About Us

Workshop location

In the Gulf Harbour Marine Centre, Gulf Harbour Marina, 15 nautical miles north of Auckland, New Zealand. Latitude 36° 47.41 South, 174° 47.23 East

About us

Left to right:
Mike Davies, Phil Ash, Rob Croft, Terry Gillespie

Gulf Harbour Rigging was established at the Gulf Harbour Marina in 1988. The business originated in Auckland in 1971 as Terry Gillespie Ltd, founded by Terry Gillespie; a name synonymous with yacht rigging in New Zealand. The ownership then changed hands in September 2010 when Phil Ash purchased the assets of the company and took over the lease on the premises. Another 11 years on in 2021, Rob Croft decided he was ready to step up from being an employee, and took over the ownership and lease of the premises.


Owner Rob Croft is a Yacht Rigger who can also provide the experience gained from many years of sailing.  He has cruised in the Pacific and Indonesian waters, and raced his Farr 38 ‘Coppelia’ to success in local and offshore events.  He also cruises his boat around the Hauraki Gulf, and competes regularly on a number of different local yachts.  He has raced internationally in one design class World Championships, and raced and delivered Superyachts, including racing the Transatlantic and Sydney / Hobart races.  Rob has completed an extensive refurbishment of his own yacht, and is familiar with all aspects of yacht maintenance.  His ‘big boat’ experience has given him an appreciation for the extreme loadings that ropes sometimes encounter, and he takes pride in his ability to splice lines that “stay spliced”!

Phil Ash originally ran the rigging workshop at Gulf Harbour from 1996 until buying the business in 2010.  Phil has been sailing most of his life, starting out in a P Class dinghy in Wellington harbour in the 1960’s.  He moved on to keelboat sailing, as well as continuing to race numerous dinghy classes.  Phil worked as a sailmaker and loft manager for Hood New Zealand in the 1970's, and was fortunate enough to get to sail with many of New Zealand’s best known keelboat sailors of the 70s and 80s. Phil spent over ten years on the US west coast involved in the marine industry working on new boat set up, rigging, and general maintenance of boats in between racing and delivering yachts around the Pacific.  He has a wealth of offshore experience in races such as the Transpac, Sydney / Hobart and Pacific Island races, as well as numerous California to Mexico races and deliveries.  This has given Phil an appreciation of the importance of a well maintained yacht and rigging.

Our office and accounts management is handled by Kerry Davies who has been involved in the New Zealand marine industry for most of her working life, and is currently Commodore of the Weiti Boating Club. Kerry and her husband Mike currently owns a Farr 1020, and was on the helm of their previously owned Alan Wright designed Marauder when they won the National Championship in both 2011 and 2012. 

For those customers who have known us for many years; we can say that original owner Terry Gillespie has now hung up his Bosun's Chair  after 40 years in the rigging business. Terry prefers to spend more time fishing and golfing nowadays, but is still only a phone call away when former customers and friends come by, or if we need to tap into his extensive internal 'database'!