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CASE STUDY | Stabicraft Fisher 1600

Stabicraft are a classic kiwi company well renowned for their iconic aluminium boats. In 2014 they decided to challenge the status quo by applying composite technologies to their new range of boats. This would make them the first NZ trailer boat manufacturer to use carbon fibre technology in its above-water structure.

THE PROBLEM

The team at Stabicraft are highly experienced in creating truly iconic aluminium boats and in 2014 they decided to challenge existing designs by applying composite technologies to their new range.

The project, which would become known as Project Carbon, was to develop a cuddy-cabin style fishing boat and an open centre console boat that would respectively be called the Fisher & the Frontier.

They wanted to create a new range of great aluminium boats that challenged the status quo, while remaining true to the “Stabicraft DNA” and making the most of the design flexibility that carbon fibre composite material allows.

THE SOLUTION

The project team included the Stabicraft Design team, Gareth Dykes of Fibreglass Innovations and Caliber’s Design Manager Mike Whittaker. The team took a collaborative approach to produce a set of designs that bought a fresh perspective, design process thinking and bespoke utilisation of composites to the recreational boat market.

THE RESULT

The Fisher’s shape is a new aggressive look that brings a new sense of dynamic and purposeful forward movement while maintaining a sense of safety and protection within the invitingly comfortable cockpit space.

The shape is complimentary to Stabicraft’s historic evolution, but is also a modern progression toward a new and exciting future. It is the first aluminium production trailer fishing boat to feature vacuum infused carbon fibre in its major construction. The new material means that the cabin and top sides can be prepared off the boat and fitted to the hull in a short amount of time. This makes for quicker assembly and reduces welding labour, allowing for increased through-put during latter assembly stages on the production line.

The multi-piece design of the cabin and console allows for contrasting colours, materials, and textures to be used in the cabin within the one assembly. The composite parts are vacuum infused with epoxy resin which makes them very strong and resistant to damage, attributes in fitting with Stabicraft’s renowned traits of strength and durability.

The Stabicraft 1600 Fisher has won several awards, including a Bronze Best AwardWestpac Business Excellence Award, and Red Dot Product Design Award 2016.

Caliber really enjoyed working with the Stabicraft team because of their open mindedness to new thinking, their willingness to be adventurous with new design ideas, and their enthusiasm for their products. Stabicraft is a great brand and we’re very proud to have been a part of this successful new development for their company.

Stabicraft Fisher 1600
Stabicraft Fisher 1600

Stabicraft Marine have multiple projects underway at any one time and we urgently required specialist industrial design resource to ensure the project was thoroughly explored through experienced design thinking. Caliber Design not only provided the experience required to maximise the projects potential but were dynamic enough to accommodate moving timeframes and brief updates thus strengthening the B2B relationship.

Daniel Upperton

Adventure Engineer, Stabicraft