Steber hard to go past

I’d like to thank you for your time in giving me a great tour of your factory recently, showing several craft under various stages of construction including two destined for the Australian Navy. Seeing these boats brought back many happy memories for me.

In 1987 I had the opportunity, together with a couple of friends, to bring a Steber 33 Sports Cruiser, built in 1986, back to Port Stephens from Sydney, for the then owner, to be sold at Soldiers Point marina. I was so impressed with the craft, I though I just had to have it. Having purchased it soon after, we renamed it “Yepola” and prepared her for game fishing out of Soldiers Point.

The craft was well appointed and handled exceptionally well in all seas and all weather.

During the seven years we had the boat we travelled to Sydney, Windsor, via Broken Bay, Forster and Myall Lakes and fishing out of our home port most weekends. Unfortunately, after ongoing problems with skin cancer I found it necessary to part ways with this beautiful craft but my family and I will always cherish the years of pleasure we had with “Yepola”.

For anyone thinking of purchasing a craft of this calibre, a Steber would be hard to go past.

Col Thorley

Continuing to serve the Navy

As the former CEO of Defence Maritime Services Pty Ltd (changed to DMS Maritime) and then subsequently Serco where I was Managing Director, I can confirm that the initial 10 x Steber 43 foot boats ordered in 1998 and entering service in 1999 and 2000 for the Port Services and Support Craft contract and then Fleet Marine Services Contract are still in service today.

These boats continue to serve Navy in passenger transfer, target towing, stores transfer, clearance diving operations and general harbour services as well as conducting coastal operations from Garden Island to Jervis Bay and along the coast into the East Australian Exercise Area, into Bass Strait from HMAS Cerberus, in and around HMAS Stirling, around the Great Barrier Reef from HMAS Cairns and around Darwin Harbour and out into the Timor Sea from HMAS Coonawarra.

I understand that Defence is planning ongoing service with these boats into the next form of contract to support Navy.

Greg Hodge, Principal, Pacific Management Partners Pty Ltd

“Build quality was obvious

To Whom It May Concern

I am the present owner of the Aussie Princess, a Steber Model 4380. I purchased the vessel from the original owner, Mr Lindsay Grenfell in March, 2019. The vessel was launched in 2004 ( it is now 16 years old).

Following production, the vessel was taken to Melbourne where it went into service as a day charter vessel. It was subsequently leased to Hayman Island as service vessel and three years ago returned to South East Queensland to continue work as a day charter vessel.

When purchasing the vessel I undertook a very thorough inspection of all aspects of the vessel, paying particular attention to both the mechanical aspects and the hull condition/finish of the boat. For a vessel of 16 years age, the condition of both was sensational. The build quality was obvious, there was virtually no deterioration in either the finish visually or the hull itself.

The Aussie Princess is not my first Steber vessel. In 2001 I purchased a Steber 28 (28feet long) to use as a fishing charter vessel. I owned the vessel for 10 years and sold the vessel on to a company operating dive charters in Port Douglas.

I believe the vessel has since been sold on to a South Australian company doing fishing charters. When the vessel was sold by me it still looked as good as the day it was bought, both the finish and the hull were great.

In conclusion, Steber vessels have a reputation throughout the commercial community as being some of the best built and most seaworthy vessels of all the commercial fleet.

As well as fihsing charters, Steber boats are used for shark net maintenance, luxury charter, dive boat operation, spanner crabbing, coast guard rescue, police and the list goes on, where ever there is a commercial need there is usually a Steber vessel involved.

Bob Clayton, Aussie Princess Boat Charters

Spoke highly of Steber product

Hi Colin,

Took the Persuader to Hawkesbury and Pittwater (by trailer ex Mordialloc Creek) from late Feb to late March; had a wonderful time – warmly welcomed everywhere.

Boat performed well.

Stayed a short time at the very impressive and friendly Fenwick’s Marina at Brooklyn who spoke highly of the Steber product and team.

Garry Spencer

Thanks from Marine Rescue

I am writing to thank you and your staff for the repairs on our Rescue Vessell CB20 and for your ongoing support to our organisation.

We have had a long and successful association with your company and would like to ensure you are aware of how much we value that association.

Volunteer organisations like ours would not survive without companies like yours that support local organisations.

I hope you and your staff and their families are keeping safe and well during this time.

Cheryl Rowe, Unit Commander,

Marine Rescue NSW Crowdy Harrignton


Fabulous memories

G’day Alan,

I caught the Channel 9 story about you and your business last week and it bought back fabulous memories of my association with our favourite customer!

I don’t expect you will remember the name John Ferris but I was running the Sydney office of RFD up until about 16 years ago. We went from being an Australian owned business making liferafts and other safety equipment here to becoming wholly owned by a UK parent company and required to import and sell the UK brand plus other imported gear.

