Peter Johnstone acquires Alerion Yachts at receivership auction

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Industry veteran Peter Johnstone bought Alerion Yachts out of bankruptcy. Shown here is the Alerion Sport 30.

Industry veteran Peter Johnstone bought Alerion Yachts out of bankruptcy. Shown here is the Alerion Sport 30.

Boatbuilder Peter Johnstone has bought Alerion Yachts out of bankruptcy for $100,000 — $70,000 for the brand and $30,000 for a CNC machine.

The purchase was made at a Rhode Island receivership auction Nov. 9; Johnstone was the sole bidder.

Johnstone also was recently named as head of product development at his father Bob Johnstone’s boatbuilding operation, MJM Yachts.

“That’s my focus,” Peter Johnstone told Trade Only Today. “But my dad is at his best when he’s running MJM. I’ve been doing all the long-term things that need to happen so when he’s gone, the transition is easy, but I wouldn’t ask my dad to slow down until he’s ready. This Alerion opportunity just seemed like the perfect thing to sink my teeth into in the meantime.”

In 2016 Alerion built about 18 boats, Johnstone said, adding: “That was while there was chaos going on.”

“We’ve got five great models which would be hard to improve upon,” Johnstone said. “We’re just going to do a really great job with those for the first year or two. I think a good year or two of basics and really making sure we’re structured well and functioning well, and then we’ll see new product coming out once that milestone’s real clear to us.”

A $620,000 offer was made to buy some of the US Watercraft LLC brands — of which Alerion was one — after the boatbuilder entered receivership during the summer.

Repeated calls made this week to the receivers had not been returned by this morning.

US Watercraft has, for many years, manufactured and sold the Alerion Yacht, True North Yacht, North Rip Boat, C&C 30, Redline 41 and certain J Boat racing-class sailboats.

The Rhode Island Superior Court-appointed receiver said before the auction that the offer was for the purchase of True North, C&C, PDQ and J/Boats. The purchase would include trademarks, boating lines, engineering, tooling, molds and manufacturing processes for those brands.

“Higher and better offers are welcomed and can be made prior to the date set down by the court, which is Nov. 3,” receiver Vincent A. Indeglia said in a statement at the time.

The property auction — which drew 417 bidders from 17 states and four countries, as well as 112 online bidders — was held Nov. 11, Michael Salvadore Jr. of Salvadore Auctions Inc. told Trade Only.

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