Life Member | Craig Evans

During the 2020 Annual General Meeting, Cruising Yacht Club of SA Members recognised Craig Evans’ contribution the Club when he was elected to become a Life Member.

Joined CYCSA in 1986
Board Member 2002 – 2005
CEO/General Manager 2005 – 2018

Joined the Board in 2002 and as a Director was tasked with:

  • increasing the number of marina berths,
  • providing larger marina berths to cater for bigger boats,
  • expanding the Club into the ‘western basin’ (now Marina West) and
  • generating income to assist with the replacement of the Club’s original marina, Marina East.

Craig steered the Marina West project through design layout and engineering, lengthy legal challenge from neighbours, court proceedings and negotiations with government and industry association bodies before approval was finally given. Approval of Marina West increased the value of the Western Basin from $100k to $4.5M. Marina West (marina and civil works) cost c$7.5M with an estimated income on the sale of berth licences of c$15M. Craig was integral in the design, project management and delivery of Marina West which opened in 2009. Within this 7 year period from 2002 to 2009 Craig moved from a Board Member of the Club to General Manager.

While on the Board, Craig tidied up a number of issues with the Club’s membership structure, particularly with Racing Membership and he introduced Associate Membership and the current Family Membership structure.

Marina West wave climate became an issue following the completion of the project. This was improved with the design and approval of a breakwater extension. Again, approval was challenged by the neighbours, government departments and council, and again the Club ended up in the courts before approval was given. What started out as resistance from the government finally led to support and through persistence Craig had the breakwater project recommended by the SA Boating Facility Advisory Committee to the Minister of Transport to fund 50% of the project cost and it was looking good until a change in Ministers. The 50% contribution that Craig worked so hard for was finally realised in the lead up to the 2018 State Elections and the 50% funding ($1.15M) was added to the sale price of the North Haven Boat Ramp in early 2018. After a 17 year Marina West exercise the breakwater funding (which now forms part of the CYCSA Sinking Fund) was a good note for Craig to go out on, coinciding with his resignation as CEO of the CYCSA.

The Marina West opening coincided with the Global Financial Crisis. The project construction costs were covered by pre-sales, but sales of the remaining berths and the income that was to flow for the replacement of Marina East slowed. The replacement of Marina East, without going into significant debt, was not possible. Following investigations and the development of various techniques Craig came up with a proposal to extend the life of Marina East by replacing around a third of the existing pontoons with new and refurbishing the balance. The Marina East Replacement and Refurbishment Project is currently nearing the end of its 6 year time frame. At a fraction of the cost of total replacement the life of the marina will be extended for many years to come.

In 2015 Craig presented a floor plan to the Board for consideration. The plan was to improve the Clubhouse functionality to provide members with an improved bar and the creation of a bistro area that would always be available to members who in the past had often felt pushed out of their Club due to external functions (e.g., weddings). The plan opened up the space between the Clubs bar and outside patio area. Working with architects and the builder Craig project managed the very successful development of Admirals Bar & Bistro from concept to completion and is very proud of the result, and for also bringing it in on budget.

Around a decade ago saw increasing costs to berth licence holders with the Council using a section of the Local Government Act to impose council rates on Marina and Hardstand Berths. What started out initially as a small charge escalated to the point where berth holders were to pay the same rates as a house. The significant increase to council rates was to be incrementally imposed over a 7 year period. Craig led a team to fight the increased fees and enlisted the help of the Boating Industry Association, our local MP Susan Close and Independent John Darley MLC. This fight took many years, in which time some hardstand berths were handed back to the Club and the additional fees were also starting to impact marina berth licence holders. Craig was provided an opportunity to present the Club’s case at Parliament House and the matter was tabled for consideration in the Upper and Lower House with the aim to change the Local Government Act. Success was achieved in the Upper House at 2am on 28 November 2013 and 14 hours later in the Lower House. Success was not only felt by CYCSA members but all marina berth holders in SA. The win resulted in combined savings of around $400k per year to CYCSA Members.

Additional Information: –
While CEO of CYCSA

  • Board Member of the Boating Industry Association (BIA) both in SA and National Board
  • Chairman of the BIASA Marina and Environment Group
  • Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors
  • Awarded National Scholarship for Intermediate Marina Management Course
  • Awarded International Scholarship for Advanced Marina Management Course
  • Graduated as a Certified Marina Manager (#313 Internationally)
  • Awarded Club Manager of the Year 2015 by Clubs SA

As a member of the CYCSA: –

  • Racing Executive 8 years, including role as Deputy Chairman
  • CYCSA Protest Panel 16 years, including role as Chairman
  • YSA Racing Rules Committee
  • Yachting Australia Keelboat Committee

Sailing Achievements

  • 9 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Races, including a 1st place, 2nd place and 3rd place Overall and a 3rd place Line Honours
  • Winner of the Bill Owens Memorial Trophy awarded to the winning navigator of the 2000 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race
  • Winner of the 1999 Southern Cross Cup as a member of the Australian Team aboard CYCSA boat Ausmaid
  • Awarded CYCSA Crew Member of the Year 2001 – 2002