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Cruiseliner Buckle

Apprentice Brandon Baynham completes certification

Makefast Ltd are very proud to announce that apprentice Brandon Baynham has just completed his Engineering Manufacturing in Mechanical Engineering certification.

Brandon has been working for Makefast for over two years and is a very important part of the team.

Brandon received his certificate from Neil Morrison of Myrick Training, with Director of Operations Mike Mills in attendance.

Apprentice Brandon Baynham completes certification - picture

Makefast’s new products showcase

The Makefast Group has an exciting few months coming up as were exhibiting at a number of marine and safety trade shows over the autumn. At the Cannes Boat Show (Stand Pan324) on 10-15th Sept, IBEX show in Florida (Booth #1-815) on 1st-3rd Oct, and METS Show at Amsterdam RAI (Stand 3.514) on the 19th-21st Nov; we will be displaying, among many products, our new bathing platform and lifeline systems.

Hydraulically powered bathing platform

Hydraulically powered bathing platform

Based around our industry leading Bimini Hydraulic Unit (BHU) system, Makefast Ltd is pleased to announce our new revolutionary hydraulically powered bathing platform system. This features a high quality compact hydraulic actuator and pump, housed discretely within the structure of the boat. It is ideal for both aft bathing platforms and for smaller side swim doors.

Demountable lifeline system

Demountable lifeline system

As a compliment to our hydraulically powered bathing platform system, the Makefast Group has developed an easily installed demountable lifeline system that fits to the outer decks or platforms. This utilises Makefast’s high-quality marine hardware in a clean, compact design that ensures the boaters keep safe and dry!

Makefast Schools Racing Team is streets ahead!

Makefast Ltd has had the pleasure of sponsoring the engineers of the future!

Pupils at Llanidloes Primary School won the regionals fastest car, 1st out of 32 in the North Wales Finals the team name was Team Splatter and we used the money given in sponsorship to help with the purchase of a 3D Printer. The Pupils had to design and make a 3D carboard model of a car to race in the finals. The car passed scrutineering successfully in Parc Ferme and raced against the other cars. They then had to produce a presentation, pit display board and a portfolio of work explaining the reasons behind their design. Next year they would like to use the printer to raise money for the challenge and to fabricate parts for the car.

Makefast Schools Racing Team is streets ahead! - picture

The History of Makefast - the early years...

The History of Makefast - the early years...

Makefast Ltd was founded in 1974 by Bill and Brenda Brown and David Bray. The only equipment they had was a second hand lathe, a fly press and a TIG welding set. Initially, the plan was to make and supply stainless steel strip shackles to the world, and the nautical term Makefast seemed appropriate. Unfortunately the world didnt value Makefasts offerings and continued to buy cheaper ones from Spain!

However, despite this initial set back, they had gathered the expertise in knowing how to do was manufacture items in stainless steel. Bill Brown was also able to design new products and tooling, and Makefast therefore began producing rings, D-rings and small boat fittings. During this period, Makefast were based in Swanwick near the Hamble River in Hampshire, so they also made special fittings for local yachtsmen. At that time, canopy fittings were mostly made from gun metal, and so Bill designed items in stainless steel and nylon to improve the quality. This eventually became a very popular and comprehensive range which sold not only in the UK, but across Europe as well.

During the next few years they worked very closely with Crewsaver Ltd. based in Gosport, designing buckles to their requirements, which brought Makefast into supplying the whole safety industry in time. In 1979 came the terrible Fastnet Race tragedy after which all the safety standards changed, but Makefast was able to implement this for their products and grow their customer base. So from making sliding bar buckles for Crewsaver they now produce safety buckles for many industries.

In 1982 David Bray decided he wanted a change and his share of the company was taken over by David Cozens. He and Bill and Brenda have worked together ever since. Makefast continued to expand slowly and in 1989 moved their operation to a brand new factory in Newtown, Mid Wales which has proved to be a very successful move in one of the most beautiful parts of the country. Despite the rapid growth and investment over the years, Makefast have kept the fly press for old time’s sake!

Makefast’s Unite Components dazzles at the 2019 Bike Place Show

In 2018, Makefast Group invested in Unite Components, producer of an exciting range of parts for mountain bikes. In 2019, things continue to excite at Unite!

Based in Mid Wales, Unite Components specialises in designing and manufacturing high-quality components for mountain bikes. Unite has already seen success with a range of chain rings and chain guides, but at The 2019 Bike Place Show they displayed their latest range of exciting (and colourful) new products that are coming to the bike market very soon!

