Photography by Salty dingo
07 December 2020
Australian veteran-owned watercraft company The Whiskey Project Group announced the acquisition of Yamba Welding & Engineering (YWE) and 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.
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, Schuback believes 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,” said Schuback.
Schuback continued, “We are committed to securing local jobs and strengthening trade, defence and cultural ties in Australia, New Zealand and with global coalition partners.”
“Through these business acquisitions, The Whiskey Project Group range of watercraft offer 100 percent design authority across our portfolio, which will allow us to futureproof our watercraft, integrate new and emerging technologies, provide customised solutions and safeguard Australian and New Zealand innovation,” said Schuback.
Naiad International, formerly Naiad Design, create watercraft renowned for their rugged dependability while being aesthetically designed.
Built under license, Naiads are popular for a wide range of government, military, law enforcement and rescue agency vessels, as well as commercial, tourism, recreational and superyacht tender applications.
Founded in 1974 and based in regional New Sout Wales, YWE is a specialist aluminium boat builder employing 36 locals, numerous apprentices and a trusted local supply chain. YWE has forged partnerships with Australian and state law enforcement and maritime agencies, delivering over 200 watercraft in the past ten years for police, Marine Rescue and the Coast Guard as well as government agencies such as NSW Maritime and more recently, the Australian Defence Force and Australian Border Force.