The Schionning Story

The success of our designs I feel, stems from the practical commonsense approach of a boat builder, coupled with many years of live aboard experience and 50 - 60,000 sea miles in some of the worst conditions in the world. This experience makes you aware of the power of the sea and the need for a boat to be able to survive these conditions, protect her crew physically and psychologically as well as being a fast comfortable vehicle for all the good times.

I was born in South Africa in 1946. My father had an engineering background and had a very competitive spirit. He raced motorcycles and power boats and later designed and built racing dinghies which we both sailed competitively. So I grew up in a boat building environment from an early age and enjoyed working with boat design and building with my dad.

From school I trained as a land surveyor and enjoyed the combination of outdoor work, complex mathematics and high accuracy levels, whilst continuing to design, build and race yachts in my spare time. I was drawn back to serious boat building and started a yard (Lucky Bean Boat Yard - Knysna, S.Africa) specialising in cold molded and composite yachts, building a number of boats between 20' - 45' feet. Having built some smaller cats and finding the concept very exciting I bought and rebuilt an old 34' trimaran, adding new styling and engineering. I lived aboard her and sailed many thousands of miles up and down the South African coast and the Cape of Good Hope.

Looking to continue this interest and seeking a more peaceful ocean and country, I immigrated to Australia in 1986 with my two sons Craig and Brett. Here I met Lorraine who has personally sailed and cruised extensively and also has years of live aboard experience. She handles the business administrative and marketing side of things.

In 1987 we started building multihulls in Australia, initially other Aussie designs and I designed my first Multihull (a 24’ Trimaran). Both my sons completed boatbuilding apprenticeships with me during this time. The launch of our successful little trimaran was also the launch of a serious ‘passion’, this led to the development of the ranges of boats you are now looking at.

Schionning Marine has steadily grown since the late ‘80’s to become a recognized name in the Multihull Industry, we now employ a team of professionals to service our in house design studio and also a comprehensive marine supply business as well.

I am sure you will find our designs reflect our sailing, building and live-aboard experience and will give you the offshore confidence to sail safely anywhere in the world.

Multihulls are beautiful, safe, cruising boats. I hope you find them as exciting as we do.


Jeff Schionning.

Lorraine Schionning

My role in the company is a 'mixed bag' and I love it. I handle administrative work such as contracts, registrations and IP protection, this along with public relations, event organisation and some Sales and Marketing. What I enjoy most is contact with our builders, hearing how people are progressing, news of exciting 'launchings' and general news around the yards and 'back' yards.

Ben Schionning

I have been working with the business for a long time taking care of the website, however when I completed my Higher School Certificate I joined the company in a full-time capacity. I now handle email and phone enquiries, the website as well as advertising and editorials for publication. I crewed on the Sea Shanty 1600 in 2009 for the full delivery from South Africa to New Zealand and found this to be an enlightening experience. I hope to see Schionning Designs into the future and beyond.

Kerrie Hall

I have been managing the financial side of Schionning Designs for 10 years. If you buy one of our kits or make a large purchase from us, you will have contact with me, when I invoice you. I also look after paying our accounts & our wages.

Michael Van Schalkwyk

I joined the Schionning Marine team in 2007 and am based in South Africa assisting in 3D CAD modeling, and the creation of plans and renders for advertising, visual demonstration and display. I studied and trained in the field of electrical engineering and worked as a technician in the commercial 2-way radio business for 9 years. I've always been involved in computer programming and design in some way and have also been a keen Photoshop user for about 10 years, having done web design and graphic design at various stages. In 2008 my wife (Leze) and I built a VT330 at our home and gained valuable insight into the build process and design application.