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Melges IC37 2019 Leaderboard Newsletter: Training the new generation

by Peter Rendle 7 Mar 14:00 PST
Apprentices Beau Paff, Ben Shannon and Chris Ellis in the busy fit-out bay at Steber's Taree factory complex. © John Bulmer

It's great to see an Australian boat builder taking on staff to meet their production demands. It's even better to know that apprentices are included in the intake. While the manufacturing base in the Manning Valley NSW, may be shrinking, at least one firm is bucking the trend: Steber International.

In the past two years Steber have employed eight apprentices and a similar number of skilled workers to keep pace with contracts for new boat builds as well as ongoing major refits. General Manager, Alan Steber said: "It's particularly pleasing to be able to offer the youth of our community an opportunity to gain qualifications as shipwrights that could set them up for life."

Another Australian builder, Riviera, goes from strength to strength. Riviera, will showcase its blue-water 43 Open Flybridge model in conjunction with Riviera and Belize representative Unimat Precious at the Japan International Boat Show in Yokohama over four days from Thursday, March 7. Unimat Precious representative Mitsuru Ishii said he and his team are honoured to showcase this supremely seaworthy motor yacht to the Japanese boating community at the Yokohama Bayside Marina.

The Power Boat market globally is booming and this week we posted our second PowerBoat-World monthly e-newsletter. John Curnow, our resident editor who grew up around the marine industry, has put together a summary of the latest powerboat news, a long overdue contribution to this segment of the boating industry. The e-newsletter will be relished by power boat followers, buyers and the industry at large. Its free to subscribe and your details can be entered here:

Promoting the Australian Marine Industry overseas AIMEX do a great job. They recently moved their HQ from Melbourne to Sydney which meant some new appointments. Kylie Pike has been appointed to the role of Corporate Relations Manager. Kylie has extensive experience in corporate relations and marketing roles, particularly with non-profit organisations that plan and hold significant and complex events. Kylie has also previously worked in NSW government for the Department of Premier and Cabinet where she established the sustainable funding model for the Australia Day Council.

We touched on the important role the Marina industry Association plays last week, and this week it was announced that the trade exhibition component of the Marinas19 International Conference and Trade Exhibition is now fully booked with all 35 exhibition spaces sold. Marinas19 Committee Chairman Mike Harvey said, "This is the first time in the 12-year history of the event that we have sold out the exhibition so early. We have companies on the waiting list and others looking at event sponsorship options to get their product in front of the delegates. The strong demand for exhibition space is a very positive sign for the state of the marina industry and for the value vendors perceive in being able to meet face to face with the key marina personnel from Australia and the wider region."

In NSW a State Election is about to take place. Forget about football stadiums. According to the Boating Industry Association the NSW Labor Party's proposed policy to tax new and second-hand recreational boats will bring further hardship on an industry that is still recovering from the GFC and punish hardworking boaters and retirees.

"The Boating Industry Association was surprised by Labor's announcement to tax boat owners. The tax will drive sales and jobs away from NSW to other states and sadly, the perception that boats over the value of $200,000 are a tax on the wealthy is fundamentally wrong. Many vessels of that value are owned by families, retirees, groups of hard-working, hard-saving mates who have grouped their savings to pursue their passion for being outdoors, or those who have joined in a share boat arrangement through a club. The proposed tax will hurt working families who enjoy boating and the many small businesses and their employees who service them," said Alan Blake, President of the BIA.


Peter Rendle

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