Marlow Acquisitions buys Hunter Marine

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The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey approved the sale of the operating assets of Hunter Marine Corp. late Tuesday night and “selected assets” of Mainship Corp. and the Luhrs Corp. to Marlow Acquisitions LLC, according to a letter the company sent Wednesday to Hunter dealers.

The letter was sent to Soundings Trade Only by Hunter president and chief restructuring officer John Peterson, who said he has spent the last two days in court trying to tie up the deal.

“Even the judge said he was impressed by the expediency with which this whole thing has been handled,” Peterson told Soundings Trade Only.

Peterson expects the deal to close within the month, he said.

Marlow Acquisitions is affiliated with Marlow companies operating worldwide across a broad spectrum of marine and related industries in a vertically integrated manufacturing and distribution environment, the letter sent to dealers said.

“I have spent numerous hours with Mr. David Marlow, principal of the purchasing entity,” Peterson wrote to dealers. “I can assure you that he is elated with the opportunity afforded himself as the highest and best bidder.”

“Mr. Marlow will be writing directly over the next few days, so I do not want to go into more details at this point other than to state that he enthusiastically believes in boating as a recreation lifestyle; he has a keen focus on new boats as the driving force to accomplish increased sales; and has a 40-year history of profitable boat building,” the letter stated.

Peterson quoted a line from one of Marlow’s many emails to give dealers a glimpse of his philosophy: “One item I am concerned with is the concept that any alterations would be made in the planned output of QC procedures to enhance short term revenues. My hallmark is quality and there is no better time to begin than the beginning. It would be extremely counterproductive to shape deliveries around eking out a bit more cash flow … than spending the necessary dollars on QC,” Marlow wrote, according to Peterson’s letter to dealers.

Marlow Yachts builds the Marlow Explorer, Marlow Voyager and Marlow Prowler lines of yachts, the letter said. Marlow has a boatbuilding yard in China.

“These yachts are produced using technologies many generations beyond common industry standards in a Marlow-built and owned environmentally green facility with approximately 250,000 square feet of purpose built production halls and supporting assets that include approximately 300 highly skilled artists and technicians,” the letter said. “These botanical park-like facilities have twice been awarded status as the only fully green and environmentally sensitive yacht manufacturing facilities on earth. Marlow Yachts performance products and methods of operation have received numerous industry and independent awards for proprietary, innovative and higher technology processes while being considered one of the highest quality yacht producers on earth.”

Click here for the full letter.

- Reagan Haynes

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Comments

19 comments on “Marlow Acquisitions buys Hunter Marine

  1. Fred Dower

    Hi Dave,

    Way to go. This is the best thing that could happen for you and Hunter Marine. With you knowledge of boatbuilding and attention to detail will make it a winner. Good luck

    Sincerely,
    Fred Dower

  2. Russ Jonson

    I am curious as to where they intend to build the boats long term. NJ, FL, or China?

  3. Jeff Smith

    Great to see that the pedigreed Hunter is back and under the umbrella of an outstanding name that has moved the industry forward.

  4. Andy Geisweller Hampton Yachts

    I have worked with Hunter Marine for the last 18 years and Marlow Marne for the last 7 years at many major boat shows around the country. With the outstanding quality that comes with a Marlow yacht, I am sure that this will be a win-win situation for all involved. Bravo for this good news. Andy Geisweller, President, Hampton Yachts

  5. john peterson

    In response to comment #2, as part of the APA (Asset Purchase Agreement) a lease for the facility in Alachua was signed between Marlow and Bank of America.

  6. David

    Thank you Fred, Russ, Jeff and all those who have called and written to wish us well..

    I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with such a fine group at Hunter Marine headed by John Peterson in a round the clock effort to save good and decent companies from the ash heap of history.

    There are no plans to build any of the boats in China, though our capability in supply of custom components in virtually any material will be utilized. Areas that come to mind are supply of timber direct from the log through our own mill and to the builder. Exotic metalworking is a routine product and I expect that some components such as haches, ports, etc. may find their way aboard.