Makefasts Unite Components dazzles at the 2019 Bike Place Show - picture

Makefast CMD Apprentice Success!

Makefast has always prided itself in its long history of mentoring apprentices, and have had many success stories of young people embarking upon a career in manufacturing and engineering.

Following in the footsteps of apprentices Jen and Chris in our last issue, CMD’s own rising star Josh Bartlett has been successful in completing his HND qualification at Shrewsbury College, and has had further success at the GRAD EX Exhibition with the 2nd Place Award for a robotic arm he designed complete with a custom control system and 3D printed elements. Congratulations!!

Makefast CMD Apprentice Success! - picture

Makefast unveils new service portal

Makefast Ltd are very pleased and excited to announce the launch of our new 'Makefast Service' addition to

This website offers full technical online support for our customers and end users alike. It includes a contact form, technical documents and service videos for all our systems. On receipt of a service request our warranty department will issue the user a login code which gives full access to the technical documents and videos, plus the facility to upload photos and videos.

This is the first part of a major enhancement to the aftersales service Makefast is offering its customer base, being followed by a range of Extended three year warranties for its Sunroof and Sun awning products. Plus Aftercare kits for boat builders, dealers and boat owners to purchase containing the necessary spare parts.

Makefast unveils new service portal - picture

Custom Marine Developments Beat Targets!

Custom Marine Developments Beat Targets!

In its first year of trading, Makefasts specialist subsidiary - Custom Marine Developments (CMD) has nearly doubled its target. CMD have already invoiced 150k since April this year, with an order book of over 500k and further enquiries over 1m. The future is looking exciting!

Here is an example of the work CMD are producing - a fully customised multifunctional roof system delivered to Cockwells for a convertible tender. Functions include sealed closed, open forward or open aft. CMD also supplied 6 powered windows and two doors all on one 8 metre limo.

Manufacturing Engineering Apprentices Qualification Success!

Makefast Ltd has a long history of supporting young people in getting a start in manufacturing. Chief among these initiatives is our Apprentice Scheme.

An array of apprenticeships, focusing on toolroom machining, mechanical assembly, welding and fabrication have been available, with all apprentices also becoming involved in product design and planning in order to get a full understanding of how the business works.

Congratulations to Chris Williams and Jennifer Owen, who have both been successful in their HND and HNC qualifications over the last 18 months at Shrewsbury College. Chris is now an integral part of our Planning Team with prime responsibility for our growing sun awning order book, and Jennifer has recently been promoted to Assembly Cell Leader.

Manufacturing Engineering Apprentices Qualification Success! - picture

Makefast purchases new Doosan horizontal multi-turret CNC lathe

Makefast purchases new Doosan horizontal multi-turret CNC lathe

As part of the Makefast Groups drive for ever improving quality and capacity, our Precision Engineer subsidiary have taken delivery of a brand new, cutting edge hi-tech horizontal mutli-turret CNC lathe by Doosan. This is in addition to the Star Lathe also based at Precision Engineer.

Features include twin spindles and turrets, precise and balanced turning and milling up to 65mm dia. It also enables driven tooling and a Renishaw probing tool for quality and increasing Makefast’s capacity.

Makefast acquires two new vehicles

Faster and more efficient service from Makefast continues with two new vehicles, both with the corporate branding of CMD, Precision Engineer and Makefast Ltd.

Local supplier Greenhous assisted in choosing the most energy efficient, reliable and cost effective options to transport Makefast service staff and products in style.

Makefast acquires two new vehicles - picture

Galeon win Innovation Design Award!

Makefast Ltd would like to congratulate our valued boat-builder customer from Poland, Galeon, on their winning of the 2018 Innovative On-board Design Solution award at the Marine Equipment Trade Show in Amsterdam.

This award, sponsored by Fusion, recognises boat builders that have developed a specific design feature that transforms their end-users' on-board experience. The most important criteria is looking for innovative ways in finding solutions to improve the customer experience and enjoyment of their product.

Galeon won this award for their 640 Fly and 650 Skydeck models, shortlisted for their execution of the opening front middle panel of the screen and wheelhouse apron, seamlessly integrating the interior with the sleek foredeck layout. Both of these models use the Makefast Ltd sliding door solution.

Galeon win Innovation Design Award! - picture 1

Galeon win Innovation Design Award! - picture 2

Galeon win Innovation Design Award! - picture 3

Warranty training provided by Makefast

In March Makefast Ltd was very pleased to welcome a group of our customers and their engineers to undertake sunroof and awning warranty training, enabling maintenance and servicing of the Makefast products.

