Maine boatyards name development rep

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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.

"Bruce is a very valuable asset for Front Street Shipyard," Front Street Shipyard president JB Turner said in a statement. "He's internationally connected to designers, yacht owners, captains and manufacturers throughout the marine industry, and he'll use those connections to develop new projects."

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. Johnson will facilitate relationships between prospective customers and the yard or yards that will best be able to meet the customers' needs.

"Brooklin Boat Yard, Front Street Shipyard and Rockport Marine each has discrete capabilities and strengths, but more than likely the yards may have to compete against one another for projects that Bruce brings to us," Rockport Marine president Taylor Allen said in a statement. "We believe Bruce will help improve brand recognition and develop new business for each of the yards."

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."

Johnson will be based in New York, but will spend considerable time at the yards and other yachting centers in between.

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