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For the Record: Northern Marine ramps up refit division

Northern Marine’s newly launched repair and refit division is off to a busy start. In addition to building three new yachts, the Anacortes, Wash., boatyard is refitting five boats, four of which are Northern Marine builds.

One of the more famous Northern Marine yachts on site is the 75-foot Cheemaun, according to the builder.

The Cheemaun, originally Starship, is known for its 1,009-day, 75,000-mile educational circumnavigation from 1998-2001. The interactive expedition hosted photographers, filmmakers and scientists to document Earth’s nature and people at the end of the millennium, often in remote locations accessible only by water.

The yacht has had several owners, including actor Gene Hackman, according to the company. The current owner brought Cheemaun from Florida to Anacortes and it is undergoing interior and exterior upgrades in its home yard.

“There’s a benefit to refitting at our facility,” Northern Marine president Andy McDonald said in a statement. “The same skilled craftsmen who build our world-class, award-winning multimillion-dollar yachts are the same people doing the repair work on your boat.”

Because the yard deals on a fixed-bid basis, customers can be comfortable knowing the scope of the work up front, McDonald said.

West Marine names new chief executive

Matthew Hyde, most recently executive vice president at REI, joined West Marine as president and chief executive.

The company’s board named Hyde, 49, in May to succeed Geoff Eisenberg, 59, who earlier this year disclosed his intention to step down when a successor was appointed.

Board chairman and company founder Randy Repass said in a statement that Hyde “brings a consistent history of growing sales and profits in the outdoor recreational field. His core values, in support of customer and associates, are the same as West Marine’s. We are confident his strong skill set and extensive experience in areas that are key to West Marine’s future, including merchandising, marketing, retail and e-commerce operations, have prepared him well to provide outstanding leadership and build on the strong platform Geoff and his team have created at West Marine.”

At REI, a national retailer of outdoor gear and clothing and the nation’s largest consumer cooperative, Hyde oversaw more than $1.8 billion in annual sales and 10,000 employees. He was responsible for the company’s stores, direct-to-customer/e-commerce, marketing and real estate. He earlier led the teams that repositioned and successfully grew REI’s private label brand.

“West Marine is the most successful and respected brand name in the boating equipment industry,” Hyde said. “Under Geoff Eisenberg’s direction the company completed a superb business model evolution, and my goal is to further strengthen West Marine’s ability to create a compelling offering for customers while enhancing growth and profitability.”

Mastry hosts class on Tier 4 regulations

Final EPA Tier 4 emissions regulations will take effect next January. To ensure that industrial OEMs are fully aware of their compliance options, the Mastry Engine Center recently held a Tier 4 class for its customers about the requirements and new Yanmar industrial engines that will meet them. The Florida-based distributor also told those who attended about the EPA Flex program, which eases the transition to Tier 4.

With the changes, many OEMs will need to reconfigure equipment to fit new engine designs. To help ease the effect on businesses, the EPA’s voluntary Flex program, or TPEM (Transition Program for Equipment Manufacturers), enables equipment makers to sell some previously certified Tier 3 engines after Tier 4 is implemented.

“Tier 4 is the hot topic. We’ve been getting many questions from our customers,” Mastry industrial sales manager Arley Bedillion said in a statement. “Some engine manufacturers have the attitude that it’s the OEMs’ responsibility to educate themselves to comply with Tier 4, but we’re partnering with our OEMs, guiding them through the complex regulations and helping them transition to Tier 4 with the Flex program.”

California trade group merges with NMMA

The general membership of the Southern California Marine Association approved a merger of the regional trade group and boat show producer with the National Marine Manufacturers Association.

According to The Log newspaper, the move comes after months of discussions between the two organizations. The California group will cease to be a corporation, leaving its five California-based consumer boat shows in the hands of the Chicago-based NMMA.

The SCMA’s board met June 5 to tally the membership’s vote. Ninety-three percent of members approved the merger.

