About the Company
Chris Mitchell - founder of Access Sailing
Access Sailing Systems aim to combine simplicity in design with value for money. We strive to achieve efficient manufacturing procedures and minimal waste, an enriching and positive work place for our team and minimizing any negative impacts on the environment.
Over 1500 Access sailcraft are on the water in nineteen countries throughout the world. Currently Access Dinghies are used for introducing an estimated quarter of a million people to sailing each year.
Access Sailing occupies 10,500 sq. ft of factory and office space in the South-Eastern Melbourne suburb of Dandenong, Victoria, Australia.
During 2006 and 2007, production of the Access 2.3, 303 and Liberty was moved to Xtreme Sailing Products manufacturing operation in Palau Batam, Indonesia. XSP are building the SKUD 18 for Access Sailing.
The Dandenong operation now focuses on small parts manufacture, specialised seating and servo equipment and accessories.
Access Sailing Systems principal and designer is Chris Mitchell.
In his youth, his backyard gate opened onto the wide open expanse of Melbourne's Port Phillip Bay, and here began a career in innovative marine design, fitting all sorts of vessels with sails to save rowing out over the horizon to where the bigger fish were biting. From rafts, canoes, to rowing dinghies, with his mother's broom handles for masts, bed sheets for sails, it was an apprenticeship in innovation, and by twelve years old, a 2.4 meter catamaran had been designed and built, and then followed a series of off the beach sailing dinghies.
At the first opportunity he built a 25ft cruising yacht and sailed off to South East Asia where he remained on and off for 20 years. That time was spent measuring, photographing and drawing Indonesian sailing/trading craft, then designing, building and modifying yachts in Singapore and Malaysia.
During his time in SE Asia, Chris designed the forerunner of the current Access 2.3 and since his return to Australia in 1992, the company has been formed, the factory established, staff employed and trained, manufacturing processes developed and the Access Dinghy Foundation established.
Chris Mitchell is supported in Australia by David Staley (Projects Manager), Tom Jacka (Production) and administration personnel. Then there is XSP in Batam and Singapore and a large number of suppliers who are very supportive of what Access Sailing is achieving.