Judy and Mark both enjoyed fairly diverse backgrounds prior to working at Thunderbolt Marine in the Canvas & Upholstery Department since 2013/14. Judy hailed from Ohio – a far cry from ocean and the associated nautical demands of stitching and Mark worked for several local yacht builders before they met in 2002 when their stars aligned (as did their careers) and they joined a company known to many as Sea Stitch, but now part of Thunderbolt Marine. Having been married since 2010 and working for the same business, they are together 24/7 – not unlike many boat crew couples which can prove difficult for some, but not for these two who complement each other’s skills harmoniously both professionally and personally!
Mark processes and installs all the canvas covers (like Bimini tops and covers for example) that Judy, as the seamstress, makes with passion she nurtured 35 years ago. Having been involved in many big projects since joining the TMI team, they both enjoy the challenge that each task presents even when the deadline is tight.
Their granddaughter Makayla who is their proud and joy, is now 17 and a senior at Islands High School. She has been in their care and loved as their own child since she was 6 years old. When they have a quiet moment, they travel to their “retreat” in Helen, GA to get away from their Wilmington Island life with Makayla and their other two “kids” – Misty (a 10 year old Shih-tzu) and Skittles (a 6 year old Yorkie).
Mark particularly wanted to add that among their many combined achievements, he felt that wearing the TMI uniform was one of his personal greatest!!
For nearly 5 years, Sarah Mueller has been providing technical expertise and safety-focused solutions for cable and pipe transits to the shipyards and marine contractors in the Southeast US. As the electronic and mechanical systems on today’s yachts become more advanced, upgrades to these systems are frequent. In many cases, the components of these systems transition between watertight and fire boundaries and must be properly sealed to meet USCG and Class Society approvals. These are required to provide the owners of the vessels with reliable and safe transit systems.
Originally from Michigan and now living in Charleston, SC, Sarah frequently visits TMI to provide the marine engineers and installers with up-to-date product and approval information. She also works with the TMI team on special projects, engineered solutions, and teaching the proper procedures for installing the Roxtec System. With TMI’s expertise and reputation as the leading, world-class yacht repair facility on the eastern seaboard and Roxtec being the world leader in cable and pipe seals, Sarah has been able to help increase the abilities of TMI, keeping both companies on the forefront of the yacht repair industry.
At just 17 and just out of high school but with a passionate interest for building boats, Reid secured a 4 year apprenticeship in carbon/composites with the world renowned McConaghy Boats in Australia. After gaining experience on some high profile names like Alfa Romeo and Wild Oats XI, Reid backpacked around Europe working with racing teams before setting up his own business in Riviera Beach, Florida in 2011. Shortly after meeting his business partner Martin Ford, Fleming Marine Composites expanded and still in its relative infancy, now has 7 employees in Florida – and further, expanding into Georgia, where FMC hired 3 employees to manage the work an association he formed with Thunderbolt Marine, brings in. Reid and his partner Martin both divide their time between the two locations, working hands on along with their team on any size boat. Their interest to work with a well-known yard, the customer’s requirements and our own needs for FMC’s level of skill has proved successful for all parties involved. Most recently, they repaired a delaminated section measuring 10’ x 30’ in size on a 105’ Windship sailing vessel here at TMI.
Using only the latest technology in composites and tooling to ensure the highest quality end product in an efficient timeframe, FMC take pride in their professional commitment to their customers. The FMC team has diverse experience in repairs and modifications on both racing and luxury yachts, and some of the best sports fishing boats on the water today. They pride themselves in providing their customers with only the best materials and components, all the while aiming to remain in the forefront of composite component manufacturing.
IGOR MISKOVIC – Project Manager
Early in life, Igor carved out a path dedicated to the marine industry. In his youth, he was a semi-professional soccer player but went on to become an accomplished sailor, earning his Coastal Skipper Certification in the Adriatic Sea before going on to sail around Europe. Igor attended universities in Belgium, France and Italy where he specialized in Motor Yacht and Sailing Design, graduating with 2 Master’s degrees – one of which was in Naval Architecture.
His love of travel coupled with his ability to speak more than one language afforded him the opportunity to work in Italy for a luxury yacht manufacturer exposing him to the world of superyacht project management. This knowledge opened the door for a move to the USA where he received further certification in Project Management in New York City. In 2015, Igor joined the TMI team and brought with him a wealth of experience in new build project management and of equal importance, is his enthusiasm. His passion for success is a benefit for all of us.
Paula, who graduated from Lloyd Memorial High School in her hometown of Erlanger, KY first visited Savannah in 1994 at the tender age of 28, with her family. In 2002, she committed to a new life here with her husband Mike, their 4 children and their 7 grandchildren – initially working for Gulfstream, an internationally renowned private jet building facility as office administrator with payroll responsibilities. After meeting Mr. Tom Brooks (a colleague here at TMI), she developed an interest in accounting thanks to his guidance and his enthusiasm for the subject of numbers. As a result of his tutelage, Paula has been responsible for the Accounts Payable Dept., which includes preparing our paychecks and so understandably, she is loved and respected by all at TMI, but for all the RIGHT reasons!
