Whiskey Alpha boats are part of the new technology shown by the Whisky Alpha Group. Photo: Salty Dingo 2020
Whiskey Alpha boats are part of the new technology shown by the Whisky Alpha Group. Photo: Salty Dingo 2020

Yamba company acquisition bolsters maritime industry

THE acquisition of local boat builder Yamba Welding & Engineering (YWE) by Australian veteran owned watercraft company The Whiskey Project Group was completed yesterday

This follows the announcement of September 2, 2020 that the newly formed The Whiskey Project Group had agreed to acquire regional NSW boat manufacturer YWE and the New Zealand based maritime design company Naiad International.

This strategic acquisition bolsters Australia and New Zealand's maritime industrial capability, safeguarding sovereign supply chains, securing naval design intellectual property, and stimulating regional boat manufacturing expertise and jobs - heralding a new era of sovereign maritime capability for military and specialist watercraft.

Founded in 1974 and based in regional NSW, YWE is a specialist aluminium boat builder with a thriving operation employing 36 locals, numerous apprentices and a trusted local supply chain. YWE has forged a reputation as a trusted partner to Australian and State law enforcement and maritime agencies, delivering over 200 watercraft in the past 10 years for police, Marine Rescue, Coast Guard, government agencies such as NSW Maritime, and more recently, the Australian Defence Force and Australian Border Force.

Posting on his Facebook page, Mr Collingburn said that YWE are very excited to be part of The Whiskey family, further contributing to the growth of the Clarence Valley's maritime industry while continuing to provide our clients with superbly crafted high performance vessels.

Mr Darren Schuback, Co-Founder and Managing Director of The Whiskey Project Group, said they are looking forward to driving an integrated business growth strategy that incorporates expanding Naiad's licensee footprint, growing YWE's domestic manufacturing capability, and providing a strong foundation for the continuing design innovation of The Whiskey Project watercraft.

In addition to the commercial, recreational and tourism markets that the Naiad business will now expose them to, Mr Schuback said the acquisition creates enormous potential for the Australian Defence industry.

"We will continue to build upon the strong and enduring regional and trans-Tasman partnerships built by YWE and Naiad and uphold the legacy they have forged over the past 45 years. We are committed to securing local jobs and strengthening trade, defence and cultural ties in Australia, New Zealand and with global coalition partners," he said.

"Through these business acquisitions The Whiskey Project Group range of watercraft offer 100 per cent design authority across our portfolio, which will allow us to future-proof our watercraft, to integrate new and emerging technologies, provide customised solutions and safeguard Australian and New Zealand innovation."

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