Our expert technicians and sales engineers were able to provide comprehensive advice and hands-on experience so that the high quality of our products can be maintain and kept in shipshape condition even after a long life on the ocean waves.

@RowToRaise Solo Success!

@RowToRaise Solo Success!

At the end of last year Makefast sponsored Kelda Woods’ solo Trans-Atlantic rowing expedition. We are overjoyed to announce she has made it safely to the Dominican Republic!

Kelda, who is disabled, completed successfully her voyage from the Canary Islands in her boat the Storm Petrel. She was taking part in the Talisker Whisky Trans-Atlantic Solo Race along with a number of other brave folks. Kelda is raising money for several good causes, but primarily for, the charity she set up in 2010 that runs 5 day outdoor activity programmes aimed at rebuilding confidence and self esteem in young people facing life changing injury, illness or trauma.

You can still follow and share Row to Raise through social media, and you can still donate to her chosen charities:

@RowToRaise Solo Success! - picture 2

@RowToRaise Solo Success! - picture 3

Makefast gaining new opportunities in the growing USA market

Makefast recently conducted a US sales visit, visiting existing customers and potential customers in Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina and Florida.

Culminating at the Miami boat show where we were in attendance at the launch of a new boat brand Aviara and their cutting edge new boat the AV32, which proudly boasts a Makefast sun awning system.

This is the first model in a new line of exciting new boats to quote "This is the fusion of progressive design and effortless comfort, the balance of ultimate control and freedom of the water."

Makefast is very pleased to be a key part of this quality new brand.

Makefast gaining new opportunities in the growing USA market - picture 1

Makefast gaining new opportunities in the growing USA market - picture 2

Makefast customers at the successful Dusseldorf Boat Show

The Dusseldorf boat show was a great success this year. Many of the boat builders were displaying Makefast products on their boats, from awnings, sunroofs as well as hardware and fittings. The show took place over 8 days with over 250,000 visitors coming from all the corners of the globe. Makefast were visiting customers stands over two days getting feedback straight from the dealers which can then be passed onto our design team.

Our Sales Engineer visiting the show Chris Cooper said:

"One of the highlights for me was the new Princess hull with in-built speakers. This means when you are swimming or diving you will be able to hear music through the water! - a very good innovation."

Makefast customers at the successful Dusseldorf Boat Show - picture

New IT server to boost efficiencies

New IT server to boost efficiencies

In order for our design and manufacturing software to keep pace with Makefast’s rapid expansion over the last couple of years, we have upgraded our site-based server.

As part of Makefast’s commitment to on-going improvement in our business, we have invested in a powerful new server to support all our company’s (and by extension our customers’) needs. The new hardware will keep our Epicor manufacturing and accounts packages running at optimum efficiency, as well as supporting the needs of the design, purchasing, sales and marketing departments.

In conjunction with the new server hardware, we are also taking steps to integrate a new customer relationship management system and also a thorough overhaul of our websites to reflect the expansion of the Makefast Group and its various subsidiaries.

Italian Expansion

Italian Expansion

Makefast are excited to announce our continued expansion in Italy with a partnership between Makefast, Optima Marine and Amadini Service. At their new location in Viareggio, father and son team, Umberto and Sandro Amadini are in the process of manufacturing jigs to enable the final assembly and testing of Makefast systems. The site will also have capacity to hold spare parts and will be a centre for after sales service and will improve delivery and installation times for our Italian customers. Here we see the new van for the team!

New Product Showcase


Makefast Ltd has always been at the forefront of innovation and design, and we are excited about the range of new products we are launching for the marine and safety markets:

Lift and Slide

Lift and Slide

Makefast’s new ‘Lift & Slide’ sealing sunroof system: these raise and form a seal to ensure the highest levels of waterproofing and also maintaining cabin temperature control.

The systems are modular and adaptable to any sunroof size up to a maximum panel weight of 250kgs.

Uniquely, they are produced in AISI 316 stainless steel to provide the highest levels of finishing, corrosion resistance and durability.

Slimclick Buckle

Slimclick Buckle

To meet the exacting requirements of lifejacket industry, our new SlimClick simple click action buckle (parts 0427 / 0428) makes connecting and disconnecting easy, even in restricted gloves in harsh dangerous environments.

The slim profile ensures the buckle does not impede the wearer when in use. With lifejackets in mind, these have been accredited to 1240:7 specification.

These are also available with an adjuster for 45mm and 50mm webbing (parts 0427A / 0428A)

Jackstay Anchor

Jackstay Anchor

We are excited to introduce our new jackstay anchors (part 3541).

