Luhrs Marine Group files for bankruptcy protection

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The Luhrs Marine Group, consisting of Silverton Marine Corp., Mainship Corp., Luhrs Corp., Hunter Marine Corp. and five additional subsidiaries, today filed voluntary petitions to reorganize under Chapter 11 in bankruptcy court in New Jersey, Hunter Marine president and chief restructuring officer John Peterson confirmed to Soundings Trade Only.

The powerboat companies — Silverton, Luhrs and Mainship, located in Millville, N.J. — had ceased operations in January. Florida-based Hunter Marine, the sailboat builder, has never shut down production, Peterson said, and continues to be up and running.

The bankruptcy filing was not immediately available online.

Peterson said Hunter has secured interim financing from Bank of America to stay in operation. Only one person remains at the powerboat companies, and he’s on the Hunter payroll, Peterson confirmed. About 60 people were laid off from the New Jersey operation.

A phone number to the New Jersey office was disconnected.

As for Hunter, Peterson said, “Our orders are fairly strong right now. I think things are going fairly well [for Hunter]. We could certainly pay for ourselves on an ongoing basis, but we could not pay for the whole group on an ongoing basis.”

There are “numerous” entities interested in buying Hunter and other assets, Peterson added.

“Our backlog of orders is more than reasonable and remarkably higher than the last two years. Our Hunter dealers can count on us to continue to aggressively market our boats worldwide as well as continue our R&D projects uninterrupted. Hunter’s boats, customers and dealers will be supported, as in the past,” Peterson added. “Our dealers, our dedicated employees, our products make up the Hunter brand and this action will allow us to continue.”

When the Luhrs Marine Group originally shut down it said it would be for 60 to 90 days to allow boat orders to accumulate.

The company told its dealers, “We hope you will continue to promote our products and keep in touch with our sales team so that with your help we can again start producing the excellent products of the Luhrs Marine Group.”

— Beth Rosenberg


17 comments on “Luhrs Marine Group files for bankruptcy protection

  1. too bad

    That is really a shame because these guys are one of the builders left who make boats with a pointy end and a blunt end. Perhaps they’re in trouble because I might be one of the few people left who like traditionally styled boats.

  2. The Admiral

    This is truly a sad news. My ’07 Siverton 42 was a tremendous sea vessel. I was hoping to someday build a 50. Dollar for dollar, pound for pound, there was not a better built boat – anywhere,


    Blame Obama first and Bush second; however, blame yourselves for believing the corrupt environmental movement,(global warming hoax, etc.) the corrupt legal trade (dishonest trial lawyers & judges), and the corrupt industry we call politics in the USA (career politicians).
    IDGARA to you all!

  4. Not Surprised

    As a minor supplier to the Luhrs Group I am deeply saddened but not surprised by this news. For my company, the Bush years were great and even the Clinton years were good after the Luxury Tax was abolished. I have tried to make the case for 3+ years that our ship was headed in the wrong direction. If we don’t force the captain or change captains, boat building in this country may go the way of furniture manufacturing and shipwreck off of China.

  5. Sunny Man

    This is truly another sad day for the boating industry.
    So many issues are devastating what used to be a thriving industry.
    Bad economy, high fuel costs, over-restrictive regulations for marinas, states increasing fees and taxes on luxury items and services, lack of legislative support, etc, etc.
    I hope our elected officials hurry up and wake up. This industry employs millions of people. The livelihood of not just the boat builders but the employees of marinas, fuel service companies, canvas fabricators, mechanics, restaurants that cater to the recreational boater, manufacturers of marine equipment and supplies, retailers supplying boating and fishing gear, engine manufacturers, fiberglass suppliers, trade show promoters, convention centers and on, and on, and on…
    The auto industry got billions in bailouts to help their businesses. Where’s the help for the marine manufacturers? Think of all the tax revenue that disappears if all this dries up.
    This is an industry where we still employ a lot of American workers to manufacture these boats. Let’s not let this one slip away too.

  6. DJinNC

    I hope the American people, those not on the Government payroll, will get out and vote Obama out. The boating industry should start getting into the political arena to try and protect what is left. When you combine NOAA, the EPA, and our restrained lending institutions one can easily see that the boating industry is doomed without some political intervention.

