The idea to expand our original kayak tour business, Sea Sherpa into manufacturing came after a few conversations with Martyn, the founder of BerleyPro, about not being able to find exactly the ski I was after on the market at the time. Put simply I wanted a boat that could cover ground quickly as is required for offshore fishing down here in Victoria, I wanted a ski that was light and had a good balance of stability to wetted surface area, but I also wanted it to be as easy to customise and rig up as some of the plastic fishing kayaks already on the market. After some preliminary sketches on a napkin, (how all good ideas start) the first X18 was born...
After joining forces with paddling champion and local boat builder Steve Vegh, to learn the finer points of designing and building resin infused boats, we went about producing a plug for the Gen1 X18. Many man-hours later we had a prototype out for testing and were soon ready to produce our first run of boats. We sought feedback from our first group of owners on how to tweak and improve the design and used the Covid lockdowns to get to work on re-working the mold for our Gen 2 model. 2022 saw us expand our manufacturing with more models coming on line as well as continuing production of Steve Vegh's Rebel flatwater racing boats; a staple in clubs around the country.
We have a focus on quality, sustainable manufacturing processes. Our boats are built to order using hand lay techniques or VIRT as required, with high grade composite reinforcement materials sourced here in Australia. This makes our boats strong and light for their size and being built here in Melbourne and available direct from the manufacturer, we can reduce overheads and offer you a very competitive price for craft in this layup.
We have adopted Steve's focus on waste reduction and sustainability throughout our manufacturing processes. We try to avoid the purchase of single use consumable plastics for our workshop where possible and are active members of our local community recycling groups where we source paper, plastic containers, clothing and bedding that would otherwise have gone to landfill and re-purpose these as workshop materials to help produce our end product. Our next goal in this area is to adopt the use of silicon bag technology on our molds which would allow the same vacuum bag to be re-used on up to 100 boats further reducing the waste output for our VIRT manufacturing processes.
Xplora Watercraft are also the Australian distributor for Brača-Sport paddle equipment, the number one choice of Olympians and recreational paddlers the world over. The brand is synonymous with quality and we are proud to be their representatives down under. We can supply the full range of Brača equipment across disciplines: kayak, surf, canoe, outrigger, SUP, dragon boat and polo. Whatever your paddling needs, get in touch to see what we can do for you.