These are ideal for marine customers to secure lines and serve as support for awnings, ropes and sails.

This is available with a breaking load of 11kN and an adjuster for webbing.

New Carbon Fibre Poles

New Carbon Fibre Poles

Our new Carbon Fibre Pole System allows for quick assembly or removal, with an easy lock and twist mechanism.

The system is available in two diameters: 50mm (parts 5050 to 5070) or 75mm (parts 7550 to 7570) for larger awning requirements.

Lengths are 1.6 metres fixed or can be 1.5 to 2.2 metres telescopic versions. However custom lengths are available upon request.

It is available with or without the reefing mechanism; fits
flush into the decking leaving a clean finish; and the Easy lock and twist socket and base are made of polished 316
stainless steel.

Ongoing Expansion

Ongoing Expansion

28TH AUGUST 2018

As part of our on-going expansion, Makefast Ltd
have purchased a new factory in their home base
of Newtown to house both their new divisions of
Precision Engineer and Custom
Marine Developments.

In addition to allowing further expansion of these
specialist divisions, this new facility will also be the
location for a new display of Makefast’s products and
sunroof systems for visiting clients. Planning permission
was granted recently for additional officespace, meeting
rooms and further display areas.

Custom Marine Developments

Makefast’s ongoing expansion into new markets has necessitated a whole new special products division called Custom Marine Developments (CMD) to deal with one off developments and an increased presence in the superyacht market.

Custom Marine Image

CMD will allow a dedicated expert team - headed up by long serving Makefast employees Jack Miller (Sales and Commercial) and Stuart Bowen (Design and Technical) to focus upon developing larger scale customer projects than previously. CMD has its own specialist in-house engineers and designers who will cement Makefast’s place as the premier supplier to Superyacht Tender builders, as well as develop its special products.

CMD works closely with many leading superyacht design houses and management services, as well as boatyards to provide innovative engineered solutions to realise any client’s imagination.
Each solution is designed, engineered, manufactured and serviced to the highest levels.

CMD have a busy 12 months ahead, supplying products to 2018/19’s most talked about and prestigious Superyacht projects.

CMD will be exhibiting in the Super Yacht Pavilion at the METS show in Amsterdam in November 2018.
Custom Marine developments 2
Precision Engineer

Precision Engineer

In early 2018, the Makefast Group acquired Precision Engineer to specialise in a wide range of engineering services including precision engineering, automotive toolmaking, CNC and CAD/CAM machining, marine products and safety products.

Offering a highly competitive, cost effective service that can meet the high demands of the automotive and marine industries.

Precision Engineer traditionally specialized in small batch sizes, typically 5 to 10, while remaining competitive on larger thousand off batches. Parts can be produced within minutes to meet the most stringent deadlines. The team has over 30 years’ experience within the engineering field, and can offer you a personal and professional service, whatever your needs.

Today Precision Engineer can quickly provide multi/mass production turned items up to 32mm diameter having invested in the latest turning machine technology. The new sliding head machine will be the fastest lathe we have and will improve productivity.

Investments in Technology

Investments in Technology

Makefast Ltd has been investing in new technologies to further improve our efficiency and offerings to customers:

• The new sliding head machine will be the fastest lathe we have and will lead to productivity quality improvements and efficiencies on the canopy fitting range, end plugs, tube hinges, planate fasteners, tube joiners, as well as many of the sunroof and awning sub components.

• Our new bagging machine will allow us to bag small units into bags of a requested amount. It will also allow Makefast to print labels on the bags to the requirements of the customer. This can be anything as simple as the quantity of units in the bag to adding a company Logo or name. This bagging machine has also allowed us to develop a brand new range our ‘Essentials’ Range of marine accessories perfect for retail customers in the chandlery and boat owner market. These products are bagged in quantities and labelled to appeal to the end user; and offer chandlery stores a new sales opportunity with their core clientele.

• Makefast now also have installed in house drop testing, which speeds up development of new safety products.

• In the last 18 months we have transferred our entire manufacturing and accounting processes to run on the industry leading software of Epicor. This platform is used by other world class manufacturers to co-ordinate all the complex processes that go into running multiple factories making hundreds of hi-tech products.

• Our 3D printer is a very valuable resource for product development. It can produce working
prototypes for a range of products, especially useful for safety items such as new buckles and hooks that can be reviewed and shown to customers without the prior need to commit to expensive one-off tooling costs.

Makefast plans new apprenticeship opportunities

Makefast plans new apprenticeship opportunities

14 JULY 2016

A Mid Wales company has revealed it plans to take on new apprentices as part of a drive to support its growth.

