There’s been a fair bit going on at Edencraft — what’s the drum, Josie?
Well, we moved to Moolap, Victoria, a little over 12 months ago. The new 2ha property is divided into four workspaces — the office, the lay-up shed/moulding shop, the joining shed (we also fabricate our stainless parts and alloy tanks there) and the fit-out shed where the bling gets bolted on.
Who runs the crew?
When we started, there were three people and now there are 15. We’ve got a team of passionate guys led by Chris Norman who has been building Edencraft boats for more than 15 years. I look after the marketing — we’re looking forward to launching Edencraft TV later this year. The show will feature our staff and our passionate customers.
How’s life in the boat-building industry?
Edencraft has been around 30 years, but there’s always something new to learn that we can imprint on our boats. Modern layouts and new composite materials are some of the recent changes. Bigger screens and new digital technology are constantly challenging the design crew. We have also made friends who now feel like family. What more could you want?
What’s the most challenging aspect of boat building?
Everybody knows boats, or so they think. In our first two years, we made some mistakes by listening to the wrong people, but we’ve learned from them. Now we trust our instincts.
How are future orders looking?
Very good! We won’t reveal exact numbers, but let’s just say we take down between five and 10 enquiries every day.
Obviously Edencraft are producing more boats these days — how do you maintain quality?
We don’t aim to maintain the quality — we aim to improve quality on every boat we build.
’Nuff said. What models are punters frothing on lately?
This time last year, the 6m Offshore model was going nuts, now it’s the 233 Formula Classic with a hard top.
Do you plan on building a 30-footer, like Bass Strait has?
No, there’s nothing in the pipeline. If I have my way, we’ll build a 60ft Formula and I’ll manage the marketing functions from the flybridge, parked somewhere off Noosa.
Nice! Are you going to revive the old 2400 Edencraft cat? That might give those Noosavillains a run for their money…
What do you think of Haines Hunter’s recent foray into the Formula/deep-vee space?
It looks like they’re doing a great job.
What does the future of Edencraft look like?
Three models — the 233 Formula, the 6m Offshore and the 565 — will be back in production in mid-2019. Within each range there’ll be a Classic, Platinum and centre console model. We’ll keep adding skills and modernising our factory so future Edencraft owners can ride the legend sooner. You may even see a dedicated Edencraft showroom.
Describe an Edencraft owner.
Generally speaking, they’re male, aged between 25 and 70, come from all professions and in all personality types. But they all love the water and want to get on it with their mates or family. Fishing and diving are, without doubt, their favourite hobbies.
What rig are they typically dumping to get into an Edencraft?
Some are downsizing from 40ft boats, others are coming from cats. There are also guys upgrading from tinnies. One thing they all have in common is that when they go for a ride in an Edencraft, they end up in one for good.
What do you love most about your customers?
Making new friends and hearing stories of fun and adventure in Edencraft boats. We often get to come fishing, too!
What annoys you most about them?
When we build custom bits and they change their minds.
Is Joel Ryan Edencraft’s best-looking customer?
Depends who you ask, the office girls, the boys — or Joel himself.
Well played, Josie. What do punters say about The Captain’s Six-metre Shootout — which Edencraft won — and the Battle of the Big Vee?
We’ve had great feedback from both battles. When people want to know how an Edencraft performs, we send them to The Captain. The independent feedback also gave us important info that’s been imprinted in our boats. Things like swinging dive doors and full-length cockpit pockets. And pie warmers, of course.
The new 233 Formula Platinum hardtop — what’s new and why?
Everything above the gunwales is new. There’s more storage, larger pockets, larger dry-storage lockers and a new console up top for radios. It has a new helm configuration with moulded dash to fit modern electronics, a new windscreen for the fully enclosed hardtop, and a raised foredeck to gain extra headroom in the cabin. The bait tank was designed so it could be used as a single 130L tank or dual 65L ones. Below decks there’s a 450L fuel tank and a step down into the cabin. The whole boat doesn’t just work better — we think it looks better, too.
How does she ride compared to the traditional model?
It’s the same awesome ride, just with less wind in your face!
Do people want a traditional or modern Formula 233?
The die-hard Edencraft followers prefer the Classic models and tend to be from Victoria or Tasmania. Our new customers love the new Platinum model. We’ve had a lot of enquiries from NSW.
What prompted the new hardtop?
We wanted a boat for the wife and kids, as well as hard-core fishos. We’ll always build the Classic, but in the Platinum we’re able to offer a more luxurious and liveable boat.
How do you build stability back into the hull with the extra weight up top?
There’s no extra weight up top. It’s actually lighter than the Classic hardtop.
What’s involved in making the new lid?
The hardtop has a lot more involved. The key is to keep the weight down while maintaining structural integrity.
What do you say to the haters who say “that’s not an Edencraft”?
That it’s still an Edencraft. It comes from the same place as all the other Edencraft models. If you don’t like it, we’ll still take your deposit for a Classic.
How much is it?
The standard (with windscreen) bare hull and deck price starts at $62,700 for the Platinum and $59,400 for the Classic. You can go up from there.
What’s best — pods or transom mount?
Do you prefer to drive an automatic or a manual? The pod is our automatic “self-drive” model whereas the transom mount is a “manual”. If I recall, they were The Captain’s wise words.
You’re flirting with us now, Josie. The new model has been on a few cool adventures lately, tell us all about ’em.
The Platinum went on its maiden voyage in Tumby Bay, South Australia, then Apollo Bay and Portland. After that, you guys took it to Lakes Entrance and sliced your way to the oil rigs. We hear you didn’t nail a swordie, but got yourself a brute of a bream. Perhaps you could tell us about that?
We will, thanks for asking Josie. You better get back to the 60ft Edencraft. Don’t forget the spa and bar, eh!