It was a sad time for me and I will always regard it as the wrong decision for our company and Australia in general. Our Aussie made stuff was the best and just like Steber, we had earned and enjoyed an enviable reputation.

The name Chris Elford springs to mind. I don’t know if he is still with you but we had great dealings and he was one of our major buyers.

You might remember our George Steeden. He was our sales manager and he knew his subject having been in the industry all his life including making liferafts and other inflatables from the ground up on the factory floor. He visited Taree on his frequent sales trips whereas I think came up only about two or three times.

Anyway, enough rantings from an old guy who just wishes to congratulate you and your team on your success in a very competitive market.

The fact that you are all-Australian makes it even more noteworthy and deserving of the highest accolades.

Here’s to continued success! Best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year.

John Ferris

Boat building business booming

Good afternoon Alan,

Many thanks for your time on Friday.

It has been very interesting to visit your whole operation and to see so many projects underway. I think I have accounted for 10 hulls at different stages of construction for many different customers and applications, quite refreshing to see the boat building business booming under your management.

Well done on a really well organised boatyard. Your ability to control all aspects of the construction in-house is certainly an amazing advantage.

It was also very pleasing to see the rebirth of the well known “Westcoaster” and to learn about your potential interest to power the future build with Scania dedicated marine engines. The combination of this updated hull and Scania engine will make a very efficient and certainly complete the extensive range of quality vessels available from Steber International.

Andre Arm,

National Manager Engines,

Scania Australia

Best ever

Steber is the best boat we’ve ever owned in our 45 years of boating.

Reston Monck,

Western Australia

Enjoyed factory visit

Hello Alan,

I have to admit, I’ve visited many shipyards in my travels and this morning’s meeting was terrific to see a warm, kind-hearted approach to business and upholding the family tradition. Which I can relate to.

Any clients looking for an alternative to aluminium will definitely forward onto Stebercraft.

Darren Bozanich,

M & J Engineering


Steber recognised in State Parliament

Dear Mr Steber,

I had The opportunity to speak in the NSW Legislative Assembly in relation to your company’s recent achievement.

A Notice of Motion allows an individual Member of Parliament to acknowledge before the House an achievement of a resident in the Member’s electorate, the notice is then adopted by the House.

A notice of motion is a statement of intention to move a motion on a particular day. Notices of motions are categorised and placed on the Business Paper in accordance with the Standing Orders and practice.

I was indeed honoured to be able to speak in Parliament on your company’s recent achievement. I have enclosed a copy of the extract from NSW Legislative Assembly Hansard and Papers for your information and thought you might like to share a copy of the extract with your team, family and friends.

Stephen Bromhead LLM MP

The Nationals Whip

Member for Myall Lakes

“1945 – Steber International Boats

That this House

  1. Congratulates Steber International, boat manufacturer of Taree, on the launch of its newest WP32 vessel for the State’s Police Force.
  2.  Notes that the highly successful Steber Company has built over 50 vessels for State and Federal agencies including Customs, Defence, Fisheries, State and Federal Police as well as international customers.
  3. Commends the Steber family, include Bruce, Beryl, Alan, Deb and Colin Steber, for their enterprise and passion for the Manning Valley.”


Impressed by the culture

Alan, Thank you for hosting our visit to your Taree facility earlier this week. It was good to see each step in your design and manufacturing process.

As we discussed on the day, we were both impressed by the manufacturing culture you have created. It was clear that your operators were trained and competent. As a consequence they carried out their work independent of direct supervision and with confidence.

There was a positive work attitude evident from the interactions between operators, and with management.

We know you take your company’s resposibilties to the local area seriously, and this is reflected in a workplace that values people, their development and working environment.

Kevin Wallace, Ken Davis

EPRAKT Consulting


In awe of professionalism

As a high school teacher trained in the delivery of VET (Vocational Education and Training) Metals and Engineering, I am required to maintain a number of hours of authentic industry experience.

The team at Steber International very generously offered to take me on for a two day hands on experience at their production facility.

I am in absolute awe of the professionalism, safe working practices and first rate skills of the tradespeople working at Stebercraft across the entire factory.

This facility exemplifies the importance, benefits and quality of Australian manufacturing, whilst supporting and developing the fibreglassing, electrical, engineering and cabinetry industry all under one roof.

I have gained valuable knowledge through this experience that I will be able to use to enhance my students’ knowledge and skills.

My sincere thanks to Steber International for this invaluable learning experience.

David Lewers, Great Lakes College Senior Campus.

PS31 already proving it’s worth

PS31 is clocking up some worthwhile rescues – the latest was 2am Wednesday rescuing a 40′ yacht five nautical miles off the coast.

