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ACQUISITIONS
Taylor Made Products, a division of the Taylor Made Group, has acquired the D-Icer product line from Pyramid Technologies Industrial of Meriden, Conn.

A purchase price was not disclosed.

The manufacturing and distribution of the product line has been moved to Gloversville, N.Y.

The D-Icer is a submersible, motor-driven water circulation unit developed to prevent ice from forming around docks and pilings during harsh winter months by continuously propelling warmer subsurface water to the surface.

“We have strategically expanded our offering of dock products significantly over the past five years with the acquisition of Perimeter Industries and the introduction of numerous other products including vinyl and rubber dock edging, fiberglass dock boxes, carts, piling caps and dock bumpers,” said Jason Pajonk, president of Taylor Made Products.

The Taylor Made Group has 14 plants in the United States, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Mexico.

Yamaha Motor Corp. USA has purchased the assets of Indianapolis-based Precision Propeller.

Yamaha plans to retain the company’s workers while making capital investments in the plant and its processes for the production of marine propellers. The new company will now be known as Precision Propeller Industries.

Yamaha Marine, based in Kennesaw, Ga., markets marine outboard motors ranging in size from 2.5- to 350-hp. The variety of propellers to be supplied by Indianapolis-based PPI will allow Yamaha to better meet the needs of its customers, which include more than 120 independent boatbuilders in the United States.

Yamaha, through its Marine Group, holds about a third of the market share for marine outboards in the United States. Yamaha’s assets include three boat companies: Century saltwater fishing boats; Skeeter freshwater fishing boats; and G3 aluminum fishing boats.

Precision Propeller opened in 1969 as a propeller repair company. In 1980, the company began producing custom-made propellers under owner and founder Jim Booe.

Atlantic-Meeco Holdings, the parent company of marina builder Atlantic-Meeco, has acquired a majority interest in Sullivan Flotation Systems.

“This is a marriage of two well-run companies with good products and good reputations,” said Paul Durlacher, president and CEO of Atlantic-Meeco, in a statement. “Because both companies are so healthy and well run, there is no immediate need for substantive change in either operation.”

Based in McAlester, Okla., Atlantic-Meeco manufactures and installs about 300 marinas a year. Sullivan is based in Warwick, N.Y., and manufactures and installs about 100 marinas a year with its strongest market in the Northeast and along the Atlantic seaboard.

The McAlester and Warwick plants will continue to operate with the same personnel. Steven and Robert Sullivan of Sullivan Flotation Systems will continue to actively manage and retain ownership interest in the company.

EXPANSIONS
Harris Battery Co. of Bolivar, Ohio, has expanded its operations to the West Coast with the acquisition of the Los Angeles branch of Discover Energy, a global leader in stored energy products.

Harris Battery’s new California operation features a 6,000-square-foot regional distribution center in Westminster and a sales office in San Francisco. The market area served by the new branch includes Arizona, California, Hawaii, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Washington and Wyoming.

Harris Battery is the U.S. factory warehouse for Discover dry cell batteries, which carry the Clean & Green trademark.

Founded in 1979, Harris Battery provides replacement and original-equipment batteries for golf carts, floor scrubbers, marine, RV, commercial, industrial, renewable energy, uninterruptible power supply and other applications.

Lakeland Boatworks, a Middleville, Mich.-based manufacturer of wood/composite recreational watercraft, has negotiated a lease to develop its first showroom/retail store outside the state.

Located in Syracuse, N.Y., the 5,000-square-foot showroom will serve as the anchor tenant for the nine-story commercial building across the street from the Syracuse Hotel and Towers development and the Galleria Complex.

In addition to displaying the company designed recreational watercraft, Lakeland will sell marine accessories and gifts, foul-weather gear, and marine engines from its three OEM partners: Nissan Marine, Volvo Penta and Yanmar, and marine electronics. Restoration and repair services through Lakeland’s manufacturing plant in Middleville can be marketed through the company showroom as well.

