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Grow your own business

Boat towing a man on a wake board in air

MAST’s mission is to work with learners and employers to ensure people are trained with the necessary skills and knowledge to build successful lives and businesses. Mat Bailey is a past MAST apprentice living his dream! Mat learned his trade under the guidance of Gerry Gerrand at Buccaneer Boats and also Martin Yachts in Auckland before starting his own company Matcraft. Matt is one of five apprentices who graduated from Buccaneer Boats who have gone on to build their own successful businesses.

Man with arms folded

Mat's first ski boat, Skope was launched in 2009 but was renamed Saronic, who’s name has stuck ever since. The first model release, the Skope 600V, was showcased to the public at the October 2019 Waikato Boat, Fishing & Leisure Show.

Fast forward to now… and Mat has now built 60 ski boats, with the 5th generation design in progress. Wakeboard now endorses his brand, a testament to the quality of these builds. Mat's longtime friend and factory manager Brent shares his passion for building boats as well as wakeboarding. Despite facing challenges such as the global financial crisis and the loss of his wife to cancer in 2020, Mat has persevered and employs eight staff members in his new workshop near the Hamilton airport.

Man in boat on water

Mat and his team are versatile – they have also built the famous fiberglass cows dotted around the Waikato and various sculptures at the Hamilton Gardens.

Mat is a strong supporter of MAST Academy apprenticeship training. He feels he is now finally where he wanted to be when he was a young apprentice. His new factory is equipped with a dedicated spray booth, chopper gun bay and CNC machine. Mat’s two young children also enjoy water sports – so his business is becoming a family affair!

Why not help shape a future life? If you’re in the industry and are interested in taking on an apprentice - or if you have staff that would like an apprenticeship - contact and one of our training advisers will call you to discuss the options available to you.


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