Boatbuilders transition to chicken coops


When Triumph Boats left Durham, N.C., last year, two of its former engineers decided to put their boatbuilding skills into a new venture: backyard chicken coops.

Boat hulls are no longer Randy Sweat’s vocation. The former tooling foreman for Triumph, along with former Triumph engineer George Blaisdell, now use the same fabrication equipment and rotational molding process to create modular homes for chickens, The Chapel Hill News reported.

“They offered to move us up there, but we didn’t want to move to Minnesota,” Sweat told the newspaper.

Instead, he bought the factory’s equipment and moved it to Silk Hope, N.C. He looked around for a business venture where he could apply the skills honed making polypropylene boat molds for 16 years and came up with a portable coop advertised as predator-proof and big enough for six chickens. The plastic housing and its attached cage can be moved and easily cleaned.

“There’s been a huge explosion in the number of people that want to raise chicks,” said Connie Tabor, an associate at the Southern States farm store.

“The molds can take anywhere from six weeks to build,” Sweat told the newspaper. “I did a lot of the labor on the molds. We’d get chicken people together, and they’d look at things and tell us what the problems were, and we’d go back and change the mold.”

Click here for the full report.


NMMA Confirms Industry Growth

NMMA president Frank Hugelmeyer said the boating business grew 12 percent last year during yesterday’s virtual State of the Boating Industry address.

Newport Show Dates Announced

Organizers are planning for an in-person Golden Anniversary edition of the show Sept. 16-19.

Quick Hits: March 5, 2021

The National Association of Manufacturers names Brunswick Corp. CFO Ryan Gwillim to its Board of Directors.

Caught Red-Handed

Two commercial fishermen were jailed for possessing an illegal haul that included 100 undersized lobster tails, which is a felony. Also, fisheries management gets new funding.

Bennington Expands Operations

The pontoon builder plans to add jobs at its new facility in Elkhart County, Ind., and increase manufacturing output.

KVH Industries Names CFO

Longtime telecom financial executive Roger A. Kuebel assumes the position that COO Brent Bruun had held in an interim capacity.