Origins

The Nankervis name first found its origins in the servicing of automobiles and early powerboats in the early 1950’s. At the time, twin brothers Allan and Keith Nankervis had developed a passion for servicing new age engines, and the foundations of the Nankervis name in developing fine engines was born. Working from their Spring Gully neighbourhood, where they had grown up, they soon found their newly formed business was expanding. As the business' reputation grew, they soon realised that their passion in the motor industry was fast becoming a career pathway. The business in Spring Gully became a prominent mechanic destination for many automobile owners in Central Victoria, along with some of Australia’s earliest powerboat race boats. As the twins developed their understanding of the available engines in Australia at the time, their interests soon shifted and a new business was formed.

In the mid 1960’s, the construction of a manmade lake was to be formed in the Axedale area, around 20 kms from the existing Nankervis motors workshop in Spring Gully. The twins at the time saw the newly formed lake as a potential expansion of their already growing name in the boating industry. They constructed a new workshop right on the pristine Lake Eppalock shoreline and set their sights on promoting boating as a leisure activity for Central Victorian families. Once the business was well and truly established, they felt that their passion for boats had become an obsession and soon set about in designing their own distinct boat range. The Nankervis signature range of boats became popular with young families and enthusiasts, as the boats were soon found all over Australian water ways. A new generation of Nankervis’ soon found their interest in the boating business and started working in their father’s workshop understanding the tools of the trade and gathering a strong interest in performance engines.

Power Boating

With the obsession and development of power boating in Australia increasing, Allan and Keith soon set their sights on the Australian circuit boat racing scene, and acquired their first runabout style circuit race boat. The boat was raced locally and they became known as notably fierce racers, with many credible wins to their name. A new Hydroplane named "Tiger" was to be the origins of a long future of the Nankervis name in power boat racing. The boat raced in many prestigious races across Australia, and even set an Australasian water speed record of 138.08mph in 1967. Following the success of their first hydroplane, a new boat was bought and won many more races with Keith Nankervis at the wheel. With Allan’s children growing up, it was only a matter of time before they soon found themselves a Donzi style hydroplane, named "Tiger Cub". The boat raced in the competitive and affordable Formula Ford class. The boat enjoyed many memorable races with Allan's sons - Paul, Leo and John - completing the driving duties over nearly 30 years of competitive racing, including many Victorian championship and National Championship titles.

Tiger Cub was handed down to Leo’s son Bradley, as the older generation retired from the racing scene. The boat raced competitively as Bradley actively travelled throughout each season to campaign the boat under the new Class title of 1.6 Litre Ozlite Hydroplane. Bradley raced the boat for nearly 10 years, with Leo’s younger son Rowan developing a passion for the sport and finding himself also racing Tiger Cub. In later years, Tiger Cub has been retired from racing as Leo’s eldest son Bradley has begun racing his own Ozlite Hydroplane, which has been engineered by himself with the help of Leo. The boat, named "Little Tiger", has now raced 3 seasons and is well on track to be a highly competitive boat amongst the new style hydroplanes being used in the class. With Bradley racing the new hydroplane, Rowan has recently rebuilt an Everingham displacement to compete in the registered 4.2 Litre Displacement racing class. The new boat is appropriately named "Wild and Free 253", and has only completed one race meeting where it ran successfully at the family’s home course on Lake Eppalock. The family will continue to race power boats in many classes over the coming years.

Present Day

In later years, the business has been handed down to Allan’s son Leo Nankervis, while Allan and Keith have enjoyed a semi-retired lifestyle. Leo has worked in the industry alongside his father Allan for 40 years now, and has adopted the Nankervis passion for motoring excellence in his work ethic. Leo’s passion for performance engines has seen him work on various high performance machines from street cars, tractor pullers, salt lake cars and circuit race boats, while more recently his focus has been on maintaining water ski racing boats. Leo's hard work has been sustained by seeing his engines and components successfully competing in some of Australia’s premier water ski events. Leo’s sons Bradley and Rowan now work full time in the Business, alongside Leo’s apprentices and casual staff members.

The business has advanced from maintaining and building performance engines into tuning and designing performance products suited to his clients' needs. The business is constantly evolving to suit the new marine and engine technology used in the boating world. The business still thrives on its ability to meet all customers’ needs through the range of engines and machines which the Nankervis name can service.

Nankervis Performance Boats looks into expanding their knowledge of new engine technology and marine equipment into the future.