Hell’s Bay Boatworks of Titusville, Fla., is reporting “remarkable” business since its recent merger with Gordon Boatworks.
“Sales are up dramatically from last year,” Hell’s Bay Boatworks owner and president Chris Peterson told Soundings Trade Only this morning.
Although the production rate is the same as last year, Peterson said the backlog for the company’s custom skiffs is at 16 weeks, compared to six to eight weeks this time last year. Peterson also said he was “cautiously optimistic” coming out of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.
“My sense is I had more qualified and more people ready to buy our boats than last year’s show,” said Peterson.
“Business has been excellent despite news of massive layoffs, downsizing or closures at other boatbuilders across the continent,” said Peterson. “In fact, because of our backlog and what we’ve recently added to it, we’re hiring workers and looking to add to the production capacity.”
The company also attributes its success to the “countless hours” Peterson spends traveling to fishing tournaments around the region to promote Hell’s Bay. He’s also attracted Hell’s Bay co-founder and former owner Flip Pallot. Though he’s no longer an owner of the company, Pallot consults on boat and trailer design and various aspects of the business, said Peterson.
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— Melanie Winters