During the week we took Dean Storey out for a look at the capabilities of the boat. Leaving the bay we were hit by some rather large green water. A great demo of the boat’s ability and a demonstration of the seas we experience around here. Lots of white knuckles!

Tony O’Donnell,
Operations Officer,
Marine Rescue – Port Stephens

Wonderful initiative

I read on your Facebook page some information on Beau and your Apprentice Program. What a wonderful initiative and great news that you are able to offer young kids a good start in a satisfying career.

I think governments have come to realise how well apprenticeship employment and training really works, that it is valid for the 21st century and not everybody has to have a university degree.

The on the job mentoring that comes with this type of employment is particularly relevant, perhaps more so these days.

I have been in commercial boat bulding for over 50 years. When I left school, I started work at Brown Bros. Balmain, worked at Stannards, Berrys Bay and a couple of Sydney consultants, John Boulton and Phil Hercus.

I ended up in Cairns at NQEA for 20 years and became business development manager. Then had nine years sales and marketing in Singapore and The Netherlands working for the large Dutch shipbuilder Damen Shipyards. I say all this to emphasise that boat building with its mix of traditional and advance manufacturing skills is a very rewarding career.

I wish we saw more published in the media on companies such as yours. You have a good team up there and build great boats.

Paul Harrison,
Nelson Bay

Build and delivery of  “John Thompson”

I am writing to advise you that we have now brought our new rescue vessel PS31 into initial operational service. We expect to bring it into full operational service within the next few weeks when all of our crew have completed their conversion training.

I also want to express on behalf of all our members our sincere thanks for the service and assistance we received from you, Glenn Dunbier and all at Steber during the build process and afterwards. We were kept well informed of progress during the build and on the several occasions that our representatives visited your factory their questions were answered and any variations requested were addressed positively.

In particular, I want to say how much we appreciated your personal efforts in providing initial induction/handover training for our crew members both during the delivery voyage from Taree and after its arrival into Port Stephens. Without that we would not have been able to bring the vessel into operational service as quickly as proved possible. Thank you.

Our crew members have been undertaking regular and intensive conversion training on the vessel and they are very happy with its performance.

Thank you again for all the assistance you and your team at Steber gave us. We are very happy with the vessel which we are confident will serve us and the Port Stephens boating community very well for many years to come.

Colin Cahill,
Port Stephens Unit Commander,
Marine Rescue NSW

Flexible designs, versatile uses

When Faye and I are travelling with the caravan we seem to gravitate toward coastal towns (with golf courses, but also harbours) and whilst there, check out boats moored.

We always look for Stebercraft and it is satisfyiung to me to see the places where they are found.

Also noticeable are the uses the craft are put to and also the changes to design which is a reflection of the time your business has been operating.

To stay in any business 70 years requires sound solid management skills not only in the board room but on the floor so acknowledge also the experise to embrace new design and boat building techniques.

I am sure Bruce did not use fibreglass to build his first boat all those years ago. Congratulations for those 70 years to you and your workforce.


Tony McDonald

World class standards

This is to certify that I have known the Steber family for the past 31 years since they decentralised to my local area from Sydney.

The Steber family has been involved in the commercial craft industry in Australia for 25 years. They are the manufacturers of top quality products which are finished to world class standards.

The Steber company is a highly respected and valued organisation in our local area. The integrity of the family is such that not only are they highly respected locally, but Alan Steber is the past Chairman of the Australian International Marine Export Group (AIMEX) as well as a recipient of a Centenary Medal for outstanding services to the marine industry.

The Steber company has manufactured many government vessels such as police/patrol boats over the years and I understand that they are all operating to the satisfaction of the appropriate department.

The quality of the product speaks for itself and I have no hesitation attesting to the integrity of the company.

Mark Vaile

Excellent relationship

It is a pleasure to recommend Steber International.

I was Marine Rescue NSW Fleet Manager and Project Manager for the recent Steber contract to build four 38′ rescue vessels. I retired from that position at the end of 2011 on the completion and delivery of the vessels.

A total of 15 further Steber vessels are being considered in the 34′ to 48′ range over the next five years. I feel I am in a very good position to recommend them to any organisation who would be interested in dealing or contracting their services.

Marine Rescue NSW (MRNSW) has had an excellent relationship with this company over many years* in the provision of equipment, supplies and services. We have found that the company personnel possess a high level of expertise, knowledge and experience which assisted MRNSW in identifying the systems and information necessary to achieve its goals. Their attention to detail and follow up ensured the best possible outcomes.

They have a high level of customer service and are always willing to assit at all levels of MRNSW, from volunteers through to senior management. Chris Elford was the main technical contact whom I rate very highly as an expert in his field and who is always willing to give advice as required.

