California boatbuilder weighs move to Florida

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A California-based boatbuilder is considering setting up a $1.8 million boat and trailer manufacturing operation in Martin County, Fla., with 41 jobs and an annual payroll of $1.4 million.

The company plans to spend $1 million for a 20,000-square-foot building in Martin County and another $100,000 on renovations, county records show. The company expects to invest another $710,000 in equipment in the next five years, according to a report on

The boatbuilder's identity is being kept confidential by the state and county governments, the report said.

As part of the effort to lure the boatbuilder to Martin County, the County Commission is set to decide next week whether to provide a $24,600 grant to the company, county records show. That would match $123,000 in sales tax refunds offered by Enterprise Florida, the state's economic development agency.

The boatbuilder is the second major employer considering developing new facilities in Martin County because of county and state government incentives. A large yacht builder is considering establishing a turbine component factory that would employ 600 workers.

"I don't want to jinx any of these things until they're actually signed, sealed and delivered, but I feel very positive about how these projects are starting," Martin County commission chairman Ed Ciampi told the website. "There are others that are in more initial phases of development and exploration with us. I'm confident this is the beginning of a very positive trend of economic development and putting people back to work."

The California boatbuilder also is considering establishing the factory in South Carolina. Other locations in the mix are Mexico, China and Vietnam, which have inexpensive labor forces.

The company plans to build 22-foot sailboats and trailers at the new factory. It has been building sailboats since the 1980s.

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