1980 was a very significant year for British Virgin Islands (BVI) – based Mike Masters. It was the year that the yacht trade boomed; and it was the year that Nautool Machine Ltd. was incorporated. Of course, the two are inextricably linked.
In 1979, having just read in Fodors that a sleepy little archipelago called the British Virgin Islands was a sailing Mecca, a young Mike Masters packed all he owned into one suitcase, bought himself a ticket and set off. He thought the BVI would be a perfect place to set up a sailing school, and he envisioned a little ‘put-up’ outfit operating off one of Tortola’s pristine beaches.
A few drinks in the Village Cay Marina Bar where he met one Alby Stuart of Tortola Yacht Services wiped out all ideas of his little beach-hut sailing school for good. Alby had discovered that Mike had a background in technical design and metalworking, and was convinced that these skills were going to be very much needed in Tortola’s new yachting industry. He helped Mike find a workshop near his boatyard and helped him acquire some tools for his trade. It’s 35 years on and Mike has never looked back!