“We chose Syracuse as the site for our flagship store due to its proximity to the Finger Lakes regions of New York, the boating culture that exists there, and the huge investment in redevelopment in their downtown business district,” said Joe Rahn, Lakeland’s president, in a statement. “By having direct oversight of the manufacturing, distribution and sales functions of our business, we can assure that the customer has direct access to knowledgeable staff and that they are getting the best service and value possible.”

Construction is scheduled to begin Oct. 1, with the store opening planned for March 1, 2009.
While Lakeland Boatworks will keep its manufacturing plant in Michigan, the company said it plans to open two additional retail showrooms in the next three years.

Southco, a global leader in engineered access solutions with headquarters in Concordville, Pa., has opened a state-of-the-art Injection Molding and Rapid Prototyping Center of Excellence.

The new center — part of the 135,000 square feet of manufacturing operations housed at the Concordville campus — is a several million dollar investment. The center will keep technology development and highly skilled manufacturing jobs in the greater Philadelphia/southeastern Pennsylvania region to better serve the company’s North America customer base.
Southco serves more than 70,000 customers in 70 countries with 3,000 employees worldwide.

DISTRIBUTORS
Port Townsend Rigging of Port Townsend, Wash., has been selected to distribute Colligo Marine’s Colligo Synthetic Systems standing rigging hardware.

Owned by Lisa Vizzini and Dan Kulin, Port Townsend Rigging has been providing custom sailboat rigging services for 13 years.

CSS is an easy-to-install, lightweight system that makes it practical to use synthetic line in place of stainless wire for standing rigging on sailboats, according to Mesa, Ariz.-based Colligo.

MarineEast, a leader in rugged plastic components for the marine industry, added a new distributor, Stright-MacKay, to its network.

Located in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, Stright-MacKay serves Atlantic Canada with the area’s most comprehensive inventory of marine accessories.

MarineEast, based in Brick, N.J., was founded to improve the design and functionality of common components found on boats.

DEALERS
OBC Holding Co., the parent company of Olympic Boat Centers in Redmond, Wash., has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The voluntary petition was filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California. The filing will allow the company to continue operating while it reorganizes under the protection of the courts in an effort to pay off its creditors.

The dealership has 21 West Coast locations from San Diego to British Columbia, and sells several Brunswick Corp. boat brands, including Maxum, Meridian and Trophy boats. Brunswick spokesman Dan Kubera said the boatbuilder is following the case closely to ensure its boat customers will continue to be serviced in this area.

Brunswick owns a 12 percent stake in OBC Holdings Co., according to court documents.
Olympic Boat Centers has between $50 and $100 million in assets, and owes creditors between $50 and $100 million, according to the bankruptcy petition.

Other affiliates that filed for protection are Olympic Boat Centers Canada Ltd., also in Redmond, and Marine Center in Canoga Park, Calif. Both listed assets and debts as much as $100 million.

Midwest boat dealer Crystal-Pierz Marine is closing half its 12 stores and laying off two-thirds of its employees in reaction to the “softest marine market in more than 40 years.”

The Minneapolis-based company announced it will close 60 percent of its stores and lay off about 100 employees. Cuts in the parts and service department were effective immediately, while sales positions will be eliminated following a liquidation sale.

“To be blunt and honest, this really sucks,” Crystal-Pierz president Luke Kujawa said in a statement.

“It’s always frustrating and challenging when you have to tell people you’re laying them off,” he told Soundings Trade Only.

The company is planning to close stores in the following locations: Rogers, Minn.; Forest Lake, Minn.; St. Cloud, Minn.; Duluth, Minn.; Lake Mille Lacs in Mille Lacs, Minn.; and Clear Lake, Iowa.

Kujawa noted that the Forest Lake and Mille Lacs locations are only seasonal sales offices that opened in the spring and were slated to close anyway.

The Rogers store also was a fairly recent location, opening about two-and-a-half years ago. Kujawa said this was Crystal-Pierz’s largest volume store, but it’s in a high overhead area, with taxes of more than $110,000 a year.

“We’re offering financing options and asking folks to make us an offer,” said Kujawa. “We need to move these boats, parts and accessories and hoping customers will take advantage of the opportunity.”

This article originally appeared in the September 2008 issue.

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