    We intend to bring the FRP high technology in advanced composites that we have developed in Asia back to America, our version of “reverse engineering”. For the near term the boats will be built in the Alachua facility with an eye toward either building a new purpose built factory or converting an existing USA factory suitable to take advantage of the technologies that are proprietary to Marlow. Our efforts will be directed towards environmental, community and employee friendly processes as we have elsewhere.

    We will use the joint talents of all the companies to build fine yachts at good value while providing jobs good men and women can be proud to hold.

    The location of the USA factory to be bought or built for future production is not yet determined, as the schedule to accomplish the exit of Hunter, Mainship and Luhrs from Bankruptcy required cooperation and diligence by all, executed in what must be a world record exit for such legal procedures. I am grateful to the Hunter team and pleased that it is poised to begin the next 40 years.

    Marlow will invest capital and other resources as needed to bring Hunter, Mainship to the top of the industry using existing talent and those who wish to join us with committment and use of all the tools humans hold. We intend to use our heads, our hands and our hearts to accomplish the goals.

    Thank you all and the many phone calls and e-mails wishing the best.

    David

  7. Mike Carrigan, Sr.

    Congratulations David.
    The very best wishes for the continuation of very fine products and ongoing employment of very good people.

  8. david

    As response to comment number 9 from Jack; We anticipate working with the Gemini Catamaran principles in similar fashion to the past relationship. Our appraisal of the past Gemini relationship is that it is fair minded for all and that the key personnel at Gemini and Hunter Marine are men and women of integrity with common goals, respectful of the common laws of business. We look forward to continued and ever increasing business relationships with Hugh and his supporting cast.

    With respect to comment #9 it is difficult to imagine the rationale that would provoke the statement as there has been no discussion by any management personnel at Marlow Hunter-Mainship that would suggest an offshore movement of Hunter-Mainship. What has been considered is that proprietary technologies developed in Asia together with speciaized raw materials unavailable in the USA can be brought to the USA manufacturing operations to increase competitiveness and provide a level of technology unknown today in the US or Europe boating industry. That appears to be a wonderful marriage of talents to the writer.

    Thanks for comments.

  9. Frank Brown

    I’m elated to know that Marlow has purchased Hunter, Luhrs and Mainship!
    1. Marlow is a great company
    2. Their quality is amazing
    3. They will BRNG BACK many jobs to the US market and industry.
    4. I am SURE that Mainship, Hunter and Luhrs current and future owners will be thrilled and benefited by the Marlow name, quality and service now backing up their boats.
    THANKS MARLOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Jerry Norman

    Congratulations to all at Marlow and Hunter Corp. It is wonderful to see the depth within the marine industry, and great to know of the continuation of Hunter/Luhrs and their lines of fine vessels. Best wishes to all!

  11. Alice Starcke

    As an owner of two Hunter dinghies, currently the H 146, I am happy to see the company surviving. But I do suggest that under the new ownership, they stop using that advanced composite material for boat building, and avoid problems with it in the future. Fiberglass is just fine, makes durable boats that last for years.

    Sincerely,
    Alice Starcke

  12. Delilah

    What about those of us who have a Hunter 456 with manufacturing defect and major repairs needed? I have a 10 year old 456 and have just discovered a major problem with a moisture in the hull as a result of chain plate being improperly mounted. Clearly a manufacturing defect. What is my recourse?

  13. Karen Davis

    I was very pleased that Hunter is being saved by an American Company.
    I was very curious to see if Marlowe was ALL Amercican and of course it is not. Boat yard in China, really?!!!!

  14. Timothy Richey

    To Alice Starcke: I also own a Hunter 146 and due to the ABS material “cobwebbing” from not keeping the hull protected from UV rays, Hunter stopped using the ABS after 3 years. I now own a 1993 Hunter 23.5 and hope the new owners will continue to make parts as older Hunters begin to need replacement parts.

  15. Neil Cameron

    Hi, and well done, but what is happening to the Silverton range?

    regards

    Neil Cameron
    gulfgroup marine brokers

    New Zealand

  16. Al Mecholsky, Silverton Marine

    Hi David,

    I enjoyed my 30 yr. career building Silverton, Luhrs and Mainships at the Millville N.J. plant. Good luck, hope to see you again.

    Sincerely,
    Al Mecholsky, Fiberglass Mgr. Silverton Marine

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