The current fleet of Steber vessels comprises of eight vessels in the 28′, 34′, 38′ and 41′ range with all crew and support crew delighted with their performance in the extreme SAR environment.

I wholeheartedly advocate Steber International to you for any marine related service and supply requirements.

Peter Phillipson ESM

Director MRNSW

* Both the Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol and Volunteer Rescue Association included Steber vessels in their fleet before amalgamation 1st July 2009.

Reliability key safety issue

“A quick note to let you know that Wyuna is now in Cairns with over 90 hours on the clock.

I picked her up in Bowen last Sunday, waited for bad weather on Monday, then ran to Cairns over 2 days arrive Wednesday afternoon about 2pm.

The motors and the boat ran like clockwork giving cruise speeds of between 19 & 21 knts at 70% power.

Thanks to you all for getting us safely up here”.

Email sent to Alan Steber and others from Doug Olding, owner of Steber 41 Wyuna.

Exceeded all expectations: Pro Dive

We have just completed our maiden run with the new boat!

The vessel has exceeded all of my expectations!

On the Saturday we had a full boat load of 25 passengers and crew – 22 divers and three staff, a full complement of diving equipment (including 50 diving cylinders). The boat was able to effortlessly get up on the plane and cruise at 22 knots.

In the afternoon we returned from Blue Point, north of Sydney Heads and encountered strong south easterly winds gusting up to 30 knots with a two metre wind chop. The boat handled these conditions with such ease that the clients on board were able to move freely around the boat as if they were on a leisurely cruise down the harbour.

I have been running dive boats for 32 years now and have commissioned either directly or on a consultative basis, well over 50 vessels, from 14ft inflatables to 80ft liveaboards.

This is the first time I have had a boat up and running from day one and not a single thing to adjust, modify or repair. We just turned the motors over and commenced business.

The finish on the boat is outstanding. I have had numerous dive boat operators come up to me and make that observation. Pleass pass on these comments to your team at Stebercraft.

The diving layout for the boat I requested – dive platform – dive ladders and tank rack, seating and storage of equipment, is sensational. My crew, divemasters, instructors and most importantly, the customers, all commented on the ease of use and the sturdiness of the units. Again please pass on our thanks to the manufacturers.

The boat looks a treat, the signage fantastic. We look forward to a great season. A big THANK YOU from myself, Pat and the team at Pro Dive.

Russell de Groot,

C.E.O. Pro Dive International

DMS Maritime

“DMS appreciates the attention to detail and workmanship contributed by Stebercraft Pty Ltd (Steber) on its performance of the Harbour Support Craft Contract.”

Read the full testimonial here.


For me the story of Steber International is the epitome of the quiet achiever, an entirely ethical family-owned company which moves with the times, but more importantly a company which stands the test of time. For me, Steber International are one of the real success stories of the Australian Marine industry, and I put them right up there with iconic world-class all-Australian companies such as Aqualuma, Ronstan, Hydrive, Austal and Incat.

Like those companies, and it is a rarity in this day and age, you just never ever heard a bad word said about them. They just get on with the job of building export-quality, world-class products.

You don’t see brash over-the-top headlines, there are never redundancies or bad press in any way shape or form – simply because one can only ever say and write good things about a company like Stebercraft. They don’t appear to ever have peaks and troughs in their business cycle, because they quite obviously have a good focus, a good game plan – and they adhere rigidly to it.

Most obvious from my perspective in the media, and it is certainly most refreshing in this day and age of so-called hard times, Stebercraft maintain R&D programmes, they continue to employ apprentices, and they continue to embrace technology by ensuring their highly organised state-of-the-art operation features the very latest in machinery, materials and technology; a very recent $750,000 re-vamp of their entire operation, is testament to that! That is the strength of their company, now and into the future.

Steber is a company built on respect, ethics and plain old service and satisfaction – they go the extra yard and as a result, their clients become their friends. But even more important than all of the above, is a good product. Look in the classifieds, how many Stebers are for sale? And if you do happen to find one, the price will invariably be indicative of the exceptionally good re-sale value a Stebercraft vessel offers. That is a very integral part of my personal judging whether or not a particular boat is a good boat!

I have water-tested virtually every model Steber have produced, over a significant number of years now and I can honestly say I have never found a Steber model that didn’t 100% come up to my expectations. Stebercraft vessels are built to survey, so you get exactly what the commercial boys get – handling, economy, dependability and durability. Few other boating packages genuinely offer that, for the boats are proven in the most difficult of conditions, when used by authorities such as Coast Guard, VMR, police, Navy, Army, Border Control and Customs.

The Steber name to me, is all about integrity, it is what I describe as a good wholesome boat that can be dressed up or down to precisely accommodate each owners precise requirements in a vessel – at an affordable price!

Barry Tyler – Editor