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Centek Industries marks 50th anniversary

Centek Industries observed its 50th anniversary Tuesday at the opening of the International Boatbuilders’ Exposition and Conference at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville.

From very modest beginnings, Centek said it has grown to be the world’s leading manufacturer of fiberglass marine exhaust systems and components.

Centek had its start in 1962 in Boca Raton, Fla., as a small manufacturer of fiberglass marine mufflers. The company’s original name, Vernay Plastics, was changed to Vernay Products in 1964. In 1988, Vernay Products moved its operations to a modern manufacturing plant in Thomasville, Ga.

In 1994, Vernay was purchased by Centek Industries.

During the early years Vernay developed the Vernatone, which the company said established an outstanding reputation for Vernay Products in the marine industry and which continue to be in demand by many boatbuilders. Vernay soon began supplying exhaust mufflers to several prestigious OEMs and to distributors that supplied the refit and marine aftermarket, the company said. In 1967, Vernay Products introduced Vernatube “wet” exhaust tubing.

Continued growth and innovation produced another landmark product, the Super Vernatone, the company said. Vernay patented the Super Vernatone in 1974. The company also introduced the filament winding process for the manufacture of Vernatube about the same time.

The following year, Vernay introduced the Vernalift muffler for use with generators and small auxiliary sailboat engines. Sea Ray Boats and Vernay Products cooperated to modify this design for more powerful main propulsion engines. Today, the Centek Vernalift has many applications and is used on marine engines with ratings up to 2,500 hp. More than 250,000 Vernalift mufflers have been sold worldwide, the company said.

Centek said it holds numerous patents for fiberglass marine exhaust systems, holds trademarks on seven industry standard products and is the only exhaust system company to offer fiberglass components that are Lloyd’s Register Type-approved, ABS Type-approved and meet or exceed ABYC-P1 standards.

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