About Us

Our History

Mark Bowdidge, MRINA
An Honors (cum laude) Graduate of The Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology, I began my career in boat building 35 years ago where we had our own boat building company... "Oceansky Boatworks" Here we would constructed or repair both recreational and commercial vessels up to 60 ft, . It was during this time that both Debbie and I decided to build our family’s 42-foot catamaran and with our two daughters, we then cruised for eleven years, logging over 40,000 nautical miles in Australian waters, overseas through Asia and beyond. Years later and based on these real-life cruising experiences, it was while I was studying at Westlawn and in my 2nd year, I designed the Oceansky 52 sailing catamaran as one of my exams.

At the time their was a Worldwide Design competition on sponsored by  "Cruising World magazine and at the last moment, I decided to submit my Oceansky Multihull design of which in the end it was voted "Best Multihull Design" and the only multihull to make it into the top 10 designs. Lets say I was pretty chuffed to say the least.

Whilst studying at Westlawn, I was awarded the Owens Scholarship Award , based on academic achievement, creative ability and design presentation excellence. Also whilst working at Tom Fexas Yacht Designs, I finally graduated from Westlawn (after 4 years of study) to be given the highest grade ever awarded by Westlawn in its 80 year history for my final design thesis.

When I graduated from Westlawn, at the time I was working for Tom Fexas Yacht Design (USA), where we specialized in the design of luxurious motor yachts for Mikelson Yachts, Kadey Krogen, Morgan Yachts, Cheoy Lee and more for the US, European and Asian markets.

Unfortunately Tom Died and with the GFC in full swing and the boating economy collapsing, TFYD's closed its doors forever.

I was then offered the opportunity to work as a Naval Architect at Aluminum Boat Australia (ABA), where vessels were built from 24 to 38 meters (78 – 124 feet).

Working in the corporate commercial game is certainly interesting because just outside the office you can all the large passenger boats/ Patrol boats/ cargo bots and more under construction. (Yes it was a HUGE FACILITY and where up to 10 boats from 12 to 36m (40 to 120ft) was being constructed ore repaired at any one time)

Anyway after a stint of working there, HMAS Bundaberg (which was a Aust. Navy Patrol Boat) caught fire causing ABA to go into liquidation.

After leaving ABA, within two weeks Dave Gerr from Westlawn (USA) rang me up and asked if I was interested  in teaching Naval Architecture at Westlawn (where it all began years earlier), of which I gladly took up.

Later Dave Gerr decided to retired from Westlawn to take up a post at another university teaching Naval Architecture and I was offered Dave Gerr's position as "Professor", head of the department, teaching Naval Architecture for vessels up 200 ft. With over 300 students worldwide, it was an honor to be offered this position, where I remained with for 6 years, teaching students from around the world only to retire at the end of 2019.

During all this time and as a small sideline business, we decided to start our own small design office.. "Bowdidge Marine Designs",  specializing in sportfishing and family cruising boats.
With over 5000 customers worldwide, its really nice see our designs out on the water and our builders having a blast.

Holding a commercial master's license, Mr. Bowdidge is also a CORPORATE MEMBER of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects (MRINA).

After being so long in the Corporate and Academia world, it was time to sell the house, get out of the "big smoke" and move to where...


and simply enjoy life.

Debbie and I both have a passion for fishing, Lure making, Offroad 4WDing and camping off the beaten track...
with our swags to sleep in or our Hennessy Hammocks strung between the trees,
a nice camp fire...
cuappa of coffee in the hand and just looking at the stars...
ready for a bit of fishin' and exploring tomorrow.

Life doesn't get better than that

Anyway, I hope this helps out with understanding what we're all about and the history behind us


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Bowdidge Marine Designs
Far North Queensland
Australia. Qld
email: enquiries@bowdidgemarinedesigns.com


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