February 1, 2024

Kym Fleet – man of knowledge and humour

Kym Fleet has been a valued member of the Maritimo team since January 2018, when he joined the family as Production Manager. “I was excited about getting involved with this company. They have a really good team of people, with an extensive knowledge base, from the factory floor all the way to the top. The boats we produce are really high-end, and delivering these vessels for our clients is something I enjoy.”

It was Phil Candler who was instrumental in securing Fleet as part of the Maritimo management team. “I had worked with him in the past, and I knew he would be perfect to support the continued growth of the company. He had the skills, talent, knowledge, ability, and history to run our production facility.”

Candler went onto say, “No matter what challenge I throw at him he comes back with opportunities for improvement and ideas of his own, in so many different areas. He also has a great ability to find contractors or support staff to buy into the journey and support Maritimo’s expansion.”

“While Kym is very process driven, he is also a joker and has a fantastic sense of humour. With the busyness of the work in a facility such as this, having him create a lighter touch is really important. There is not a day that goes by that we are not laughing at something,” said Candler.

Fleet has worked in many different areas of the marine industry throughout his career. “I’m a mechanic by trade – an automotive engineer. When I finished my apprenticeship, I sent myself to TAFE to do a post-trade outboard motor course. It was here that I meet Kevin Monarch, a teacher who suggested that rather than doing outboards I should be looking at big boats, and sent me to Mariner to introduce myself”, said Fleet.
“I started with Mariner as an engineer’s assistant in 1986 and by the time Bill Barry-Cotter bought the company in 1988, I was basically in charge of engineering in a supervisory role. When Bill moved the business up to the Gold Coast I moved with it.”

“For the next 10 years the industry went through some challenging times, and I ended up at Mustang Marine Cruisers to run the factory as the Production Manager.” Of course, Bill Barry-Cotter would later buy this company in 2010, and then incorporate it within Maritimo.

During Fleet’s time at Mustang he wanted a change in direction, “I wanted to get involved in selling boats rather than running the factory.” So with the support of Mustang he went to Runaway Bay as a sales consultant for Mustang in the mid 2000s. Fleet then went on to become the National Dealer Sales Manager for the Mustang Marine Group, looking after all the dealer networks through Australia, New Zealand and Asia, where his deep product knowledge was matched superbly with his sublime people skills.

So, after a few other roles in the marine industry, Fleet then began talking with Phil Candler about the expansion that was happening at Maritimo. Over the course of 12-months Fleet grew even more impressed with the company, and then joined in the beginning of 2018.

“At Maritimo I have been able to work with a great group of extremely knowledgeable people on a fantastic product. It makes a big difference if you enjoy who you are working with. “We’re concentrating very heavily on getting the right team around all of us, so that we can keep pushing onwards and upwards into the future. Fleet is very much of the view that, “If you surround yourself with good people, you have the best chance of winning.”
“When you get to a boat show or deliver a boat and you see a happy customer drive off it makes all the effort and toil worth it. That end result is priceless, every time I see it.”

When not at Maritimo, Fleet enjoys “Anything around the water; walking along the beach, sailing, fishing or swimming. The Southern Gold Coast, Coolangatta, the Tweed, Duranbah, and Kirra Beach are my favourite areas. I also enjoy weekends away with my wife and family in Northern New South Wales and Brisbane.”

“I’ve been rather fortunate. I’ve travelled a lot of the world because of work, and been virtually all over the Pacific, as well as Monaco, Tahiti, the Bahamas, and America. The journey and experiences I have had would not have happened if I had remained a motor mechanic. I’m very grateful for the for the opportunities I’ve been given, and I don’t take it lightly,” said Fleet.

To find out more about working for Maritimo simply click here


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