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Michael Melfi, also known as Michaelangelo, is the visionary behind the thriving custom helm chairs business operated by his team. With over 30 years of experience, Melfi Designs specialises in various upholstery applications for industries such as marine, commercial, shopfitting, film, and television.

One of Melfi Designs’ notable achievements is the development and production of their own line of Australian-made custom helm chairs, infused with Italian influence. These chairs showcase exceptional design and engineering, incorporating leather, vinyl, stainless steel, electronic controls, and footrests to deliver a harmonious blend of comfort, durability, and functionality.

The choice of helm chair significantly impacts both the comfort and overall aesthetics of your boat. It is a crucial decision that determines whether your voyage will be an enjoyable experience or leave you feeling uncomfortable and regretful. This decision should be guided by the primary purpose of your boat. Will you be navigating the high seas or meandering through canals? Do you expect to face challenging waves or enjoy a leisurely coastal cruise? Will you spend extended hours on the open ocean or simply make short trips to Moreton Island? Additionally, the physical attributes of the chair’s user, such as height and weight, play a significant role in determining the suitable mechanics for the helm chair.

Michael Melfi firmly believes that the helm chair is an essential component of the boating experience and should be built to endure. Choosing a helm chair should not be taken lightly but instead requires careful consideration and time investment. Chairs constructed with subpar materials can quickly deteriorate or collapse under sustained pressure. Moreover, the impact of rough seas may loosen certain parts, emphasising the importance of selecting a chair that aligns with its intended purpose.

For those planning to embark on regular boating adventures, Michael highly recommends investing in a customised helm chair of superior quality. Such a chair offers longevity and, most importantly, enhances comfort. The right helm chair selection can be the differentiating factor between an enjoyable boating experience and a torturous one. It is crucial to determine the appropriate size, shape, and structural integrity to ensure lasting satisfaction.

Renowned for his exceptional customer service, advice, and craftsmanship, Michael takes pride in delivering top-notch products. The Melfi Designs team consists of dedicated artisans recognised for their meticulous attention to detail and utilisation of unique manufacturing processes.

To explore the extensive range of helm chairs offered by Melfi Designs, reach out to Michael directly at 0412 862 447 or visit their website at


Published in print July-September 2023