In 2015, Paula ran the JCB Mud Race for charity. Such was her enthusiasm, that she managed to coax a number of other employees to join her in 2016 – all of whom have vowed to relive the experience and support the same charity again this year, in the summer of 2017. She is passionate about trains, steam in particular, taking her vacation riding one whenever time permits. She has 2 personal wishes in life, one is to ride the Orient Express from “wherever it starts, until wherever it ends” and the other is to become a published author as writing is an equally strong interest of hers. “The Diary of a Steam Train Traveller” comes to my mind…
Thunderbolt Marine is proud to announce that we will be adding a 3-axis CNC (computer numerical control) router to our inventory in mid-January. The industrial sized CNC router that is manufactured in Cartersville, right here in Georgia, has a 5’ x 10’ bed with an 8” vertical travel. Furthermore, the CNC router is equipped with a probe for digital scanning and copy routing.
With our new router, we expect to reduce time producing a vast variety of items such as panel cutting, molding making, jigs, plugs, molds and acrylic nesting making. However, this wonderful machine has many more possibilities that our innovative craftsmen and customers alike, are sure to explore.
This tool has long been on our wish list and we believe that combined with our existing skilled crafts, it will bring us up to date with today’s demands.
Ed has been working in the Machine/Mechanics Dept., for the last 8 years since he joined TMI. After 2 tours in Vietnam as a UHI helicopter pilot, Ed, a native of New Jersey, continued his army career as an Instructor at Hunter AAF. Upon leaving the army, he enrolled at Armstrong State to major in Economics. For summer work, he joined the Savannah Machine & Foundry Company shipyard because of his interest with “all things boating.” Working his way up the system through various departments and in a variety of jobs, he became a Ship Supervisor but has owned many titles in his 45 years within the industry. Married with 1 child and several pets, Ed owns both a sailboat and a center console which he will put to good use during his retirement in June 2017. We will be very sorry to see Ed go but envy his opportunity to enjoy all the things he most appreciates when he has time on his hands – like finishing a custom made model boat which hasn’t (apparently) seen daylight since the late 80’s! He enjoys every aspect of the ship repair business, evidenced by his work ethics and is no more partial to one particular task than another. On behalf of everyone here at TMI and his loyal customer base, we wish him well for the fun years ahead and we thank him for his services to our country.
Crystal Bill as he is known, says the boating industry in Thunderbolt believe it or not, makes up only about 5% of his business but it is without question, the most challenging and the most interesting. Starting the business from scratch in 1989 primarily as a window cleaning business, he diversified to include carpet cleaning from previous experience in the industry with the absolute knowledge he could improve upon the local services. Essentially a family run enterprise, Bill and his 5 employees are experts in their field and have received the Angie’s List Super Service Award for the past 5 consecutive years.
Bill and his team work exceptionally hard. They are trustworthy and dependable, and they are particularly experienced in the art of practicing yacht etiquette with all the little nuances each individual’s vessel requires. Skilled in every level of steam/dry cleaning, Bill will do everything he can to ensure your satisfaction as he takes pride in his work and the name he has built up over 25 years. In his free time, Bill spends his moments with family – his wife and 2 children but is passionate about old car restoration. His current project is a 1981 Z28 Camaro.
Most people know Dave Orr. He is recognized at boat shows and in boatyards all along the Eastern Seaboard, but primarily here in Georgia where his business has been based since 1995. Originally from Jacksonville, Dave recognized a need to establish a locally based marine propulsion and gen-set service industry to support the well-established commercial and rapidly growing private sector in and around our city of Savannah. Having built a strong reputation at our facility over many years, PPS and TMI enjoy a great relationship with our mutual customers based on our combined expertise, quality, knowledge, efficiency and dedication to the marine industry.
Performance Power also have offices in Pompano and Stuart, both located in Florida. Dave is particularly proud to share the spotlight with Eric and Tony; 2 loyal employees who have helped him build his industry for over 20 years.
This summer, TMI embarked upon major refurbishment of an existing building located in the north end of the yard near the front gate. Initially used to house smaller boats for painting, and then more recently for mast maintenance/finishing, this one story building has undergone a refit to include an enclosed preparation area with a separate “clean” room for brushing and/or polishing and a mezzanine area intended for office space and storage, with some work space for items like removed handrails. In addition, a 32 ft long downdraft committed heat controlled finishing booth for paint, wood finishes and varnishing has been installed. Expected to be finished later this Autumn, our Finishing Dept., will be able to accommodate a large number of interior items removed from vessels to efficiently complete tasks in a dedicated dust-free environment.