Palmer Johnson plans expansion

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Palmer Johnson Yachts is planning to expand production into other parts of Wisconsin and in Michigan.

The yacht builder has outgrown its plant in Sturgeon Bay, Wis., despite recent additions there, according to a report in the Green Bay Press Gazette. The company plans to set up satellite operations to ease space constraints and address the issue of finding qualified workers.

Palmer Johnson has quadrupled its output in the last three years, but has struggled to find workers with the skills needed for superyacht construction, the newspaper reports, including aluminum welders, pipe fitters and electricians.

The company has designed and engineered a new production method based on a modular concept, company president Mike Kelsey told the newspaper. He said this will allow Palmer Johnson to build large components off-site.

Once the module plants are up and running, the company will use the Sturgeon Bay facility for assembly and finish work, the newspaper reports.

Kelsey could not be reached this morning for comment. His secretary said he was preparing for the launch of a recently completed yacht.

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