Newtown-based Marine and safety hardware manufacturer Makefast is encouraging young people to consider a manufacturing apprenticeship when they leave school.

The award-winning firm will be offering training opportunities for teenagers at GCSE level to start an apprenticeship and, potentially, achieve graduate status.

An array of apprenticeships, focusing on toolroom machining, mechanical assembly, welding and fabrication will be available next year, with all apprentices also becoming involved in product design and planning in order to get a full understanding of how the business works.

Makefast's Operations Director, Mike Mills, said the company was giving young people the chance to express an interest and to apply for the positions.

He said: "We are committed to providing training opportunities for our staff that allows them to achieve their ultimate potential right through to graduate level.

"As we continue with our business growth we are looking for young apprentices to join our team and earn as they learn. Our aim is to enable hard-working and focused school leavers to pursue a career in manufacturing and work towards achieving qualifications at Makefast."

One of the company's recent success stories is student Misha Kurcharsky, who has achieved a B.Eng Hons degree in Manufacturing Technology at Stafford University. Misha studied on a day-release basis for six years while working and earning a living at supervisory level within Makefast.

"Misha is a fine example of how an individual can pursue the apprenticeship path after leaving school, and acquire both vocational and academic skills."

Successful applicants will work with the company to produce market-leading safety and marine products that are used in the UK and exported across the world.

If you're interested in discussing a future career at Makefast, please contact Mike Mills on 01686 629010.

Image: Graduate Misha Kurcharsky with new Makefast apprentice Rowan Rees.

New staff and apprentices join Makefast

08 JULY 2015

Makefast’s team continues to expand in light of increased sales with the recruitment of four additional members of staff.

Shaun Rees and Dariusz Prochniak join the team assembling canopies and sunroofs, whilst Chris Williams and Jennifer Owen begin their manufacturing careers as engineering apprentices.

Director of Operations Mike Mills is excited about the prospects the company can offer its new apprentices:

"Our apprentices are bright young people with the combination of good academic achievements and a genuine interest in engineering.

"I believe that Makefast can offer them a broad practical experience in our manufacturing facility and provide them with the opportunity to advance academically from NVQ level 2 all the way to a degree in mechanical engineering."

Makefast Sponsors School Design & Technology Award

Makefast Sponsors School Design & Technology Award

11 JULY 2014

Makefast is pleased to have recently sponsored the Outstanding Student of the Year award at Llanfyllin High School.

The competition involved Design and Technology projects undertaken by students at Welshpool, Llanfair and Llanfyllin High schools. The successful student was Chloe Sauer.

"I was very impressed with the overall standard of entries at the competition. It was apparent to me that we have a wealth of talented young people in Mid-Wales who are a testimony to the obvious high standard of teaching, training and facilities within the three schools involved. Consequently, it was very difficult to single out an overall Outstanding Student. However I was particularly impressed with Chloe Sauer's entry.

"Although Chloe's ultimate aim was to produce a multi-purpose piece of furniture; what stood out for me, was the journey she undertook to successfully achieve that end. She clearly had a profound understanding of the potential market, the costing involved and final selling price. I could understand how her product's design had evolved and most importantly she performed a final critical analysis of her product, making recommendations on how it could be improved and its method of manufacture.

"Chloe's approach was mature and professional, it was what I would expect to see from a commercial product designer. Chloe has an obvious talent for product design and manufacturing and I hope it's a career she would consider as a future option."

Picture: Chloe Sauer is presented with the Outstanding Student Award by Makefast's Director of Operations Mike Mills.

Wales Office Minister Stephen Crabb MP visits Makefast

15 MAY 2014

Wales Office Minister Stephen Crabb MP visited Makefast's manufacturing facility as part of a series of visits to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Newtown, Powys.

Mr Crabb met with executives from leading safety and marine manufacturer Makefast Ltd to highlight the package of measures announced in the Budget to support Welsh businesses to succeed in the global race. Mr. Crabb highlighted the importance of Manufacturing in the Welsh economy: "Small businesses are the bedrock of the Welsh economy and are helping to create jobs and boost growth across Wales" said Mr. Crabb.

Marine and safety hardware manufacturer Makefast Ltd secured its hat-trick of innovation accolades at the Powys Business Awards in 2013. The company exports to counties including the USA, Japan and Australia, and has experienced growth of 12-14% year-on-year.

