Col­lab­o­ra­tive prod­uct de­sign at its best

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - NEWS -

When we work

to­gether, we can achieve great things, states Cal­iber De­sign, say­ing that is why although we are a small coun­try, we punch above our weight on the global stage. To com­pete, New Zealand busi­nesses need to in­no­vate and col­lab­o­rate to use our col­lec­tive skill sets to make col­lec­tive gains, says the com­pany adding that an ex­am­ple of col­lab­o­ra­tive prod­uct de­sign at its best is the Stab­i­craft 1600 Fisher, aka Project Car­bon.


Stab­i­craft is a clas­sic Kiwi com­pany well renowned for its iconic alu­minium boats. In 2014 the com­pany de­cided to challenge the sta­tus quo by ap­ply­ing com­pos­ite tech­nolo­gies to its new range of boats. This would make Stab­i­craft the coun­try’s first trailer boat man­u­fac­turer to use car­bon fi­bre tech­nol­ogy in its above-wa­ter struc­ture.


The project team was formed, with the Stab­i­craft De­sign Team sup­ported by ex­perts from com­ple­men­tary busi­nesses: Gareth Dykes of FI In­no­va­tions and Mike Whit­taker from Cal­iber De­sign.

The team took a col­lab­o­ra­tive ap­proach to pro­duce a set of con­cepts that bought a fresh per­spec­tive, de­sign process think­ing, and be­spoke use of com­pos­ites to the recre­ational boat mar­ket.

“Project Car­bon” was borne.


The new ma­te­rial means the cab­ins and top sides can be pre­pared off the boat and fit­ted to the hull in a short amount of time. This sim­pli­fies the assem­bly process and re­duces skilled weld­ing labour (which is in short sup­ply), al­low­ing for in­creased through­put dur­ing later assem­bly stages on the pro­duc­tion line.

The multi-piece de­sign of the cabin and con­sole al­lows for con­trast­ing colours, ma­te­ri­als and tex­tures to be utilised within 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 been well-re­ceived by the mar­ket and even won the pres­ti­gious Red Dot De­sign Award in 2016. The Red Dot Award is one of the most re­spected de­sign com­pe­ti­tions in the world and re­ceived 5000 en­tries from 51 na­tions. The Red Dot is the revered in­ter­na­tional seal of out­stand­ing de­sign qual­ity.

Cal­iber thor­oughly en­joyed work­ing with the Stab­i­craft team be­cause of its open-mind­ed­ness to new think­ing, its will­ing­ness to be ad­ven­tur­ous with new de­sign ideas, and its en­thu­si­asm to lead the in­dus­try by be­ing disruptive.

Cal­iber De­sign will bring the Stab­i­craft 1600 Fisher to SouthMACH 2017.

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