J.R. Means, an SCMA board member and a Southern California yacht broker, told The Log that SCMA director Dave Geoffrey brought the merger idea to the board in January. Discussions followed with NMMA president Thom Dammrich and other representatives after the

SCMA’s Los Angeles Boat Show. The final decision was left to SCMA members.

“The membership believes that with the strength of NMMA they will have a stronger organization — with more consumers coming to boat shows, more strength at boat shows and more money spent on growing boating in general,” Means said.

The hope is that by merging SCMA into a national organization, the group’s local boat shows and regional lobbying efforts will be boosted by the additional power and presence of NMMA, including additional event-producing expertise, more resources for local government lobbying and participation in nationwide boater promotions.

Lyman-Morse opens boatyard in Panama

Maine boatbuilder Lyman-Morse opened a service yard at Shelter Bay in Panama.

Lyman-Morse vice president Drew Lyman told Soundings Trade Only that the facility is operating with 170 slips and dockage for yachts to 250 feet. The yard, which he said can haul yachts as large as 100 feet, is equipped to offer repairs and refits on sail and power yachts, as well as extended and short-term storage.

The facility is near the Caribbean entrance to the Panama Canal and provides a convenient stop for cruisers to prep before passing through the canal.

“The new locks will dramatically ease the cruiser’s experience of transiting the canal, opening up these cruising grounds and access to the Pacific,” Lyman said in a statement. “We believe cruisers will appreciate a familiar name in this area.”

Plans for a new building that will provide more space for service work, including paint and varnish, engine replacements and general refits, are in the works, according to Lyman-Morse, which is based in Thomaston.

Service manager Stephen “Peach” Frederick relocated to Panama to manage the operation. Lyman-Morse is leasing the property from Shelter Bay Marina. The company plans to have 25 to 30 full-time employees, Lyman told Trade Only.

Maine boatyards hire development executive

Three independent boatyards in mid-coast Maine named former Sparkman & Stephens president Bruce Johnson as their business development executive.

Brooklin Boat Yard, Front Street Shipyard and Rockport Marine reached an agreement to employ Johnson to represent each yard independently in seeking new construction projects. He will be responsible for attracting and negotiating new national and international builds and refits to Maine and matching them with the yards, based on scope.

Johnson worked as chief designer at Sparkman & Stephens, the venerable 82-year-old yacht design and brokerage firm, for the last 12 years and president for the last three. Johnson’s role for all three yacht yards will be to promote their capabilities and craftsmanship to people who are considering new builds and major refits.

Although the three yards are naturally competitors, the owners acknowledge that each will benefit from having Johnson represent them.

“JB, Taylor and I have all known each other for a long time and we’ve worked with each other when a project benefits from collaboration,” Brooklin Boat Yard president Steve White said in a statement. “We expect to have occasional opportunities to work cooperatively for the benefit of some very big and complex projects.”

Turning Point Propellers marks 15th anniversary

Turning Point Propellers celebrated its 15th anniversary on May 22.

The Chicago-based company makes and markets aluminum and stainless-steel props for outboards and sterndrives from 8 to 300-plus hp.

Turning Point has contributed to the propeller industry’s evolution, from manufacturing methods to dealer merchandising innovations. It was one of the industry leaders in the interchangeable hub system; separate hubs and housings create more affordable options for boaters to change out props.

“Our worldwide customer base continues to grow and sales are increasing yearly,” vice president of sales and marketing Ron Bailey said in a statement. “By utilizing the latest designs and manufacturing technologies, we can produce high-quality propellers that are unmatched in the marketplace for performance, handling and durability.”

New Jersey builder moves to new facility

Out Island Sport Yachts announced in May that it will be relocating to a new 35,000-square-foot production facility at 107 Edgewood Ave. in Berlin, N.J.

The move and consolidation will allow all three boat lines to be built under one roof.

The product lines include East Coast Skiffs, models from 14 to 24 feet; 24-, 27-, 30- and 34-foot Silverhawks; and the all-new Sportsman 24 and 28 by Silverhawk.

