Steber International is ahead of the curve when it comes to adapting and adopting new technology and techniques to remain relevant in the ever-changing marine manufacturing environment.

And it’s not just a recent reset of the company’s mission statement and goals.

“As far back as 2010 we gained Bronze Status in the Sustainability Advantage Program with the then Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water” advises Steber general manager, Alan Steber.

“The following year we stepped up a gear and gained Silver Status in the same program.

“Our company embraced the program by fully insulating the factory, recycling all solvents, improved compressed air lines and machinery, plus much more.

Fast forward to today, and Steber’s are at the forefront of innovative research and development programs ranging from hybrid electric-diesel boats, through to autonomous vessels and even an “end-of-life-cycle program” for unwanted boats that need to be disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner.

All of the projects involve collaboration with a wide range of groups, including industry organisations, specialist maritime businesses and leading tertiary education institutions.

Diesel/electric hybrid: the 22ft prototype saw two outside entities engaged which led to stage 2 success – combining both diesel and electric drives in trials on the Manning River. (Stage 1 had included bench testing and engineering development.

Stage 3, which is currently underway, involves commercialisation of the project.

Department of Defence autonomous vessels: confidentiality clauses prevent further statements but this project is a real eye opener.

End of life cycle program:This pilot program is being co-ordinated with the Boating Industry Association of NSW and involves establishing a program to safely and in an environmentally responsible way, dispose of boats no longer fit for service.

“ Steber’s are also involved in an innovative in-house apprenticeship training program. TAFE teaching staff visit the factory each week for classroom and on-the-job practical sessions.

“Video conferencing is also utilised for training purposes. Overall this project assists with regional job opportunities for our young people and helps keep Steber ahead of the game”, Mr Steber said.

PICTURED: General Manager, Alan Steber with Sustainability Program awards.