Mike Sabin is a sailmaker with a life time of experience to back him up.
Joe, Mike’s son works in the business as well and has had many adventures with his dad .He is also a Queensland sailing team Nacra 15 coach and competes in F18 F16 and big boats offshore
Mike grew up in Perth where he spent his early years sailing, surfing and windsurfing. He inherited his love of sailing and boatbuilding from his father and sailed competitively in several dinghy classes with the Royal Perth Yacht Cub.
After school he completed his sailmaking apprenticeship at Tasker’s Sail loft then honed his skills with several other Perth based sailmakers, before opening his own loft. During this time he continued to sail his own boats, regularly competing in offshore events and also discovered a new passion, hang gliding. Mike has logged over 4,000 hours flying. He also designed and built hang gliders at his loft.
Eventually however the urge to go sailing became too strong and Mike set off on his own 30ft yacht. Over the next few years he circumnavigated Australia, earning his living doing yacht deliveries and various other jobs.
It was in Darwin in the early 90’s whilst working for Coastwatch that Mike decided he wanted to design and build a new boat. So Sly Fox was born, she is a 42ft, light displacement, water ballasted yacht with twin rudders and retractable fin with a bulb. She was designed and built entirely by Mike over 4 years and launched in 1996.
Wonderlust took over again and Mike set sail from Darwin with his wife Julia and baby son Joe on their world cruise. Over the next 7 years they circumnavigated the globe, stopping for 18 months in England where their daughter Jessica was born.
In England Mike worked as a Project Manager for Southampton Yacht Services overseeing the build or refit of many vessels from large Oyster Yachts to luxury motor yachts.
Mike was then offered a position as production manager, building Oyster Yachts in Auckland, so the family sailed to New Zealand where they spent 5 happy years. But Australia was beckoning them home so they returned to the Gold Coast where Mike took up a position as Production Manager with Lightwave Yachts.
Throughout the cruising years Mike carried his industrial sewing machine on board Sly Fox and was kept busy repairing sails and making covers for other cruisers.
Now Mike has come full circle with the decision to return to his first love – sailmaking.
The family are happily settled on the Gold Coast where sailing is still a major part of their lives. All of them sail and compete in local club races, Mike and Julia on their Tornado or on Sly Fox and Joe and Jessica on a range of different dinghys and catamarans.