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Rhode Island sailboat builder to open shipyard in North Carolina

A builder of high-end sailboats has announced plans to invest $1.8 million during the next three years to open a shipyard in Dare County, North Carolina, that will create 71 jobs in Wanchese.

Gunboat Co., of Newport, R.I., produces catamaran yachts, and the Wanchese shipyard will allow the company to increase production and meet a growing demand for its boats, said Gunboat founder and CEO Peter Johnstone.

“After more than a decade of producing overseas in lower-labor-cost markets, we are bringing manufacturing home to the United States,” Johnstone said in a press release North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue’s office issued. “Productivity and quality control are essential to our success. We spent months evaluating locations in various states along the Eastern Seaboard. North Carolina stood clear above the rest.”

The company has been awarded a $213,000 grant from the One North Carolina Fund, a state-managed fund that provides financial assistance across the state to attract business projects that create new jobs. All One NC Fund grants require a match by a local government entity.

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