Thursday NOVEMBER 26, 2020



Australian veteran owned high-performance watercraft company – The Whiskey Project Group – is pleased to advise that the acquisition of Yamba Welding & Engineering (YWE), and Naiad International, was completed today.  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.

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, 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” said Mr Schuback.

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

Naiad International, formerly Naiad Design, create watercraft that are globally renowned for their rugged dependability whilst being aesthetically designed. Built under license around the world, 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 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.



Over 45 years Yamba Welding & Engineering has forged a reputation as one of Australia’s most trusted partners to law enforcement and maritime organisations, and in the past decade YWE has built over 200 vessels for Australian Federal and State Government agencies including the Australian Defence Force, Australian Border Force and Marine Rescue.

Founded in 1974 by Bill Collingburn in the picturesque Northern NSW regional town of Yamba, YWE comes from humble beginnings building fishing boats in a garage. YWE’s subsequent development of the Pro Punt® was successful with oyster farmers and later with NSW & QLD SES, and then significant growth occurred in 2003 with the acquisition of Queensland Ships, building a range of recreational and commercial vessels with the registered trademark designs of Ocean Cylinder® and Pacific SportFish®.

In four decades YWE has become synonymous with high-performance aluminium vessels, and today is a licensed manufacturer of the globally acclaimed Naiad RHIBs which are renowned for their rugged dependability and are a common feature of Australian and New Zealand waterways.

YWE is part of The Whiskey Project Group.

In 2020 YWE was acquired by the Australian veteran owned military and specialist watercraft company – The Whiskey Project Group.

Alongside The Whiskey Project Group’s other companies – Naiad International and The Whiskey Project, these Australian and New Zealand businesses are bonded by the shared vision of providing optimal performance and protection for those who risk their lives in the strategic maritime environment. Forged into one high-performance design and manufacturing family, The Whiskey Project Group offers a variety of fit-for-purpose watercraft solutions for military and specialist maritime operators.

Third Party Certified by Bureau Veritas to AS / NZS ISO 9001:2015 QA System, since 1997.  Third Party Certified by Bureau Veritas to AS / NZS ISO 45001:2018 WHS System, since 2023.

Proven & Trusted

Popular for our high-quality work and commitment to excellence, Australian government agencies, commercial operators and recreational boaters rely on the specialist skills that have made YWE a renowned reliable manufacturer with exacting standards that make us a trusted partner to Australian maritime operators.

Securing the future

YWE has a particular expertise in aluminium welding & fabrication, and we have invested in securing our growth and the future of our region as a maritime hub by investing in an apprenticeship program that provides skill sets that are second to none, whilst developing youth skills and mature age up-skilling as we have done since our inception.

Quality System

YWE has a reputation Australia-wide and overseas for quality products and is noted for practical and innovative design work, and the ability to utilise technology to meet user needs.

Working under a QA system since 1997, YWE is Third Party Certified to AS / NZS ISO 9001:2015 by Bureau Veritas.

YWE believes it should invest in the future of the industry and has done for over 45 years, currently hosting 7 apprentices.

YWE provides skillsets second to none with its highly trained specialised aluminium welders and fabricators.  YWE’s welding staff are certified by a Welding Supervisor under WTIA to Weld Category B AS1665 – 2004 (1.6.3).  YWE upskills its welding staff as required to suit the requirements for any projects.


Here at Yamba Welding & Engineering we strive to make sure that you are completely satisfied with each step we take in building the perfect boat for you and we are happy to customise our plans to meet your needs.


We will meet with you to ensure we know exactly what it is you are looking for.  We want to be sure we understand your needs and supply the vessel to your specifications and requirements.


After we have spoken to you about your boat, our designers will then go about putting your vision on paper.  Once this stage is complete, we will have the design to build the boat to your exact specifications.


Next we will schedule your job into our production schedule.  Regular progress photos of the build will be sent to you and you will be encouraged to visit our workshop during the build.


After sea trials are finalised and you are completely satisfied with the build, we can arrange for delivery of your vessel if required.