Alex and Roni—both incredibly intelligent, multilingual, and, most important, fun to hang out with—are quite a pair. The founder of Alwoplast, Alex built a cruising boat in Germany as a young man and took off around the world. He fell in love with the wild regions of southern Chile and settled in Valdivia some 25 years ago to make a living building boats, gradually working up in size from Tornado racing catamarans to a variety of commercial and pleasure cats, both sail and power.
Now that the boatyard has grown to employ 50 people, Alex runs the business end of things and his right-hand man, Roni, manages the shop floor. Born and raised in Chile of German descent, he's an engineer by disposition as well as formal education and a born problem solver. One seldom sees him without his head buried in an instruction manual or performing mechanical surgery on a piece of faulty equipment. It was a great crew to have on board a new boat for a shakedown cruise, especially because, as we all know, new boats can have some gremlins.