08 December 2011
Australia’s largest aluminium Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB boats) rigid boats manufacturer, Woody Marine Fabrication (WMF), has confirmed a change of ownership with the company’s in-house naval architect Stephen Plummer as the new owner.
In a seamless transition of ownership and management, WMF continues to manufacture as normal under the new structure. Previous owner Dave Green and wife Deidre, who has administered the business from the beginning, remain on hand and supporting the transition on a day to day basis.
“I can think of no better man to be running this company,” David Green said.
“Stephen Plumber is a fine man. He is exceptionally well qualified and a very intelligent person with a wealth of experience in this industry segment.”
“The future of WMF is secure and in capable hands. The change in ownership to Stephen will prove to be a defining moment in the history of this business.”
WMF is an iconic aluminium boat manufacturer, with the vast majority of boats rolling out to the Brisbane facility being aluminium hulled RIBs.
The person responsible for the design of these ground breaking vessels is Stephen Plummer.
“The opportunity to acquire WMF is a wonderful opportunity,” Stephen said. “This is a company that has thrived on supporting a market niche and in the process grown throughout the duration of the GFC.”
“Commercially it is a wonderful opportunity to own such a successful and iconic business. Personally it’s heartening to now own the company that I have been such an integral part of for much of my professional career.”
Stephen Plummer is an exceptionally well qualified and well credentialed individual. He graduated in 1996 from the Australian Maritime College at Launceston with a Bachelor of Engineering in Naval Architecture with First Class Honours. After graduating, Stephen began working for Norman R Wright & Sons, ship designers and shipbuilders, in Brisbane.
It was at Norman R Wright that Stephen first came in to contact with Woody Enterprises, as the two companies interacted commercially.
“My first hull designs at Norman R Wright were aluminium vessels destined for hard work in oil research and ocean seismic work,” Stephen said.
In 2004 Stephen made the all important career change and decided to work full time for WMF. At this time the company was forging an ever stronger presence in the aluminium RIB market, but required specialist design support.
“Not all of our production is devoted to RIB boats,” Stephen said. “We are currently mid way through a construction of a 17m all aluminium pilot vessel destined for a large and well established Australian company, which involves a partnership with Woody’s and Camarac in the UK.”
Coincidentally, WMF has announced that it has severed its commercial arrangement with the NZ based company Naiad Inflatables.
Stephen Plummer commented that the association had run its course and the time was right to move forward as an autonomous entity.
“We have developed our own WMF hull designs over the past years so that they are unique to WMF,” Stephen said. “We are currently in the process of concluding the design and manufacture of WMF tubes which will be custom made for our vessels. I am absolutely confident they will be superior to anything that we have fitted in the past.”
So with WMF mid way through the build of the biggest vessel to roil off the line, a new world first on the books and an order book which stretched well into 2011, the time for Stephen Plummer to assume ownership of WMF could not be better.