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Steber
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Builders of Steber commercial and recreational boats in Australia
Builders of Steber commercial and recreational boats in Australia

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Steber in spotlight at 2017 Defence Expo: A strong presence at the Pacific 2017 International Maritime Exposition in Sydney augers well for the future of Australia’s leading fibreglass boat manufacturer, Steber International. Steber was part of the NSW Government’s Hunter Defence division at Pacific 2017, with defence now a critical sector for the region’s $41 billion economy. In all, 500 companies from 23 nations were represented at the 10th expo, which featured the leading innovators in naval defence and the commercial maritime industry. In commenting on this year’s expo, General Manager, Alan Steber said: “A number of prime defence contractors from across Australia and overseas plan to visit our Taree factory as we are one of the few specialist fibreglass manufacturers with defence capability”. This follows on from meetings with Defence Minister, Senator Marise Payne and Defence Industry Minister, Christopher Pyne. “During lunch with Senator Payne, discussions focused on the Hunter Defence consortium’s proposals for trades and apprenticeship training and the important role SMEs are playing in building Australia’s future defence manufacturing industry”, Mr Steber said. In another expo highlight, Ocius Technology won the Defence SME Innovation Grant for the Bluebottle unmanned surface vessel that runs on solar, wind and wave energy. The Bluebottle will be a tremendous boost to border security world-wide and has the capacity to transmit data and photographs from its ocean location, to ship or shore headquarters in real time. Steber is a key partner with Ocius in the Bluebottle program, manufacturing the primary platform and various specialist components. Further indicators of Steber’s ongoing success include: . The company has just completed an application to become an Australian Trusted Trader which will streamline international business operations and expand export potential; . Work will start soon on five Defence Department 38 ftrs through prime contractor Thales; . Wins at local and regional Business Chamber awards, particularly in the field of Export Excellence, could lead to further accolades at State and National levels in coming months. Ends Photos: ABOVE: Defence Minister, Senator Marise Payne in discussions with Hunter Business Chamber CEO, Bob Hawes and Steber International General Manager, Alan Steber. BELOW: Alan pictured with the award-winning Bluebottle at Pacific 2017.
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Steber leads way in regional manufacturing boom: Manufacturing is not only alive and well in regional NSW but is powering along, if you use the Steber International example. Leading Australian boat manufacturer, Steber International, based in Taree on the NSW Mid North Coast, is currently going through a boom period with export orders this financial year alone expected to top $4m. The four acre factory complex was the subject of a ministerial visit on Monday, August 21 with NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight, the Hon. Melinda Pavey accompanied by Member for Myall Lakes, Stephen Bromhead. General Manager, Alan Steber proudly led a tour of the factory covering a $2m export vessel, 43ft navy vessel, 4380 sports cruiser, 34ft commercial fishing vessel and a host of other projects under construction. Mr Steber also took the opportunity to discuss a wide range of innovative projects in various stages of development as well as several logistical issues that could hamper the company’s future expansion. “To date we have manufactured over 50 government vessels to AMSA (Australian Marine Safety Authority) survey standards, more than 50 export orders and 200 commercial vessels throughout Australia”, Mr Steber said. “In addition, over 10,000 small runabouts have been produced since the company’s inception”. Innovation was a strong theme of discussions including R and D projects such as an electric hybrid patrol vessel, floating restaurant, SSS Bluebottle drone and floating solar panels on dams. Mr Steber also discussed several logistical issues including river entrance hazards at Harrington and escalating costs from Essential Energy when transferring vessels from the factory to the Manning River. “We will have a real issue in about 18 months time when we attempt to take the first 60ft Steber/ Westcoaster deep draft fishing vessel across the Harrington bar, the first of such size since the heady days of timber boat construction”, Mr Steber said. Minister Pavey’s visit follows hot on the heels of Marine 17 and the Sydney International Boat Show at Darling Harbour. The minister thrilled the marine industry with her exciting presentation at the boat show. In addition, Deputy Secretary for Freight, Strategy and Planning with Transport NSW, Claire Gardiner-Barnes was guest speaker at Marine 17 and pushed the government’s mantra of driving innovation. “This is a concept we at Steber fully embrace”, Mr Steber said. “In fact we are leading by example with our various R. and D. projects gaining national and international recognition”. With encouragement from the minister, Mr Steber said the company plans to increase the apprenticeship intake to keep the industry labour force well trained. PHOTOS: Main Photo: Minister Pavey and local MP Steve Bromhead with the Steber team - Graham, Colin and Alan. Photo 2: The Minister inspects a 52ft versatile vessel in production for the Fregate Island Resort on the Seychelles. This will be the fourth vessel exported to the Seychelles.
