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Houseboat builder’s equipment auctioned

Sumerset Houseboats has closed, and an auction was held late last month for equipment and fixtures at the company's Somerset, Ky., headquarters, the auction company and the company's bank confirmed this morning to Soundings Trade Only.

Jery Claunch, an executive vice president with Citizens National Bank, which was the company's lender, said Sumerset ceased operations in October 2009. The bank still owns the company's building and trade name and is making "active efforts" to sell those, he said.

The bank did not repossess any boats.

"They tried everything to keep things going, and basically their sales died, and so that was really the issue," Claunch told Soundings Trade Only. "They were really cooperative with us, but they just weren't able to get the sales they needed to keep things going."

The auction took place July 27.

Last summer, Sumerset announced a three-month shutdown to allow a glut of finished inventory to clear out during the second half of the year. That shutdown had been expected to last through Nov. 1, 2009.

Company president and CEO Steve Lochmeuller said at the time that he expected a recovery for the houseboat industry in 2010, and that Sumerset would start accepting orders for the model year 2010, with delivery in the spring and summer boating season of calendar 2010.

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