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Arkansas boat makers announce cutbacks

Two Arkansas boat makers, Ranger and BassCat, have scaled back on labor.

Ranger Boats is using a work-share agreement with employees to abbreviate its work week to two shifts, three days a week. The company employs about 800 people.

Ranger is in model changeover, explained Irwin Jacobs, chairman of Ranger’s parent Genmar Holdings.

“Normally they would shut down for a week or two” Jacobs told Soundings Trade Only this morning. “Actually the good news is that they’re actually shipping boats, where most people aren’t.”

Jacobs said he’s not anticipating any furloughs at any of Genmar’s 13 boat lines, though some of the companies may close for a week or so because of the model-year changeover.

“I want to emphasize, it isn’t because business is off-the-charts wonderful,” he said. “We’re very happy for every order we get.”

At BassCat Boats, the company has temporarily reduced its workforce by 17, Rick Pierce, a partner and plant manager for BassCat, told the Baxter (Ark.) Bulletin newspaper.

Pierce said BassCat has reduced production by three or more boats per week now, and plans to continue at the lower level until the market improves. 

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