The 3500 is Rayglass’ flagship vessel: a luxurious beach house on the sea, built by skilled craftsmen. 

For the last five years Morne has been the man in charge of 3500 builds, managing two other boat builders and completing 10 vessels per year. He’s been with Rayglass for 16 years and he’s about to complete his 50th 3500.

On the eve of that impressive milestone we sat down to have a chat with Morne about his mission for perfection. 

From South Africa to Pakuranga

More than two decades ago Morne met a Kiwi girl in South Africa on her OE and they hit it off. Eventually they moved back to New Zealand, got married and had two kids - one’s a 17 year old building apprentice, while the other’s still at school. 

Morne lives in Pakuranga, not far from Rayglass HQ and leads a pretty chill life outside of work:

“I’ve got a boat in the drystack here and when the weather’s good I go fishing or take the wife out to islands. I also play a bit of golf but I’m not that good at it to be honest!”

Luckily Morne is a lot better at building boats than he is at Golf. When he moved to New Zealand Rayglass hired him to work in the factory and he’s worked his way up steadily ever since:

“I wouldn’t be where I am today without Rayglass. They gave me an opportunity years ago, supported me and even helped with training and qualifications.”

Building Rayglass’ flagship

Morne is a perfectionist, making him the ideal guy to run the 3500 build programme:

“I’m a details guy. I enjoy the process and being methodical. Laying a plan of what we want to achieve and then getting it done to make sure we’re on schedule for production.”

“We’ve got the process down these days, so I’m pretty happy.”

Apart from planning and working out his team’s processes, Morne enjoys getting his hands dirty and creating something special:

“I like getting in there and working with my hands. The boat comes in and it’s just a bare frame and we cut holes, and add electronics and carpets and leather and mattresses.”

“Then at the end of the day you can stand back and look at something that looks really good. It gives you a lot of job satisfaction.”

The team behind the vessel

Despite Morne’s love of process and the finished product he adds that the best part of the job is the team he works with:

“Cory and myself have been building these 3500s for years now - he’s been with me since boat two. He’s very good at what he does and supports me in an awesome way.”

“Brendan’s originally from Australia. He’s come such a long way since he started with us and he’s such a big asset to the 3500 team. We couldn’t do it without these guys.”

The Rayglass 3500 is a large vessel with a lot of technology and luxury additions. Morne reckons this means his job is always interesting:

“These are big, luxurious vessels with some awesome additions. Some have big TVs, satellites and electronics. One we’re building soon has a gyro to automatically stabilise the vessel which will be really interesting.”

“I’m always excited to work with something new. Something to figure out - I enjoy the challenge.”

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