Mike Mills, Director of Operations at Makefast Ltd, said: "I am very pleased to see that central government has finally recognised the importance of the Manufacturing industry as a means of creating jobs and generating wealth for the UK at large. I was therefore very happy to welcome the Minister and was pleased to discuss with him some of the specific issues we have here in Mid Wales".

Wales Office Minister Stephen Crabb MP visits Makefast - Image 1

Makefast executives Mike Mills (second from left) and founder & chairman Bill Brown (right) welcome MP for Montgomeryshire Glyn Davies (left) and Wales Office Minister Stephen Crabb MP (second from right).

Wales Office Minister Stephen Crabb MP visits Makefast - Image 2

Makefast Chairman Bill Brown, Stephen Crabb MP, Makefast Director of Operations Mike Mills and Glyn Daives MP discuss Makefast's latest product development, the Eaton Roof.

Wales Office Minister Stephen Crabb MP visits Makefast - Image 3

Makefast Chairman Bill Brown, Stephen Crabb MP, Makefast Director of Operations Mike Mills and Glyn Daives MP discuss Makefast's latest product development, the Eaton Roof.

Makefast takes part in pioneering engineering careers initiative

Makefast takes part in pioneering engineering careers initiative

14 JANUARY 2014

Makefast is participating in a major initiative in Mid Wales to get more young people to take up careers in engineering.

Semta, the employer-led organisation responsible for developing engineering skills for the future, has joined forces with the Welsh Government to target employers, parents, teachers and the young people themselves.

This programme is entitled I aM aN Engineer, which is designed to Inspire, Motivate, Nurture. Semta will be working with schools, colleges, employers, training bodies, universities and Careers Wales to provide facts, insight and practical advice about a career in engineering.

Mid Wales Manufacturing Group (MWMG) is working with manufacturers such as Makefast to deliver the project in Mid Wales to help address some of the skill shortages amongst manufacturing and engineering companies.

The first phase of the project saw local careers advisors and teachers from local schools attend factory visits at Makefast and nearby local company Control Techniques in Newtown to demonstrate the changing nature of manufacturing and engineering, and the high technology skills required in a modern manufacturing environment.

On January 29th, parents, guardians and young people are invited to attend these factories to see for themselves what a career in manufacturing and engineering can offer.

Makefast's operations director Mike Mills is enthusiastic about the initiative:

"At Makefast, we recognise that the successful future of Manufacturing is dependent upon attracting the brightest and the best people into our industry. We are therefore very happy to support SEMTA's initiative and demonstrate that a career in manufacturing is worthwhile, challenging and rewarding".

Further information can be found at the MWMG web site or contact MWMG on 01686 628778, e-mail

Picture: Teachers visiting Makefast's safety and marine product manufacturing facilities in Newtown, Powys.
Hat-Trick for Makefast at Powys Business Awards

Hat-Trick for Makefast at Powys Business Awards

01 OCTOBER 2013

Dynamic Newtown marine and safety hardware manufacturer Makefast Ltd continued its run of success in the Powys Business Awards by collecting the Innovation Award sponsored by Welsh Government - their fourth award in three years.

From its core products, Makefast has branched out further into the marine market in recent years, producing a range of awnings, sunroofs, and other yacht fittings and systems.

A culture of innovation has been developed throughout the business, which encourages creative thinking and thorough market research. This year alone has seen the launch of 15 new products.

A unique product, which was developed in response to an identified need, prototyped and launched within six months, is already contributing over £750,000 to turnover.

"In spite of the costs and risks for a manufacturing company of this size, Makefast demonstrates a willingness to invest in breaking new ground in their market through innovation," said the judges.

Operations director Mike Mills said: "We are just astounded to have won this award because the competition was so strong and impressive. To win an award for the third year running is a great achievement and a compliment to the whole staff at Makefast."

Watch the Powys Business Awards' brief video introduction about Makefast.

Picture: Deputy minister for skills and technology Ken Skates presents the Innovation Award to Makefast's operations director Mike Mills and production manager David Newnham.

Makefast Secures Accolade At Annual Welsh Business Awards Ceremony

Makefast Secures Accolade At Annual Welsh Business Awards Ceremony

01 OCTOBER 2012

Makefast Ltd, one the UK's leading manufacturers of marine sun protection systems, has repeated 2011's success by securing another accolade at a recent Welsh business awards ceremony.

Held at Theatre Hafren, Newtown the prestigious annual Powys Business Awards is organised by Mid Wales Manufacturing Group, Powys County Council and the Cambrian News media group. The awards, which recognise and celebrate business excellence at all levels, are open to any size of business from sole trader to multinational, trading for 12 months or more, employing locally-resident staff and with offices and/or manufacturing facilities in the county of Powys.

