ABOUT US

our history

OceanWeb, founded in 1997 and headquartered on the Isle of Man, are a provider of customized and cost-effective hardware, software & internet based solutions for the superyacht industry. We have the technological knowledge base necessary to provide and support our clients business goals. OceanWeb ‘s experience with cutting-edge technology spans a wide range of industries enabling the best possible IT solutions – customized, viable, effective, and innovative – to be delivered on time and on budget. OceanWeb takes great care in understanding our clients’ specific needs and deploying reliable, cost-effective IT & communication solutions.

In 2016 we moved into our newly renovated office which was opened His Excellency Sir Richard Gozney, the Lieutenant Governor.

We have expanded into a custom designed office space in order to continue to provide expert world-wide support to all of our clients. We have created a central hub where all of our engineers work from so that all issues that may arise can be resolved in the timeliest fashion. Our new workshop has been kitted out with all of the best tools so that our certified engineers can configure, upgrade or build all hardware and install any software before being sent out to our clients meaning that once received, all hardware is ready as soon as it’s plugged in.

Our expertise covers the full range from private yachts requiring a single PC through to 115m yachts with a suite of PC’s, servers and communication systems.

The majority of our business comes from recommendations, a fact we are very proud of and we offer the same exacting level of service and attention regardless of the project or client.

We now provide comprehensive IT services for over 80 superyachts including 12 Perini Navi Sailing Yachts.

Meet the Team

Dr Benedict Hextall

Dr Benedict Hextall

Managing Director

Having completed his studies in Marine Biology at the University of Liverpool, with a PhD in Subtidal Marine Ecology, Ben started his professional career working for Apple Computers as a Salesman for their Higher Education department. This job gave him invaluable experience in the world of Sales however it also gave him a lasting interest with Information Technology. In 1996 Ben decided to branch out on his own as a Sole Trader taking advantage of his many years of amateur sailing, providing email, website design and satellite communication services to yachting companies. This led to the creation of OceanWeb Ltd in 1997 when Ben’s services were required on the IT and satcoms for the Team Group 4 Yacht taking part in the Vendee Globe. Further projects onboard racing yachts (Whitbread, Volvo, BT Global Challenge, Clipper Ventures) led to the first 38m ‘superyacht’ in 1998. The business slowly developed through Bens contacts and networking skills to the current status where we work with over 85 yachts.

Sara Hextall

Sara Hextall

Director

Born and brought up in the Isle of Man, Sara returned to the Island after completing a BA (hons) in Humanities at the University of Hertfordshire to work as a Senior Personnel Officer with Dorchester Maritime Ltd, working in a small team responsible for the crewing of BP oil tankers. After 3 years she decided to leave to complete a Masters degree in HR Management at Newcastle University. Her first job after graduating was with a start-up Electronic Engineering company who were working towards IPO. Starting as a Personnel Assistant, Sara worked her way to become HR Manager in an exciting environment, increasing the total number of employees from 50 to 200 and putting in place all the necessary policies and HR systems this growth requires. After a short career break necessitated by the birth of two children Sara began to help Ben with OceanWeb as he was getting increasingly busy. By 2001 Sara was running the accounts department and dealing with all non-technical issues.

Damian Brand

Damian Brand

IT Manager

Following completion of a BSc (Hons) degree in Applied Geology, Damian spent the next decade gaining a diverse range of skills and experience in positions such as SCUBA Instruction, Property Management, Telecoms Marketing, Teaching, Business Analysis, Systems Testing, and Web Design. During this time he travelled extensively most notably living and working for a number of years in Japan and Australia. Damian returned to the Isle of Man in 2006 where he joined OceanWeb. Initially he brought his web development skills and problem solving abilities to OceanWeb but over the last 10 years has gained a wealth of experience and qualifications in all areas of marine IT including satellite communications, mobile data systems, wireless networking, virtualisation, and systems design, implementation and integration. He is a creative thinker and determined problem solver who is dedicated to ensuring that clients always receive a first class service. When Damian isn’t glued to a computer screen he enjoys Mountain Biking and spending time with his young family.

Joshua Brand

Joshua Brand

Technical Support Engineer / Web Developer

Born on the Isle of Man Joshua set off from the island to study a BSc in Computing at Leeds Beckett University. After thoroughly enjoying completing his degree Joshua stayed on at Leeds Beckett to focus on all things Web Development by completing an Advanced Professional Diploma in Web Application Development. Joshua joined OceanWeb after his years at University to become OceanWeb’s first full-time Web Developer and is now trained up in all things networking. Joshua is an avid scuba diver with a huge love for the underwater world and also enjoys Mountain Biking across the hills of the island.

Ben Williams

Ben Williams

Technical Support Engineer

Ben joined OceanWeb from Manchester, England in April 2018. He previously served with the British Army as a communication’s systems engineer for the best part of a decade. While serving, Ben completed an advanced apprenticeship in I.T. and telecoms.  After leaving the Military he went on to study for a degree in I.T. and network management at Salford university. Upon finishing his degree Ben went to work for Meyertech, a digital and analogue surveillance software development company. Ben enjoys the researching new and old technologies and spending time outdoors.

Tom Poole

Tom Poole

Technical Support Engineer

Tom joined OceanWeb in April 2018 from Coventry where he held the role of Network and Systems Administrator at Syscomm, a provider of managed IT support and services. With over 6 years of industry experience and proven 1st & 2nd line IT support skills, Tom has the advanced knowledge required to be able to assist the team with a wide variety of technical tasks. In his spare time, Tom enjoys power paragliding and cycling.

Jake Ferris

Jake Ferris

Trainee Technical Support Engineer

Upon completion of a BA in Graphic Design, Jake took a break to spend 6 months travelling around Asia followed by a further 6 months in Madrid teaching English. He joins us from a 15-month apprenticeship at Manx Telecom, a local communications provider, as a Trainee Technical Support Engineer and will be working closely with Damian to ensure that clients continue to experience high quality service and support. Jake enjoys travelling and is currently working towards a level 4 qualification in IT. Jake also recently gained certification to work on KVH products.

Will Price

Will Price

Trainee Technical Support Engineer

Having previously worked at Manx Telecom as a Data Centre and Hosting Technician, Will brings a wealth of proven customer service and IT skills to the team. CompTIA A+ certified and holding an advanced Diploma in IT, Will is a real asset to OceanWeb and will be providing support to both Damian and Ben. In his free time, Will enjoys travelling, tinkering with his 3D printer & socialising with friends. Will also recently gained certification to work on KVH products.

Claire Newsome

Claire Newsome

Accounts Administrator

Born and bred on the Isle of Man. On leaving school Claire worked within Isle of Man Bank for 3 years with local branches in back office roles and also front facing roles as a cashier. Claire then left to work for Royal Life Insurance and RL Stott & Co Stockbrokers before joining CMI Insurance Company for 20 years.

Suzy Manton

Suzy Manton

Marketing Executive

Having recently completed the CIM Level 4 Certificate in Professional Marketing, Suzy joins us from the ICM Group, a local CSP providing Yachting and Aviation services, to take on the role of Marketing Executive and focus on brand alignment and awareness. Born in Bradford but relocating to the Island at a young age, Suzy has held a variety of roles covering Office Administration, HR and Marketing. In her spare time, Suzy enjoys travelling,art and Music.

 

 

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