The Yanmar Maestro of Bermagui
Amongst both recreational and professional boaters, Craigh Hurst is revered for his work in re-powering boats. In short Craigh Hurst enjoys the highest possible reputation for removing a tired, worn out engine from an engine room and replacing it with a modern Yanmar marine diesel engine to present a clinical engine room that is the absolute epitome of neat.
Craigh commenced his working life as a diesel mechanic. With his grandfather an engineer from the UK and his father an engineer running a machine shop with a staff of 200, it seemed inevitable that Craigh would spend his life in an allied field.
In the early 90’s Craigh established his own engineering business at Bermagui, on the south coast of NSW. His father in law operated a trawler, so between his fledgling business and his father in law’s commercial fishing vessel, Craigh’s destiny was taking shape.
Pretty much from the outset, Craigh has been involved with the Yanmar brand. His first Yanmar installation was Brad Carlin’s 28’ Bertram. The old petrol engines were removed and a pair of Yanmar 4LH shaft drive engines were fitted engines which still are in service today. This work was slotted in-between general engineering and fabrication work being undertaken for the local home building and renovation industry.
“At this time Bermagui had a really strong commercial fishing fleet as well as a lot of recreational game fishing boats,” Craigh recalled.
Clearly the exceptional work performed on the Bertram repower was noticed by those who count. More re-powers followed at Bermagui and in 2005, Power Equipment appointed Craigh Hurst Engineering as an authorised Yanmar dealer. Good times followed and in 2010 Craigh expanded the business with a bigger workshop and an increased compliment of machine tools.
Along the way, the reputation of Craigh Hurst spread like wildfire through the professional and recreational boating communities. Boat owners were shipping their boats from ports all along the NSW coast to Bermagui to have Craigh undertake an engine room transplant.
“Since I started doing engine repowers in boats, I have endorsed the Yanmar brand exclusively,” Craigh said.
“The Yanmar marine engines are such strong performers for the simple reason that they are engineered purely and solely as a marine engine. The commercial range of engines is very popular with professional fishermen because, in addition to the performance credentials, the mechanical governor system and the 500 hour service interval are all a big benefit.”
Craigh Hurst operates in an interesting sector. The re-power market is very strong due to the comparatively high cost of trading up to a new boat. But at the same time the number of marine engineers who do re-powers is dwindling.
In this industry Craigh Hurst is something of an icon. What sets him apart is his engineering background, his years of training and working to fine tolerances.
“Provided the client has the budget, I always like to strip out the engine room of a boat and start fresh,” Craigh said.
A repower usually involves a modification to the engine bearers, so to begin at this base level it makes good sense to have a bare engine room. With modified bearers and a fresh cover of flowcoat throughout the engine bay, the work performed by Craigh Hurst is nothing short of immaculate.
“I was well trained by my father,” Craigh said. “There is a lot to be said for keeping everything in the engine room simple and neat. It’s one thing to work on a boat alongside the wharf. But if you have a problem while at sea the crew on board will appreciate a neat and easy to follow layout.
With over 50 Yanmar engines installed, Craigh is proud of the fact that he has only ever had to repair one engine with an oil leak. As a true professional, he has an absolute aversion to leaks while at the same time he takes great pride in having the skill and the patience to line up engines, transmissions and prop shafts correctly.
In this industry word of mouth is everything. Craigh Hurst has obviously a huge number of very happy customers up and down the coast, spreading further the good news of his installation, repower and service work.
“Much of my success is attributed to the strength of the Yanmar brand,” Craigh said. “The Yanmar engines perform really well and they are exceptionally fuel efficient. That combines to make my job so much easier.”
“Yanmar’s extensive range of pleasure and commercial marine engines has proven to be a big asset. The dedicated technical support and great service from the Power Equipment Area Manager Steve Parsons has also been invaluable.”