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International recognition for Taree boat builder: "After 71 years we are now internationally recognised as a leading commercial boat manufacturer". That was Alan Steber's enthusiastic summary after winning the Commercial Manufacturer of the Year Award at the Australian Superyacht, Marine Export and Commercial Marine Industry Conference held in conjunction with this year's Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show. Alan, General Manager of Steber International based in Taree NSW, said: "The win will help create business opportunities including the potential to expand into new markets, new boat models and establishing agencies in other countries". "We already export to over a dozen countries across the globe, with emerging markets in the Asian region as well as Indian and Pacific Ocean island nations, providing current and future growth potential for our company. "Our global influence in the manufacture of quality commercial vessels can only increase with the growing acknowledgement created by winning this award. "Immediately following the awards (and ongoing) we have been congratulated by a range of international suppliers of marine insurance, brokers, chain suppliers and even opposition boat builders, many wishing to visit our Taree factory and see how we operate. "The award recognises the Steber excellence in their field and also the 'value-for-money' in the commercial range from 8-20m vessels. "Steber International are also recognised for their creative approach in building the ultimate high strength and safe vessels to the Australian Marine Safety Authority (AMSA) standards. "Many say - 'there are boats and then there are Steber craft',". The award was presented to Alan by deputy CEO of the Australian Marine Safety Authority, Gary Prosser in front of around 270 delegates at the conference and gala dinner. Following the conference, Alan manned the Steber stand at the boat show, receiving numerous inquiries and meeting current and potential new suppliers.
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More accolades for Taree boat builder: Steber International could be vying for two NSW State Business Awards covering export and innovation following recent award wins on the Mid North Coast. The awards, for Excellence in Innovation and Excellence in Export were presented at the 2017 MidCoast Business Awards, which puts Steber into regional judging categories and ultimately consideration for NSW State acknowledgement. The Excellence in Innovation Award "recognises a business that has achieved measurable success and made significant contributions to their industry through the introduction or improvement of an idea, method, technology, process or application". Over its 70 year history Steber has focussed on innovation as a key driver in maintaining and growing the business - from timber to fibreglass construction, small runabouts to commercial vessels, refits and a strong research and development program. Several years ago a need emerged for an economical system of surveillance capable of operating in all marine environments. This led to the development of the Bluebottle range of unmanned surface vessels (USVs). The Bluebottle is autonomous, using energy available at sea (wind, sun, waves and tides), performing ocean monitoring, surveillance and transmission of data back to base. The Excellence in Export Award "recognises the success of a business that is forging a strong reputation for Australian products and services in international markets". Steber's export sales in the 2016-17 period will be around 200 percent up on the previous year with a further doubling expected for 2017-18. The company currently services 12 overseas countries - Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Malaysia, Japan, Dubai, Qatar, Seychelles, Mauritius and China. Customised fitout has been a key marketing success story as witnessed by Fregate Island's purchase of a versatile vessel (the fourth Steber) for the Seychelles Island resort. Steber have agents in Fiji, Japan, New Zealand, Oman, Papua New Guinea and the United Arab Emirates and recently established two partnerships in the emerging China market as well as Croatia. PHOTO: Alan and Colin Steber proudly display the company's latest award wins.
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11th Steber vessel for NSW Water Police: Steber International has just manufactured its 11th vessel on behalf of the NSW Water Police. WP32 is a high speed, long range pursuit vessel reaching speeds in excess of 30 knots (60 kph). The latest addition to the Water Police fleet has a range of 350 nautical miles with a towing capacity to handle vessels up to 100 ft in length. While based at Water Police headquarters in Balmain, WP32 will often be sent to regional areas, from the Queensland to Victorian borders, on special assignments. "Since the early 1980s we have built over 70 vessels for State and Federal Governments covering Customs, Defence, Fisheries as well as State and Federal Police and Marine Rescue units", said general manager, Alan Steber. "We manufacture commercial and recreational vessels ranging in size from eight metres to 20 metres offering a complete customisation service to meet specific needs of the client. "We continue to receive growing export inquiries and orders for ambulance boats, charter vessels, coastal surveillance, security as well as commercial fishing. "Over our 70 year history, Steber have been heavily involved in promoting Australian boat manufacturing via attendance at expos both in Australia and overseas as well as serving on various industry boards including AIMEX and the BIA. Giving an overview of the business, Mr Steber said: " Production is currently in full swing on a 52ft export order for a commercial vessel, on the back of another export order for a 38ftr in November last year". "The factory is literally full to overflowing on the production of new and refit vessels and a heavy raft of R and D programs including a new electric hybrid boat and unmanned surface surveillance vessel". Guests at the recent WP32 launch included Member for Myall Lakes, Stephen Bromhead; Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Roads, Maritime and Transport, Kevin Anderson representing Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight, Melinda Pavey and Inspector John Sullivan from Manning-Great Lakes Area Command. BELOW: Member for Myall Lakes, Steve Bromhead with Alan Steber and Kevin Anderson and also Inspector John Sullivan.