Against increased competition Makefast was announced as winner of the Manufacturing Award 2012. On behalf of the judges and quoting their summing up, Ceri Stephens, group manager at Mid Wales Manufacturing Group (MWMG), said: "Makefast has always impressed by the way it has achieved the commitment of its staff. Its investment in design, innovation and development has enabled it to leave the dark days of 2008 far behind. With a new director of operations the company could have lost direction but the ethos has been enhanced. It is a testimony to what can be achieved when everyone is kept informed and focused. This award is for everyone at Makefast."

Despite the difficult economic environment, the company has continued to grow and prosper within existing markets as well as expanding into new ones. Mike Mills, director of operations at Makefast Ltd, said: "Winning this award for the second year is a reflection of how Makefast has ridden the recession and continues to grow. We have a dedicated management team and fully committed workforce, who are prepared to innovate, embrace change and trade with confidence. The future is bright for the company, which is now doing lots of work in Italy and looking to develop the markets in Brazil and the United States. It's great that we have an international player based here in mid Wales."

Picture: (left to right) John Brunt, senior network manager, MWMG (sponsor of Manufacturing Award) Andrew Barker, deputy production manager, Makefast and Mike Mills, director of operations, Makefast.


24 OCTOBER 2011


Makefast Ltd, one the UK's leading manufacturers of marine safety components, manual and electric sliding roofs, and complementary products for luxury yachts, has come top in two categories at a prestigious Welsh business awards ceremony.

Held at Theatre Hafren, Newtown in September the Powys Business Awards, now in its third year is organised by Mid Wales Manufacturing Group, Powys County Council and the Cambrian News media group. The awards are open to any size of business from sole trader to multinational, trading for 12 months or more, employing locally-resident staff and with offices and/or manufacturing facilities in the county of Powys.

Against increased competition and double the number of entries to 2010, Makefast was announced as winners of the Manufacturing Award and Business of the Year 2011. On behalf of the judges and quoting their summing up, Ceri Stephens, group manager at Mid Wales Manufacturing Group, said: "Manufacturing has become one of the hardest hit business sectors in recent years. Yet here is a company that has met this challenge head-on having experienced its own close encounter with the recession.

"The judges were particularly impressed by the strategy employed by Makefast to meet the challenges of a very tough market situation. This included investing in new markets, new technology and new products, and most importantly in staff development. Today, the generosity of this investment, coupled with the endeavours of an outstanding management team and workforce, has rewarded the company in a difficult market with an important reversal of fortunes. As a result Makefast is now a profitable industry frontrunner; as well as being one of the UK's leading suppliers of components for the safety industry; highly regarded for its innovative manufacturing skills and deservedly enjoying a growing worldwide customer base."

Mike Mills, production engineering manager at Makefast Ltd, said: "Winning both of these awards has come at a good time for Makefast, and reflects the time and energy everyone from the business has put in to making sure we not only survived a difficult recession but have come out on top, innovating and trading with confidence. I am very proud of our achievements."
--- ends ---

About Makefast
Established in 1974, Makefast Ltd employs 30 people at the company's site in Newtown, mid Wales. It also designs and manufactures a range of yacht sprayhood fittings and sailmakers' hardware. The company recently added distributors in Italy and Taiwan to its network and is ISO 9001 accredited.



About The British Marine Federation

Makefast Ltd is now a member of the British Marine Federation, an award winning trade association in the leisure and marine industry.



Press information

For immediate release

25 March 2010

Makefast, a leading manufacturer of manual and electric sliding sun roofs for the luxury yacht industry has added a range of stainless steel awnings to its product portfolio.

Fabricated in marine grade 316 stainless steel, and dimensions up to seven metres wide, the awning, driven by a discrete electrically controlled gearbox, is deployed through hinged extension arms which enable it to comfortably extend up to 2.2 metres deep. The option of manual operation is also available. The unique design was launched at the recent Dusseldorf International Boat Show on board the new Princess V85-S.

The system, on opening, automatically tensions the Stamoid fabric; enhanced by the highly polished stainless steel; to provide an improved protection against the harsh environment as well as a luxurious high quality finish. The awning can retract into a self contained compact unit and thus may be installed as part of a new build or a retro fit.

Graham Williams, sales manager at Makefast Ltd, said: “Once again we have responded to customer demand with this new awning. Previously, shop awnings were used to fulfil the function, which whilst satisfactory in the short term, in the medium to long term often suffer from corrosion and reliability issues. To have the product endorsed by Princess Yachts International at such a prestigious show as Dusseldorf is a fitting launch for the enhanced aesthetics and quality of this new Makefast system.”


