHardware.  It is pretty hard to get away when the sailing season is in full swing.  Sadly I will actually miss a Grade 3 Match Racing event too.  It is always great to catch up though with all our suppliers and see what is happening in the industry.

Amsterdam at Night
Amsterdam at Night

METS as it is known is the trade show for the marine industry. It really is an incredible few days and a very busy few days.  If you have not heard of it before here is a little more detail:

The world’s largest marine equipment trade show

METS, 18-19-20 November 2014 in Amsterdam RAI, is the only international B2B exhibition for the marine leisure industry. It’s the perfect place to forge profitable relationships and it showcases new product launches by 1,345 exhibitors from over 40 countries. Far more than just an exhibition, METS combines new products, seminars and unrivalled networking opportunities for visitors to connect across countries, technologies and industry sectors.

This year the International Sailing Summit is also happening in Amsterdam the day before METS! I am extremely excited to be able to attend this as it is something I have wanted to do for some time.  The program looks great for this years event!  Since deciding to put together the Sydney Sailboat Expo attending has become even more important.  I have always volunteered a lot of my time to supporting and promoting the sport of sailing.  It is something I feel very strongly about as I feel extremely lucky to have been brought up in the sailing community.

Speaking of community, you are probably wondering why I am flying a week early to Europe at our busiest time of year.  Before I head to Amsterdam I am flying into Frankfurt to see some very special people.  Two of my old crew from when I owned Animus!!!!  Marty and Marlene now live in Germany with their three children.  Whilst I am there we are celebrating their eldest’s 7th birthday.  I can not wait to see them and spend some time with them.  I have been told we have a big few days of German traditions ahead and no doubt Marlene and I will spend hours talking and catching up.  I was lucky enough to have a visit from Marty and their eldest earlier in the year when they visited Australia.  It has been several years now since I last saw Marlene and I can not wait to see her and catch up!

It is a very busy three weeks ahead.  I will try and do a few extra blog posts to keep you all up to date!  When I get back from Europe I have two days to get over some jet lag before I get out on the water to do some umpiring once again.

Marlene steering Animus not long before Thom was born.  Now we celebrate his 7th birthday!
Marlene steering Animus not long before Thom was born on a nice Twilight with Marty. Now we celebrate his 7th birthday!

Funny how life changes

So a few years ago I was happy working two jobs and sailing 3 -4 days a week in Summer and 2 days a week in winter.  Then everything changed.  I got a call that changed my world and went to work for DeckHardware full-time.   It was not long after this that my family made the decision that we would like to purchase DeckHardware and that would change my life for ever.   I would end up working even more jobs to help grow the company and doing more hours and unfortunately have to sell my beautiful Animus so that we could buy more stock and bring in new brands.

As much as I miss the girl she has gone to a flat water home that she deserves after 30 years of hard racing out of Middle Harbour Yacht Club on the sound.  In an easterly she was unbeatable as one of the softer and oldest hulls still racing.   I was so lucky to be the third owner of such an awesome boat and it truly was a privilege to be allowed to drive such a fantastic yacht. It was also a sad day when she left our extended family as back in 2002 with good friends, my father and uncle aboard we had won the Adams 10m Nationals.   It was not long after that I bought her from family friends the Whites.

Owning DeckHardware has changed my life completely.  I have had the chance to travel to Europe multiple times visiting Ireland twice, London three times, Germany twice, Amsterdam Twice and Paris.  I have also had the chance to go to America several times visiting California as well as Washington DC and Annapolis.   I found myself until last year pretty much working 24/7.  Which is how I have found myself sitting here on a beautiful Saturday working away on the laptop instead of being out on the water. Seeing DeckHardware grow and change has been worth it even if it has been one hell of a ride and continues to be.  Along with all the experiences and friends I have made as a result.

I now make sure I do spend time on the water which has reminded me why we bought DeckHardware in the first place and why I love being a part of the Sailing community.

My parents tell me as a kid my personality would change as we approached my grandfathers yacht.  I was lucky growing up as one grandfather had the ocean racer and the other the 1920’s ketch with bowsprit and all which we restored.  The 1920’s yacht Thistle was kept on a mooring and apparently when I would step from the carpark to the grass to row out to the boat I would change completely in personality.  I even worked out how to go Wednesday Sailing for School sport with Adams 10 legend Pat Carroll during my teenage years acting as my coach.

For me I am at home on and near the water.

So sitting here with my laptop looking out at the ocean I better get back to work so I can enjoy it tomorrow…  Enough reminiscing and reminding myself why I push myself and work two jobs.   As my crew who are still in my life always say to me when they help out at Boat Shows and in the warehouse: one day you will own a boat again for us all to go sailing on.

In the meantime I have a pretty awesome company that I believe in and love to work for that needs all my attention to keep growing and I am proud of that.


Well I have left wonderful Ireland to head to the METS trade show. Yes the real reason I flew 24hrs to this side of the world. I was very sad to leave Ireland but it had to be done. There were so many places I wanted to go but never got to. I will just have to go back sometime hopefully soon.

The trade show is amazing. I have never seen anything like it. Unfortunatly Cameras are frowned on so you will all just have to imagine such a very big boat show.

Anyway back to work for me.

Heading to Europe in 2008

Europe November 2008

It’s now just 5 days to go till I will be sitting on a Qantas plane to London. I will be away for most of the month of November. I am going to the following places:

London: 6-10

  • I get to catch up with Dave!

Ireland: 10-17

  • Where I will be travelling around a fair bit by car to see as much as possible along with enjoying all the local food.

Amsterdam 17-22

Paris 22-25

  • Time to be a tourist and see the sights over the weekend.

Germany 25-27

  • I get to see the Liros factory!

I get back on Saturday the 29th of November.