About Mandy Chapman
Myself and Neil set up Boatshed back in 1999, today it's grown from one office in Milford Haven to over 70 locations world-wide. Boatshed has become a leading player in the marine industry, leading with our machine learning and our technology.
Today we have sold over 20,000 boats, how proud of that figure am I.
It's been an interesting journey from starting our first office in Milford Haven, where we didn't sell any boats for the first 6 months, then the business took off and we sold 118 in the next 6 months, coming runner up in the Welsh Business Awards.
Today we have over 70 Boatshed locations using our Franchise, Partner and Modular business models creating a flexible model that suits everyone.
I'm responsible for the Boatshed brand from the branding on the website to how the brand can be worn or displayed.
I am very proud to have created with Neil the business you see today and we have a fantastic HQ Team of dedicated, loyal, enthusiastic, fun people to help grow, support and develop Boatshed.
Boatshed is ever changing and never static. Boatshed is a business that constantly flows and evolves, which makes it a fascinating business to work within as it never stays still and we are lucky to have a great team of Boatshed HQ people who all help this run smoothly.
My first boat - Audacity 21
I was introduced to sailing in 1985, onboard a brand new Beneteau 34 that we had to deliver from Toulon to the Greek Islands one April and loved it.
The first boat we bought was an Audacity, she was great, tiny boat with large rig and swing keel, 4 quarter berths and a really shallow bilge, so hardly any storage by the time you've 2 people, a cat and dog onboard! Click here to view a similar boat from our archives.
There's nothing like your first boat...
Second Boat - Rebel 41
Our next boat was our current boat a Rebel 41 ketch. This felt like a huge jump from 21-41 foot, 18 inches draft to 7 foot, 2 tons to 11 tons!
This boat is our second home, we try to do a large trip every year and it always feels the most relaxing place out and of course we developed the business to make it possible to work from anywhere!
Our boat is constantly in "ready mode" so we can slip her lines and head off, when the weather and tide are right. We've sailed UK, Scotland, France, Med, Ireland and the Baltic with my husband Neil and two dogs, the best sea dogs ever.
Sailing for me is a life style, escapism. It keeps you healthy and relatively fit, plus I love cooking onboard. It’s the best way to explore new continents and different cultures. Travelling by boat whether large or small is the best way to travel as your luxuries always with you and you can anchor in new locations.
My previous life was on dry land doing graphic design. My last job for 7 years before Boatshed was designing badges and fabric prints for Marks and Spencers. I loved working in these creative departments with short deadlines where only the best would do, which now comes in handy for running our own business -Boatshed.
Rolled 360 in Storm 10
We took a 10 month sabbatical from our jobs, myself designing for Marks and Spencers, Neil was working for his family hotel business. During month 2 of our sabbatical we managed to find ourselves in storm 10 in the Biscay and rolled 360, dismasting both masts. We saw a huge gas supply ship, and they relayed our Mayday to air sea rescue helicopter from Shannon and an RNLI Lifeboat from CourtMacsherry, they both arrived on the scene at the same time. Our engine and come out of its engine mounts, the universal joint uncoupled and a crate of wine from the bilge ended up on the cooker with nothing broken and the right way up!
Read the full story here... Rolled 360 in the Biscay
After this experience we decided to turn our passion into a lifestyle and have never looked back.
Life’s’ experiences certainly do teach you how to stick together when things get rough. Love life and live for my sailing.
Our current boat a 1976 Van de Stadt Rebel 41 anchored off Sark in the Channel Isles
My Favourite boat - S&S 57 Yawl
I'm a sucker for beautiful classic wooden boats, with my favourite being the S&S 57 Yawl, designed by Sparkman and Stephens in the late 1940's. Renown for their beautiful lines, large enough to make fast passages and small enough to sail short handed and with enough wood to keep you busy full time. Years ago I went onboard a black hulled S&S 57, love at first sight, the boat was from Nantucket and set up for short handed sailing, below decks shes classic, practical, with a classic skippers cabin and the most fantastic black granite basin area up forward by the main mast, which would weigh down most modern yachts of today!