About Us

(Black) Joe Akacich

BlackPond Marine Consultants was formed in 2007 by Joe Akacich (Black Joe).

Joe (Black Joe) Akacich

Joe is an AMSA Accredited Marine Surveyor and has been involved in the marine industry since joining the Royal Australian Navy in 1976. After finishing in the navy in 1982 he was employed in Airlie Beach as a commercial diver in salvage, laying moorings and other tricky jobs on the seabed around the Whitsunday Islands and involved in the building of the Hamilton Island Marina.

Joe went on to be employed by Keith Williams as engineer on “Achilles I” in 1984, at this time Achilles I was one of the original Australian “White Boats”. Joe continued on in the luxury boat industry skippering “Southern Cross II” for Alan Bond in the late 80’s.

Joe was lured back to the Whitsunday’s in the early 90’s by David Hutchen of Fantasea Cruises who was then in the planning stages of his new reef pontoon facility “Reef World”. Joe was instrumental in overseeing the building of this facility and much of the diving required to have it placed at Hardy Lagoon on the Great Barrier Reef.

Joe became the Marina Manager and then the Services Manager of Hamilton Island Resort when the Reef World project was complete. As the Services Manager, Joe was required to oversee the implementation of the desalination plant, which now supplies all of Hamilton Island Resort’s fresh water supply.

In the late 90’s Joe and his family moved to South East Queensland, which is where he formed his own company “Blackline Shipping”.

Blackline Shipping’s first major project was the rebuild of the 118 ft catamaran “Myway” which had been devastated by fire in 1996.

Blackline Shipping moved to Gold Coast City Marina and Shipyard when it opened in 2000 and became one of the most successful refit and repair specialists on the East Coast throughout the following 6 years. Joe sold Blackline Shipping in 2006 and after a year of consulting to the new owners BlackPond Marine Consultants was born.

Joe with Jessica Watson

After decades of experience, Joe became an AMSA Accredited Marine Surveyor in 2015. Marine Surveying has become an area which Joe is passionate about, in his own words “Safety at sea is paramount to our industry”.  This mantra drives to company today.

Joe has completed many Sydney to Hobart Yacht Races and been a member of the winning crew three times, the most recent being in 2016 on board the maxi yacht “Perpetual Loyal”.

Mark Hughes

Naval Architect

B.Eng (Naval Architecture)

Mark joined the BlackPond’s team in 2016 having worked with Joe on a permanent basis during the Blackline Shipping years from early 2005 through to 2008 and since then on many independent projects.

Mark has worked on worked on the design of both recreational and commercial craft in Australia, Indonesia and China since completing his degree in 2004.

Mark has completed projects in various roles, as Project Manager and Lead Designer of both new builds and re-power of vessels from 3 to 300 metres. He is able to design for all mediums including, steel, aluminium, composite, and high-performance composite.

Mark has a background in recreational sailing, competing in high performance dinghy racing.

Claire Akacich

Administration Services

Joe and Claire Akacich

Claire has been involved in running the administration of projects and Marine businesses since 1997 and holds a Diploma of Management.

Claire has supported Joe in an administrative role throughout many of these years and is also adding her experience to Blackpond Marine Consultants.

Claire is able to manage the administration and financial side of any projects or charter vessels. Wether it be running the financial reporting of a major refit or providing administration management consultancy, bookkeeping or any other administrative services.

Claire and Joe owned and operated the charter vessel Bali Hai II from 2009 through to 2012 and both have a wealth of experience in the charter vessel industry.  If you have a vessel in survey, which you are thinking about chartering, why not give us a call.