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Steber hull used for new luxury vessel: Steber International's 11m hull has been used in construction of the latest luxury sports limousine created by Van Diemen Luxury Craft, Tasmania. The hull, which was manufactured at Steber's factory complex in Taree, NSW, was shipped to Tasmania for fit-out, including Van Diemen's signature convertible roof and windows. "The proven hull design was a key factor in gaining the contract", says General Manager, Alan Steber, " as the client was looking for the added safety and security of a vessel to survey". The sports limousine concept allows the vessel to transform at the touch of a button, while providing luxury seating for 13 guests. When desired, the roof and windows fully open to allow guests to better enjoy the cruise and the environment. The vessel's transom door opens flush with the aft deck for ease of boarding. This feature also maximises the aft deck area for swimming and entertainment. Fitted with two helm stations, twin engines and bow and stern thrusters, the sports limousine has exceptional maneuverability, making berthing an effortless operation. The helm stations are stylishly fitted with full digital touch screen controls which operate the vessel's systems. Included in the vessel is a Seakeeper gyroscopic stabiliser, the first in the world to be commissioned on a vessel of this size. This unit provides improved stability and even greater levels of comfort by limiting the lateral roll of the vessel. Amenities include a bathroom, wine fridge and bar, whiskey nook, deck shower and ample storage facilities. The one vessel, three configuration design consists of: Stowed position: All components are lowered to the height of the gunwale Limousine position: Windows raised and roof lowered to form a sealed, comfortable forward cabin. Sports position: The roof is lifted fully overhead where in provides sun protection.
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Fourth Steber vessel for Seychelles resort: Work has started on a fourth vessel for the Fregate Island Resort in the Seychelles archipelago and is due for delivery later this year. The Steber 5200 (52ft) will be used for a variety of resort activities covering extended excursions, game fishing and diving. Features also include two sleeping cabins, two lounge areas, galley, two bathrooms, inflatable dinghy and crane and additional on-deck seating suitable for scenic tours. The 5200 will join the fleet of three other vessels, the first of which was delivered back in 1999. Late last year Fregate Island took delivery of a Steber 3800 (38ft) which is being used to transfer clients between the island and mainland. Unlike the majority of fibreglass manufactured vessels, the hulls of the Fregate Island fleet vessels are finished in a unique Jade Mist Green colour. Footnote: The Seychelles archipelago is located in the Indian Ocean, north East of Madagascar and about 1600km east of Kenya. The archipelago consists of 115 islands. PICTURED: 1. Fregate Island Resort manager, Wayne Kafsak takes delivery of the 3800 from Steber general wenmanager, Alan Steber. 2. Sketch showing the versatile layout of the 5200 under construction.  
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USV Bruce world leader in on-water surveillance: Sea trials are being scheduled for the latest Stinger Bluebottle Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV)following its recent christening and maiden voyage. The 5.6m Stinger, named Bruce, has been developed by Oscius Technology in partnership with leading Australian fibreglass boat manufacturer, Steber International of Taree. "Bruce will have more power from solar, more payload space, carrying and towing ability and better performance under all conditions than any known USV globally", according to Oscius CEO, Robert Dane. The USV was christened Bruce after Bruce Heggie from Ulladulla Surfboards who has worked with SolarSailor and Ocius for 20 years; Bruce Steber, founder of Steber International, and "Bruce the Shark" from the movie Finding Nemo. The ceremony was carried out at the University of NSW by Bruce Heggie and Bruce Steber's grandson, Brayd in front of an appreciative audience that included former Primer Minister, Bob Hawke, chairman of the Oscius advisory board. During his address, Colin Steber (son of Bruce, father of Brayd and Steber International Business Development Manager) reflected on first meeting Robert Dane at a Hunter manufacturing showcase at NSW Parliament House in 2012. Later that year Robert visited Steber's Taree factory and the good synergies between the two businesses saw a partnership develop and a joint display mounted at Pacific 2013. "Ocius and Steber released the Bluebottle range of USVs, Stinger and Nemo. By the end of the expo everyone was talking about us", Colin enthused. "We then built another Nemo, to a totally different design, which Robert and his team spent months sailing and testing. This was displayed at Pacific 15. "We have built various tank testing models over the last four years. "The construction of the 5.6m model Bruce began in May this year. This is the first USV we have built that could go into service. "As it is a prototype we used a cold mould form of construction which is an effective way to produce a 'one-off' prototype. The disadvantage is the mould is destroyed in the process so we cannot make another from the same mould. "The project certainly came with it's challenges. One being the requirement of a parallel reinforced area inside the keel. How do you get inside a curved shaped, already formed, and make a parallel surface? Lucky we have a very intelligent and innovative team working for us, who came up with the solution. "This has been an exciting development for Steber. It has been a journey since we first met Robert. "The concept of the solar and wind powered USVs is something Steber sees a future in and Ocius and Steber have worked well together in each of the developments, and now today, we have Bruce', he concluded. PHOTOS: Above:Father and son Colin and Brayd Steber at the "Bruce" christening. Below:Bruce Heggie and Brayd following the ceremony, plus overall photo of guests, featuring former Prime Minister, Bob Hawke.