Out Island currently builds semicustom yachts of 34 and 38 feet. A new 44-foot Express is in development and is expected to debut in the next model year.

Prior to the move Silverhawk was in Woodbine, N.J., and Out Island was in Cologne, N.J.

BRP moves PWC production to Mexico

BRP is moving personal watercraft production from Canada to Mexico and shifting engine production to a new plant in Mexico, affecting about 500 jobs, the company announced in late May.

Starting in 2013, BRP will expand its production capacity in Mexico by transferring engines currently being manufactured in Juárez to a new plant. PWC assembly will be transferred from Valcourt, Quebec, to the new plant. In addition, BRP will assign the North American distribution of its parts, accessories and clothing to a logistics provider.

The transfer of PWC assembly to Mexico will enable BRP to be more competitive and it will free space on the main assembly line in Valcourt to increase roadster production and meet increasing demand, the company said.

The transfer of engine assembly to the new plant in Mexico will allow for increased production capacity in Juárez, which will help meet the fast-growing demand for all-terrain and side-by-side vehicles already being made in that plant, the company said.

By using a specialized firm to handle North American distribution, BRP said it will gain greater flexibility to meet the projected growth of its parts, accessories and clothing business and will reduce capital investment while improving customer service.

“To remain a market leader, BRP needs to constantly challenge itself and adapt to change,” president and CEO José Boisjoli said in a statement. “This is not the first time that we change things at BRP; nor will it be the last. While we remain very much committed to our heritage and roots in Valcourt, we must become more flexible to leverage our growth opportunities.” n

Marinette Marine delivers boat to Coast Guard

The Coast Guard in Buffalo, N.Y., added a faster and more sophisticated boat that was built by Wisconsin-based Marinette Marine.

The new 45-foot response boat-medium is faster than previous boats of its size, with a top speed of more than 40 knots, Coast Guard Station Buffalo said. The boat also has increased search capability with a technologically advanced infrared system and can respond in shallower water because of its twin jet propulsion system.

The deep-V, double-chine hull is designed to right itself if it capsizes in rough seas. The boat can handle heavy seas and waves as high as 12 feet and carry as many as 25 people. The Coast Guard station took delivery of the boat in May.

The boat “really increases our capabilities,” Petty Officer 1st Class Thomas D’Amore, executive petty officer of the station, said in a statement. “With increased technology we are able to respond quicker to a better-defined location.”

Veethree Instruments has new Florida facility

Veethree Instruments, a maker of electronic and mechanical instrumentation, purchased a new manufacturing facility in Manatee County, Fla.

The new location is only 4 miles from the current one. Veethree expected to occupy the new facility in June.

The company said consistent growth through the years, coupled with the successful launch of new products, has enabled it to expand the width and depth of its operations. Veethree is expanding from 33,000 square feet to a new state-of-the-art 52,000-square-foot manufacturing facility.

“This is a very exciting time for Veethree Instruments. We look forward to continuing our commitment to Florida-based manufacturing as we grow, improve our products and better meet the needs of our clients,” Veethree product manager Steve Nelson said.

Founded in 1976, Veethree has a worldwide presence as an OEM, defense and aftermarket supplier of instrumentation, clusters, sensors and switches.

Bavaria Yachts plans factory-direct location

Bavaria Yachts USA announced that Mystic, Conn., will be the location of its newest factory-direct location, positioned to serve the Northeast sailing market.

Bavaria Yachts will be based at Mystic Shipyard, where it will offer new-boat sales, service and parts support, all focused entirely on the company’s sailing yachts. The Bavaria Yachts office will officially open in early September.

From Sept. 13-16, Bavaria USA will be at the Newport International Boat Show with new Bavaria models, including the new Cruiser 50 and the highly anticipated Vision 46.

In the spring of 2013, new Bavaria models will be available for chartering the cruising waters of the Northeast with the opening of a new Horizon Yacht Charters base in Mystic, Horizon’s sixth base in the United States and the Caribbean.

