Please select your home edition
Edition
Selden 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Navy veterans join experts to build production boats - Naiad staying in New Zealand

by The Whiskey Project 1 Sep 18:07 PDT
Whiskey Alpha 85 alongside the YWE built Transport for NSZ Naiads.- Sydney, Australia. © Salty Dingo

The Whiskey Project - a cutting-edge watercraft company led by two former Royal Australian Navy veterans - has acquired NSW boat manufacturer Yamba Welding & Engineering (YWE) and New Zealand based naval architecture firm Naiad. These companies will forge The Whiskey Project Group, creating a watercraft design and manufacturing company which will transform Australia and New Zealand’s maritime industry.

Mr Darren Schuback, Co-Founder and Managing Director of The Whiskey Project Group, said the acquisition of YWE and Naiad marks the coming together of three great Australian and New Zealand businesses and heralds an exciting future for Australian watercraft design and manufacturing.

“Through this strategic acquisition, The Whiskey Project Group will offer a family of watercraft ranging from new technology defence solutions to globally renowned law-enforcement and specialist leisure industry craft,” said Mr Schuback.

The Whiskey Project’s next generation tactical watercraft, Whiskey Alpha, was launched at the 2019 Pacific International Maritime Expo to great acclaim for its integrated cutting-edge technologies, fit-for-purpose design, complete modularity, design agility and new technology hull manufactured from carbon composite advanced materials. Purpose built for the demanding maritime defence and law enforcement sector, its technical advances have applications relevant for many other markets.

“The formation of The Whiskey Project Group secures advanced maritime manufacturing capabilities in Australia, with a natural cross over of technology and skilled labour between government, specialist and leisure sectors over time,” said Mr Schuback.

YWE, established in the northern NSW coastal town of Yamba by Bill Collingburn in 1974 and renowned for its boat building expertise, is a trusted supplier of watercraft for police, Marine Rescue NSW, Coast Guard, VMR, and Defence. In the past 10 years, YWE has built more than 200 vessels for these and a variety of other Australian Federal and State Government agencies.

Mr Collingburn, who is staying in the business as YWE Technical Advisor, said “I am delighted that The Whiskey Project Group share my vision for the future and are committed to the continued growth of YWE and the marine industry.”

The deal includes Naiad, the New Zealand based naval architecture business which YWE itself acquired earlier this year from founder Steve Schmidt – one of New Zealand’s leading marine designers – and his wife Jenny. Naiad boats, renowned for being the “4WD of the Sea” and for their aesthetic appeal, are built under license around the world. Naiads are popular for a wide range of Federal and State Government military, law enforcement, rescue agency vessels, as well as commercial, tourism, recreational and Superyacht tender applications.

Sail-World has been told, outside the the media release that Naiad will remain in New Zealand and that "everything remains stable for the business. The Whiskey Project Group will be looking for opportunities to grow the Naiad business in future, that includes seeking a New Zealand based manufacturing partner."

“The Whiskey Project, YWE and Naiad have a remarkable cultural synergy that will make The Whiskey Project Group a formidable Australian and global solution for high performance watercraft,” said Mr Schuback.

“Watercraft from The Whiskey Project Group will be used for marine rescue, they will be used by defence, as tenders for superyachts, by commercial operators, in maritime police operations, by tour operators, in fisheries management and more.”

The move is set to benefit the marine industry and regional centres around Australia, as The Whiskey Project Group’s current organisational workforce footprint (including licencees) covers NSW, ACT, Western Australia and New Zealand, with strategic growth plans that include Queensland and the Northern Territory.

“The Whiskey Project Group is 100% Australian owned,” said Mr Schuback.

“We’re working to keep Australian marine industry jobs and to future proof the integrity of Australian innovations and leading-edge technologies.

“The export opportunities for the group are excellent – we’re taking Australian watercraft design, creation and production to the world.”

The contract was announced today, with transaction completion scheduled for Q4 2020.

Related Articles

John Spencer's design contribution celebrated
One of NZ's great designers and boat builders, John Spencer was the focus of the annual exhibition One of New Zealand's great designers and boat builders, John Spencer was the focus of the annual exhibition by the Rino Tawa Trust. The display featured a range of design memorabilia along with many examples of his dinghy designs. Posted on 8 Nov
Exhibition to celebrate John Spencer's designs
The exhibition will be held this weekend at Karanga Plaza, Wynyard Quarter, Auckland. John Spencer was a champion of the amateur boatbuilder and a special exhibition will be held in the Wynyard Quarter in Auckland this weekend to celebrate his work. Posted on 5 Nov
New Zealand's top marinas and boatyards celebrated
The NZMOA recognised Best Boatyard, Best Environmental and Individual Contribution The New Zealand Marina Operators Association (NZMOA) has recognised New Zealand's very best marinas and boatyards for 2020. Posted on 2 Nov
Video: Luca Devoti talks yachting with Juan K
Juan K is one of the most successful racing yacht designers in the world, he chats with Luca Devoti. Luca Devoti has skippered an America's Cup campaign, won an Olympic Silver medal. Now he is campaigning to join the World Sailing Board. As part of his bid, he is interviewing high profile sailors and getting their views on the future of the sport. Posted on 2 Oct
Luca Devoti talks yachting with Lars Grael
Lars Grael, Brazilian sailing star, talks about his personal life and Project Grael Luca Devoti once skippered America's Cup campaigns and won Olympic medals, now he is campaigning to join the World Sailing Board. As part of his bid, he interviews world renowned sailors to get their views on what should be the future of the sport. Posted on 18 Sep
Tribute to Larry Pardey - Memories from Lin Pardey
Lin Pardey's memories of her husband Larry, one of the world's great cruising sailors and characters “An amazing sailor. He did it all,” wrote one magazine editor. “Raced boats, delivered boats, built two boats, sailed them engine-free around the world, both eastabout and westabout. Rounded the great southern capes against the prevailing winds…” Posted on 10 Sep
VIDEO: from container to fish filleting station
Royal Wolf delivers fish filleting station made from a shipping container to Auckland marae Royal Wolf, Australasia's largest shipping container provider, has modified a container into a fish filleting station and distribution hub for the Kai Ika Project, a community initiative operating out of Mangere's Papatuanuku Kokiri Marae. Posted on 7 Jul
Explore the Gulf on Lion NZ and Steinlager 2
The NZ Sailing Trust are offering spots onboard to the general public The chance to go on a multi-day adventure on Steinlager 2 or Lion New Zealand is rarely open to the general public but that's what the NZ Sailing Trust are offering right now. Posted on 1 Jul
Top designer, builder and sailor Jim Young dies
Noted designer and boat builder Jim Young passed away Thursday morning aged 94 years. Noted designer and boat builder Jim Young passed away Thursday morning aged 94 years. Young is best remembered as the designer of the Young 88, the 30ft keelboat which is New Zealand's largest one design keelboat class. Updated story from original post Posted on 18 Jun
Yachting Developments flight tests Youth AC foiler
The nine-metre foiling keelboat will be sailed by mixed youth teams at AC36 A much anticipated aspect of the 36th America's Cup, set to be held in Auckland, New Zealand in 2021, is the Youth America's Cup which already has more than 15 teams from around the world confirmed to take part. Posted on 12 Jun
Upffront 2020 Foredeck Club SW FOOTERETNZ Black-Friday-728x90 BOTTOMSelden 2020 - FOOTER