Stabicraft owner Paul Adams has joined the ranks of illustrious marine industry movers and shakers, inducted into the Hall of Fame at the recent Hutchwilco Boat Show.

Adams started Stabicraft in the late 1980s and has nurtured it into one of New Zealand’s most important marine businesses. It has built more than 13,000 boats and is represented by over 25 dealers in five countries. It employs over 100 people in the 5,000m² Invercargill factory.

After working as an apprentice coach builder for a Bluff-based engineering company, Paul almost didn’t get into boatbuilding at all. Asked by a couple of commercial fishermen to produce an aluminium pontoon boat, he and his mate declined, thinking it was a crank idea and wondering “why would you want to do that?” When the boat ended up being built by someone else and was “not a success”, the fishermen again approached the pair and this time they agreed.


Before long, they had quit their jobs, moved to a “backstreet workshop” and were building boats full time. In 1987, they built their first rigid-hulled aluminium chambered boat, a Stabicraft 3.5 called Ally Duck.

The company has long been an exhibitor at the New Zealand Boat Show and, in 1998 won its first Boat of the Show Award, Fishing Boat of the Show, for its Stabicraft 630HT.

In 2007, Paul was made a member of the prestigious New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to business. Under his “Design-Led” approach, Stabicraft has won a number of National and International awards, including a coveted International Red Dot Design Award in 2016.