Yanmar Quality and Support Meets 7 Star Expectations
In a big, competitive world and the even more rarified world of 7 Star resorts, superior levels of quality, reliability and service are expected. It is therefore notable that the latest boat from Taree-based Steber International is headed to the unique Fregate Island private resort, part of the Seychelles in the Western Indian Ocean.
It becomes the fourth Steber boat servicing Fregate Island, its predecessors still performing faultlessly up to 22 years after delivery. The last delivery from Taree was a Steber 38 powered by twin Yanmar 6LY3s two years ago; it logs up to 1600 hours per year.
Earlier boats were powered by other engines but the client’s shift to Yanmar engines was in pursuit of better service and product support, Alan Steber explained.
The specially optioned Steber 52 is powered by twin 700MHP Yanmar 6HYM-WET S-rated diesels, also driving MASE Mariner 1600 gensets. While primarily tasked with ferrying up to 33 guests and luggage the 55km between Fregate (named for its ubiquitous Fregate Birds) and the Seychelles main island of Mahe at up to 30 knots, the versatile Steber 52 will also serve as a dive platform, pleasure cruiser, game fishing and supply boat as needed.
Given its operation in some serious marine waters, the fibreglass hull boat’s highly evolved keeled hull and structural qualities, combined with the 13.7 litre Yanmar’s reliability and performance characteristics, are up to the challenge. The order from Fregate Island was won largely on Steber’s reputation for quality hull design and construction which delivers good handling characteristics, seaworthiness, stability and a “soft dry ride”, Alan Steber explained.
Their reputation has been forged over nearly 70 years. The firm was started by Alan’s father after WW2 with clinker-built wooden boats before becoming pioneers in the new era of fibreglass construction in 1961.The business outgrew Sydney’s Middle Harbour and moved north to Taree in 1974 – central for deliveries to the key market for big trailer boats to 20ft. In the mid-1970s small runabouts were phased out and the first large boat built, a 32 footer. The move into the construction of larger vessels, Surveyed for commercial fishing, charter, police boats, marine rescue, also large recreational vessels, proved to be a wise decision. Boats can now be built up to 65ft in length.
Similarly Yanmar’s reliability and reputation for customer and product support were big factors in the engine selection for the Steber 52. Power Equipment has also received an order for engines in the forthcoming first Steber 60.
The Yanmar 6HYM’s excellent torque rise characteristics in both high speed and high load ranges deliver big, stable power over a wide range of operational conditions and tasks. Empty or fully loaded that contributes to higher passenger comfort levels and better control for the skipper.
Big valves improve airflow through the engine, while a compact twin turbocharger minimises turbo lag. An all-new high efficiency intercooler, all-new fuel injectors and optimised combustion chambers deliver lower emissions, improved fuel economy and improved power output.
The engines are also designed for easier routine inspection and maintenance which minimises downtime and contributes to a safe, seaworthy boat ready for operation when tasked.
In both the new Steber 52 and forthcoming Steber 60 Yanmar engines are complemented by MASE Mariner gensets. These will power the boats’ vital 240 volt AC auxiliary systems – lighting circuits, the gyroscopic stabiliser, air-conditioning systems, refrigeration systems and galley cooking. Like Steber build quality and Yanmar reliability, MASE generators are also known for quietness, reliability, performance, flexibility of installation and ease of service. They are also part of the Yanmar service support network here and in the Seychelles – a big positive for Fregate Island.
The Yanmar engines specified in these Steber boats are also equipped with a high capacity front PTO. These can, in future, be used to drive winches and other mechanical auxiliaries if and when required.
Power Equipment’s demonstrated ongoing customer support for leading boat builders like Steber International continues a proud record established over decades.
“Steber International’s working relationship with Power Equipment and Yanmar over the years has been above average – extremely good,” Alan Steber commented.
Steber vessels have been exported to various countries including Japan, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Malaysia and New Zealand. In the ‘custom fit commercial’ category they are arguably at the top of the pack.
“And we’re in fibreglass which has enormous advantages over aluminium including noise levels, ride comfort and insulation,” according to Alan Steber. “Those insulation properties are an extra advantage in the Seychelles and the Gulf countries close to the Equator,” he added.
“We are experts at what we do” said Alan, “We have the infrastructure and expertise to go to the next level, and look forward, if there’s new technology there, to be part of it, to continue for the next 70 years.”