Press information

For immediate release

16 September 2009


One the UK’s leading manufacturers of marine safety components, manual and electric sliding roofs and complementary products for luxury yachts has responded to the demand for wide diameter tubing by launching two re designed products.



The Sleektrack Car and the Tube Crowner are available through distributors of Newtown (Wales) based Makefast Ltd and designed to accommodate the growing interest from yacht owners for canopies manufactured using stronger 1¼" and 1½" tubing. The universally fitting Sleektrack Car is cast from 316 stainless steel as opposed to formed metal. Its double locking system, low friction plastic runners and single lever enables the significantly easier clamping operation to carry greater loads than previous versions. In addition, there are no are no visible fasteners. The Tube Crowner’s new design extends the benefits of the previous version and includes new features such as a geared drive wheel for ease of use, interchangeable form sizes and is automatically supplied and fitted with 1" rollers.

Testing and feedback from customers has been very positive and Ian Clark, business development manager at Kayospruce Ltd one of Makefast’s key distributors in the UK, said: "Makefast has launched the new Tube Crowner at the right time. As boats and canopies get bigger so does the demand for fittings and tubing. Having seen the product in action, we are very impressed with its quality and design. With the potential in the market place for this product I can see it becoming a success and a feature in every cover maker’s workshop."

Graham Williams, sales manager at Makefast Ltd, said: "These products have been developed in response to customer demand and through the Makefast continuous improvement programme. Manufactured from stronger material and aesthetically better looking than previous versions, we are confident that they will meet if not exceed customer expectations."

Makefast will exhibiting at the following shows during 2009:

1 Genoa International Boat Show, Italy, 03 - 11 October

2 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, USA, 29 October - 03 November, stand 0338

3 A+A, 3-6 November, Messe, Dusseldorf, Germany, stand 6A73

4 METS (Marine Equipment Trade) Show, Amsterdam, 17-19 November, stand 03.508.



Press information

For immediate release

06 August 2009


A mid Wales company is launching a new product at the Southampton Boat Show 2009, which for the first time will enable fully automated operation of canopies and bimnis on luxury yachts and powerboats.

The hydraulically powered bimini system, the brainchild of Newtown based Makefast Ltd; one of the UK’s leading design, manufacture and distributors of marine safety components, manual and electric sliding roofs, and complementary products for the luxury yacht market; is launched in conjunction with Flexicovers Ltd, which offer a complete design, manufacturing and fitting service for hydraulic and manually operated bimini canopies.



Crafted from high quality stainless steel, the robust hydraulic motor and actuators are available in two sizes and contain a universal mounting system, allowing the unit to be installed easily on any boat, new or old. Designed to open over the flybridge or cockpit and exclusively styled to accommodate a maximum six metre width of canvas, the hydraulic bimini system can be seen on powerboats manufactured by world-renowned names such as Fairline, Princess and Sunseeker displayed at this year's show.

Highlighting some of its advantages and the partnership with Flexicovers Ltd, Graham Williams, sales manager at Makefast Ltd is excited by the product’s prospects. He said: "The system allows one person at the touch of a button, to erect or stow a bimini in 60 seconds, instead of two or three people taking 15 minutes using a standard manual operation. We have an excellent arrangement with David Gray and his team at Flexicovers and look forward to a successful ongoing relationship."

David Gray, managing director at Flexicovers Ltd, said: "We have received a very encouraging response from new boat builders approached so far. The simplicity of deployment is a major selling point and I’m sure that once owners visiting this year’s show experience the hydraulic bimini system we will start to see a number of enquiries for both new boat and our retro-fit service."

The Southampton Boat Show 2009 is from 11 to 20 September.


About Makefast

Established in 1974, Makefast Ltd employs 30 people at the company’s site in Newtown, mid Wales. It also designs and manufactures a range of yacht sprayhood fittings and sailmakers’ hardware. The company recently added distributors in Italy and Taiwan to its network and is ISO 9001 accredited.

For more information about Makefast Ltd, contact:

Graham Williams, sales manager

Tel: +44(0)1686 629010


About Flexicovers Ltd

As sole suppliers of biminis to Fairline, Princess and Sunseeker, Flexicovers Ltd is the UK’s leading cover manufacturer. In addition, it also holds a large library of CNC templates for retro-fit boat covers and biminis.

For more information about Flexicovers, contact:

David Gray, managing director

Tel: +44 (0)1202 721309


To order contact or call us on +44 (0)1686 629010

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