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Steber helping promote manufacturing: Steber International never misses a chance to promote manufacturing in Australia. The latest example is hosting industrial arts teacher, David Lewers from Great Lakes College Senior Campus. David spent two days at Steber's Taree factory complex as part of his V.E.T. (Vocational Education and Training) qualification program. As part of the process David is required to spend two days gaining on-the-job factory experience. David teaches Certificate I in Metals and Engineering at the Great Lakes campus, Tuncurry. PHOTO: Steber employee, Gary Ward working with David in the factory's metal fabrication unit.
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Steber leads the way in pilot apprenticeship scheme: Steber International is leading from the front when it comes to employing local apprentices, by taking part in a pilot distance learning program. And Beau Paff from Taree is a prime example of how the program is working at a local level. Beau is an apprentice shipwright at Steber's Elizabeth Street factory. He receives practical on-thejob training and tuition Mondays to Thursdays and each Friday undertakes on-line training via North Sydney TAFE. Recently Steber started the pilot apprenticeship program in conjunction with the BIA and TAFE which involves a combination of in-house and on-line training for budding shipwrights. There is the opportunity also to cross train with other manufacturers, thus creating an even more diversified pool of skilled tradesmen. General Manager, Alan Steber said the company leads the way in NSW in the manufacture of fibreglass boats from 20 to 65ft, including government and defence contracts. "Our refit and repair business has grown at 100% per year for the past five years and demand shows no signs of abating', Mr Steber said. "Unlike other manufacturing plants, we have refit vessels right alongside new production vessels, which all require custom fitouts. "We are unique in that we have joinery, upholstery, stainless and aluminium shops plus cabinetry and spray booths, all in the one large complex", he said. Several years ago Steber international won six consecutive Shipwright of the Year Awards at Newcastle Vocational College and also has taken out the Vocational Trainer of the Year Award. In 2011, a Steber employee Jim Bolton was named AIMEX Marine Industry Young Achiever and has gone on to play a key role in Steber's export service and support group. This involves servicing vessels overseas, as well as at the Taree factory complex. "The boat manufacturing industry will continue to grow and prosper but only if it maintains a laserlike focus and commitment to the ongoing training and upskilling of its workforce", Mr Steber said. "The Australian Government needs to continue its support of this industry which has a billion dollar turnover per annum', he said. Apprenticeship and industry training was ad-hoc in nature during the pre-war days of timber boats. Post-war, the advent of fibreglass construction saw the leisure boat industry kick off in a big way. This was followed in the early 70s with the introduction of aluminium boat building which produced another surge in the industry. Inevitably this led to a demand for skilled staff in these new boat building techniques and the need for apprentice training programs became a real focus. The existing workforce needed to be trained to manufacture in fibreglass and aluminium, and not just for recreation vessels, but also a growing commercial market. Fishing boats were predominately timber but in the quest for faster craft to go further to sea in search of new fishing grounds, fibreglass vessels came into their own. Fibreglass fishing boats up to 100ft (30 metres) gained in popularity and we also began to make early sightings of aluminium fishing craft. Over a period of time, and supported by specialist training including welders, Australia became a world leader in the construction of large multi-hull passenger/vehicle ferries. Contracts for tourist, government and defence vessels quickly followed as the new construction methods quickly took hold. From the mid 1970s to the present day, Australian companies introduced comprehensive apprenticeship training courses which not only covered shipwrights but marine engineering, cabinetry, upholstery, spray paining skills, etc. The invention of travel lifts to remove boats from the water for repairs and refits and ultimately hard stand storage again added a new dimension to a rapidly diversifying manufacturing industry. Most slipways and boatyards now have travel lifts, not just in our capital cities, but many other smaller ports. This has led to the need for skilled staff to carry our repairs and refits on all types of vessels and now even smaller operations provide industry training to international standards. Steber International to-date have produced over 150 shipwright apprentices.Steber are located on the east coast of Australia and specialise in fibreglass repairs and refits as well as the manufacture of a range of commercial and recreational vessels. PHOTOS: Main photo: Beau working on the hull of a new police vessel under the supervision of Production Manager, Glenn Dunbier. Bottom photo: Beau undertaking a TAFE tutorial at the Steber factory.
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