Where did it all begin? How did you get involved in the world of composites?
I started out working on surfboards and windsurf boards for Tris surfboards at age 16. My passion for surfing led to an interest in board design which then led me onto boat building.
So, who taught you how to build boats?
I was fortunate enough to work alongside Killian Bushe for a number of years – 15 in total…. Killian’s ruthless reputation for detail and accuracy makes him one of the best within the business. Having the privilege to be trained by such a perfectionist has given me the skill set and knowledge I have today.
So where did Pro Build begin?
Pro Build started a number of years ago – ‘although we were trading under another name’... The reason for the name change was due to an evolving industry – we felt our company name had to reflect the different sectors…
What kind of projects do you get involved with at Pro Build?
Anything and everything… over the years we have built up the skill set to keep up with the clients demands – along with the fast-moving industry…
What’s the most exciting job you have been involved in?
Every job has its exciting aspects – some better than others – whether its driven by innovation or performance, there will always be complete satisfaction once the part/structure is in service. Our recent projects include race preparation/ refit for various teams, along with world record breaking structures – in terms of size…
Are you a water sports enthusiast?
I started surfing back in the late 70s I have 2 English Championships under my belt although competing was never the top of my agenda! I still surf when as often as possible.
What excites you about the future of composite materials?
Composites are now going into so many sectors, there are lots of opportunities out there. As processes improve it has become more affordable and therefore going mainstream. From reinforcing bridges and industrial structures to building furniture, there is lots happening in this industry.
What challenges do you come up against in your day to day working with composites?
Labour and Rates - the composite industry is starved of many good people – which in turn has a big effect on the rates we pay… There are so many unskilled composite technicians ‘mainly coming via the agencies’ wanting the same rate of pay that a skilled technician would rightly deserve… If this industry is to survive we need to reinforce the training and knowledge of the younger generation, and bring this back into a sensible position.
Any exciting projects up your sleeve?
Of course, however we are not obliged to talk about them… watch this space!
Have you seen much difference in the resins/fibres adopted in the past few years?
The obvious thing with resins is the push towards being greener and finding ways to do this without pushing the production cost up too much. As an example, in that project we’re not allowed to talk about, using eco resins has pushed the price up by a significant amount.
What inspires you, why?
Composites as a whole… being involved right from the start, working with the team, to produce a master piece that pushes the boundaries in terms of expectation and performance…. Whether this is a high-tech sailing yacht – or a large unsupported structure…