When the global financial crisis hit and light plane sales halted, Arne Huysamen was quick to diversify his Bundaberg business Leisure Build into a one-stop fibreglass shop.
Leisure Build has thrived to become a leading fibreglass manufacturer in the region.
“We started about 14 years ago mainly doing the Jabiru aircraft,” Arne said.
“We assembled them, painted them and upholstered them so that when they left our doors they were ready to fly.
“We did that until the GFC became a problem all over Australia and declines in those sales lead us to diversification in general fibreglass.
“Our main areas are aircraft, boats and caravans but also trucks, jet skis and surfboards, so if you've got something with fibreglass, we can help you out.”
In the last two years, Arne said the business had become responsible for manufacturing Monsoon Aquatics coral tanks.
“We also do coral tanks for a company in Bundaberg, Monsoon Aquatics, and we’ve been dealing with them for over two years,” he said.
“To date we’ve probably made around 36 tanks and I believe this last order that we’re busy with now is being shipped off to Darwin.”
With decades of experience in the fibreglass industry, Arne has also manufactured a boat made completely of fibreglass.
The Leisure Boats Mudskipper is a 3.8 metre fishing boat with level flotation, which Arne said made it unique and extremely safe.
“I’m a keen fisherman and very family orientated so I wanted to build a practical, stable and safe fishing boat for all ages,” he said.
“The Mudskipper 3.8 has level flotation which means it is very safe and official testing was done by an approved surveyor from the Gold Coast.
“The boat was physically swamped full of water with its load rating of four people inside and the outboard motor, but it did not sink or topple over. It’s a great little boat.”
Arne said the business has sought to become Bundaberg's fibreglass specialist, complete with a specialised spray paint booth for all paint repairs.
“We’ve had everything and anything in here, a lady with a dog trailer, we’ve just refurbished a 1917 surfboard for someone for Father’s Day, and we’ve had hovercraft’s and beach buggies.”
“We’re trying to get to the point where we are a one stop shop.”
Leisure Build is located in the Airport Club carpark on 15 Squadron Drive.