MasterCraft has agreed to buy a 140,000 square foot facility on Merritt Island, Fla., for its Aviara line of dayboats.
Merritt Island Boat Works — first opened by Sea Ray and used throughout the years by Bertram and others — is currently home to Ocean Alexander’s stateside production facility. Last month, Ocean Alexander announced it would eliminate 103 positions there, with the reduction to take place in phases for the rest of 2020.
MasterCraft’s Aviara dayboats range from 32 to 40 feet are currently built at its Vonore, Tenn. plant. Acquiring the 140,000 square foot, water-accessible Merritt Island manufacturing facility allows the builder to free up capacity in Tennessee, tap into a local, seasoned workforce and grow the Aviara line, according to MasterCraft.
“The Aviara brand is a critical component of the company’s long-term strategy to deliver our customers and their families the best experience on the water,” said MasterCraft Boat Holdings CEO and chairman Fred Brightbill in a statement. “The purchase of a well-established boat manufacturing plant will allow us to increase overall capacity and productivity for our Aviara brand, while simultaneously providing increased capacity and productivity for our MasterCraft brand.”
With Ocean Alexander phasing out boatbuilding operations for the remainder of the year, the production of Aviara models are expected to commence early next year.
“As we plan today for the future growth of all our brands, today’s announcement allows the company to more quickly react to the strong retail demand we have experienced across all our brands,” said Brightbill. “Having a dedicated Aviara facility of this scale, with access to an experienced boat-building workforce, provides the quickest and most efficient way for the company to add incremental capacity, while providing a very efficient use of capital.”