  7. tuna tower

    1982, 30 Years ago, a friend of mine bought a new 7 series BMW for about $40,000 and new 42 Post for a little north of $130,000. Today you can buy the BMW for $80,000, but a new 42′ convertible is nearly $1 million. You can’t sell ’em all to the top one-tenth of 1%

  8. An Observer

    How about placing the blame where it belongs? I have no sympathy for management/board/owners that drives a company into the ground. They should have adapted to a changing environment. The people who get hurt are the suppliers, creditors, and especially the line workers.

    Blame politicians? Where did personal responsibility go?!?

  9. tumblehome

    You know, major corporations have been outsourcing jobs to overseas locations for 30 years. Slowly at first, more and more with every year that passes. At first it was blue collar jobs. The last 15 or so years it has been engineers, designers, IT people and technical people. These are middle class jobs that have gone away. Middle class people bought boats by the thousands but they don’t anymore. These major corporations that outsourced the jobs overseas so they could make more profit took away the customers.

  10. Roy Hershey

    Catalina Yachts moved their production form California – to Florida — because the California EPA didn’t approve on something they were doing. The EPA has cost a lot of jobs. Yes, they have some valid points, but how many times doe you see people who call in the “EPA” to stop something they do not like, but could care less about the environment

  11. Bill Walczak

    If you look at what boat manufacturers are building and who is stalled it is obvious that the designs and product niche of the Luhrs Group is least likely to succeed. Luhrs needed to reinvent itself in 2007 to meet the demands of a shrinking market.

  12. Russell

    What does EPA have to do with Luhrs bankruptcy? Nothing. What does NOAA have to do with it? Almost nothing — NOAA supplies the weather information that greatly benefits mariners, and so acts as a subsidy to Luhrs. It amazes me how some people treat every bit of news as an opportunity to trot out their political bogeymen and related factoids.

  13. Mike Crews

    Catalina Yachts has not moved production to Largo FL. They still build all the classic Catalina models at the Woodland Hills factory. The models acquired with their Morgan purchase, and the models developed from the Morgan purchase, are built in Largo FL where the Morgan factory is located.

    C400, C380 – built in Largo
    C42, C38 – still built in Woodland Hills, as always

  14. Popeye

    Hasn’t anyone noticed that there is a worldwide recession going on? 24% unemployment in Spain. Germany is pretty much holding up the rest of Europe. China’s economy is slowing down. American manufacturers are starting to being some production back from China as China’s labor rates go up and the price of fuel to ship goods goes up as well.

    So give the EPA, Obama-bashing crap a rest. I was in the boat sales business for 2 decades. Things went south after the dot-com bubble burst. Had a minor recover about 5 or 6 years ago and then the recession hit.

  15. Philosophical

    This is what happens when 0.1% of the population takes all of the income growth and takes away everyone else’s job security. Sooner or later we’re going to realize that a large economy can’t work without a lot of people having money to spend. Without changes in the distribution of wealth in the USA, we’re heading towards building ten super-yachts per year, and not much else. It’s not Obama, it’s not the EPA, it’s a shortage of customers with money.

  16. Captain Frank Ferris

    The only reply that made sense was the last one, about no income equal no buyers. If you have all the money going to the top ten percent and they do not buy smaller vessels. The wealthy have turned america into a serf economy, union jobs are almost all gone and have been in decline since saint Reagan busted our collective balls. I have been in every segment of the marine industry from 1976 in the service, storage and repair yard to the factories to the retail stores. I have worked the major boat show circuit since 1987 and went through the stupid George H Bush luxury tax in 1991 I closed 5 stores in Florida and gave back millions of dollars in inventory. Then I went into Manufacturing boats custom built to order. That segment was strong through 2004. Now I thank my ability to survive on my service skills repairing the yachts of the wealthy. The sales people are old used car sales people for the most part and the banks are not lending money for boats when they own so many homes and know the jobs are not coming back to America. The Chinese bought Ferretti and closed Bertram I have watched 20 boat companies leave Florida or just go out of business. We were a low cost state but you can not live here and make 10 dollars an hour the property values and rents have become to expensive.

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