Intercoastal files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy

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Intercoastal Inc., distributors of Apex Inflatable Boats, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Maryland. Additionally, two of the principals of the company - Georges and Roger Dherlin - filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy as well.

According to court documents, the filings took place Dec. 31.

Annapolis, Md.-based Intercoastal has less than 50 creditors. It has estimated assets of under $50,000 and estimated liabilities between $100,000 and $500,000.

The debtor estimates that after "any exempt property is excluded and administrative expenses paid, there will be no funds available for distribution to unsecured creditors.

A representative for Apex said in an e-mail that Apex did not file for bankruptcy.

"We did well in 2009 despite the worldwide economic crisis that we all felt," the company said in a statement. "The reason being our continuous focusing on quality as well as institutional business. We may be the only boat company that did not let go any employees. In fact, we are working overtime since last November and we're not afraid to start hiring more people for 2010."

Doug Armstrong, of Armco Manufacturing, which manufactured hulls and other products, told Soundings Trade Only the bankruptcy filing followed three years of litigation between his company and the Dherlin brothers.

At a trial held Jan. 4-5 in Broward Co., Fla., the Dherlins' manufacturing company, Yacht de Costa Rica, was found to have committed fraud, theft by conversion and deceptive and unfair business practices under Florida law, Armstrong said.

He said he was awarded slightly less than $1 million from Yacht de Costa Rica.

"As soon as we get relief from stay we will go right back against the other three entities," Armstrong added.

"They stole my manufacturing company. I had an agreement with them that they were going to build product for me and I sent my entire factory [to them]," Armstrong said this morning. "I closed my factory in Fort Lauderdale and shipped everything to Costa Rica because they were going to do it, plus I paid for all of the freight and I sent them additional money and they just never did anything."

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