UP THERE: Yamba Welding and Engineering has launched the first of two high-speed marine pilot transer vessels built at Yamba.
UP THERE: Yamba Welding and Engineering has launched the first of two high-speed marine pilot transer vessels built at Yamba. Grafton Daily Examiner

Boat builder lands $2.6m deal

A YAMBA boat building company has knocked out some major Australian competitors to secure a $2.6 million project for Maritime Safety Queensland.

Yamba Welding and Engineering launched the first of two high-speed marine pilot transfer vessels at Yamba yesterday after six months of construction.

The 14-metre aluminium Cumbina will be used as a transfer vessel between ship and shore out of Weipa.

Mal Bettenay, of Maritime Safety Queensland, said it was no mean feat for a country town company to out-do some 'big players' in the industry.

“Yamba as a collective community should be proud,” he said.

Mr Bettenay said the Yamba company had secured the tender on the grounds of a proven track record, already providing boats for the Queensland EPA, Queensland Police and Australian Reef Pilots.

“The first boat has been delivered on time, on budget and on spec,” he said.

At the helm of Yamba Welding and Engineering is Bill Collingburn, who started his career in boat construction as a navy apprentice. He came to Yamba in 1974. He said this significant project was not difficult as he had a team of good staff behind him.

“Queensland Maritime demands quality assurance and we thrive on that,” he said.

“Yamba and the Clarence Valley have a long history of boat building expertise,” Mr Collingburn said.

With no rest in sight, work on the next pilot vessel will begin, completing the order that will hopefully secure a business future between government agencies and the boat builders of Yamba that are tackling the big names in boat building.



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