By Ben Gaze
Welcome to NSW Marine Brokers where we profile businesses in the marine industry through a regular series of Q&A’s
Name: Matt Willett
Company: Matthew Willett Marine
Job Title: Dealer Principal
(1) How, where and when did the Marine industry find you or Why did you choose a career in the marine Industry.
I left the Navy with commercial tickets and picked up work through D’Albora Marina’s and then started a boat management and detailing business. From there I progressed into sales
(2) What is your current role and what do you actually do? or What does your average work day involve ?
As the owner we do everything from sales to service to bookwork but as we grow we are slowly sub contracting those important ancillary tasks to bring the focus back to sales and customer service
(3) What is your favourite part of the job?
I enjoy the challenge of building a relationship with somebody who ultimately trusts you enough to make a large investment with you. Sometimes that happens in a few days but it generally takes years to build and in an instant they are relying on you to help them with that investment for an infinite period of time
(4) As a broker/dealer how can you best help people that are new to boating?
Simply be honest. I don’t see myself as selling a product, we really should see ourselves as someone who is just there to offer guidance and ultimately lead people to the right product for them.
(5) What industry groups or networks are you a part of?
Boating Industry Association of NSW
(6) Tell us about some of the boats/yachts you have owned (First boat?)
The first boat we owned as a family was a huon pine planked open boat with a 15hp outboard on the back. It was about 12 or 13ft, weighed plenty and we would all pile in and head out the Forth Riviera in Tasmania. When 2 pine trees in the hills lined up to the east and we were in the middle of the sand dune on the beach to the south, we would stop, throw the lines out and pull in 10 or 15 good size flathead every time. That was where I learnt about transits and relative positions which helped later in life as a Navigator in the Navy.
(7) If you could have any boat, what would it be?
A converted fishing trawler
(8) Where is the best place to go boating in Australia?
The best place for boating in Australia is wherever you are! The relative enjoyment from boating remains the same whether you are in a 10ft tinnie or a 100ft motor cruiser.
(9) What is the best coastal cruise/expedition/race you have ever taken part in?
Going anywhere with a group of boaties is fun. Cruising outside with 10 or 15 boats all headed to the same destination is a blast
(10) Any amusing incidents/anecdotes you have seen on the water?
Without doubt the old tradition of crossing the line ceremony in the Navy. Apart from the fun of the ceremony and swimming from a 330m warship on the equator in the middle of nowhere, the best part was pranking the junior officers and sailors who were doing it for the first time. We used to have any number of “first timers” up on the bridge with binoculars keeping a good look out for the row of buoys that marked the equator or we would get them to slow the ship down so we wouldn’t do any damage going over the equator bump. All good fun