Metal Shark adds jobs to fulfill military order

Metal Shark Boats LLC will make a $1.9 million capital investment to complete a contract to build 500 response boat-small patrol vessels for the Coast Guard during the next seven years.

The Jeanerette, La.-based builder will produce the second generation of a 29-foot-long boat that has a top speed in excess of 50 mph, according to a report in The Advertiser in Lafayette, La. The boats will be used for port, waterway and coastal security; search-and-rescue missions; drug interdiction cases; immigration-related operations; fisheries enforcement; and defense readiness and law enforcement missions.

Metal Shark’s project will create 106 new jobs with an average starting salary of about $45,000 plus benefits and the project will retain 75 existing jobs and result in an estimated 164 indirect jobs.

Metal Shark won a $192 million Coast Guard contract in November to build the response boat-small, a type of watercraft the Coast Guard adopted in response to its broader homeland security mission after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

Morris Yachts opens R.I. sales office

Morris Yachts will christen its newest M52 sailing yacht in Newport, R.I., to celebrate the opening of its new sales office there.

With sales offices and service yards in Bass Harbor and Northeast Harbor, Maine, Morris sees its new presence in Newport as a natural extension to the company.

“Our geographic footprint is expanding, and in order to continue our high-touch sales approach, for which we are renowned, a sales office in a prominent global sailing hub like Newport was a logical next step,” Morris Yachts CEO Doug Metchick said in a statement.

Morris has added three new sales professionals — Scott Dyer, Gregg Weatherby and Chad Thieken — to its team and will keep the M52, along with an M36 and M29, in Newport waters this summer for test sails and demonstrations.

Raymarine signs deal with Australian builder

Australian fishing-boat builder Bar Crusher said it is now offering Raymarine as preferred factory-fitted marine electronics equipment on every model in the builder’s range.

The company said its decision follows rigorous testing of Raymarine products in its boats during the last 12 months. Bar Crusher director Peter Cleland said every product used in the boats was carefully considered before it was released on the market.

“Our customers like the way the electronics perform — the fishfinder [sonar] technology is particularly impressive — and the fact Raymarine has a three-year warranty on Bar Crusher factory-fitted electronics, which is further backed by a national network of certified service technicians to offer an unrivaled level of support,” Cleland said in a statement.

Partner acquires Freedom Boat Club

The owner of Freedom Boat Club bought out his partner as part of his continuing effort to build the members-only boat club into a national enterprise.

John Giglio bought the boat club, which offers members boat use without maintenance, storage or upkeep, with partner Bob Daley in early 2010, according to an article in the Gulf Coast (Fla.) Business Review.

Giglio bought Daley out in May in an effort to focus on growth, he told the publication.

The Venice, Fla.-based company runs 11 corporate-owned stores on the Gulf Coast, and there are 50 franchise facilities, including locations in Texas and New Hampshire.

Daley and Giglio had worked at the company for several years. Giglio began in sales in 2004. Daley will stay on with the business part time.

Founded in 1989, the Freedom Boat Club has grown rapidly during the past few years. Annual revenue grew 20 percent in 2011 from 2010, executives say, and Giglio expects growth of at least 20 percent again this year.

Aero-Marine expands in Southern California

Aero-Marine LLC is expanding into a larger Southern California location better suited for making and thermoforming custom acrylic and polycarbonate components.

The new building is at 13052-B Dahlia St. in Fontana and it has 6,000 more square feet of space for the powerboat windshield and canopy maker.

“Not only will our production be able to handle the increased volume that is coming in from the boatbuilders we work with, such as Nordic Boats and Skater Powerboats, but because of the extra storage space we now have for production parts, we should be much more efficient,” Aero-Marine owner Carmen Bélanger-Martin said in a statement.

The new building also will provide the company with a larger sterile environment for the fabrication process.

This article originally appeared in the July 2012 issue.



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