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Burger Boat will add jobs to build 78-foot vessel

Burger Boat Co. expects to add as many as 50 jobs to construct the Grayling, a large fisheries research vessel for the U.S. Geological Survey.

Kurt Newman, of the Geological Survey’s Great Lakes Science Center, told the Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter in Wisconsin on Wednesday that the Government Accountability Office upheld the award to Burger of a $5.59 million contract for the 78-foot, steel-hulled vessel. It is expected to be launched into the Manitowoc River in Wisconsin in the fall of 2014.

The company said in a statement Wednesday that Thom Conboy was tapped as commercial director and will work closely with the Manitowoc shipyard “to secure new construction, refit and repair projects.” Conboy also will head the yacht brokerage and charter division at Burger Yacht Sales.

Burger Boat vice president of sales and marketing Ron Cleveringa told the Business Journal that the new hires will be in all shipbuilding trades, including metalworking, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, paint and joiner.

The new vessel will replace an existing 38-year-old Grayling and is expected to have a 40- to 50-year service life. Among crewmembers’ tasks will be dragging nets along the lake bottom, catching fish and using sound waves to detect fish and assess their abundance.

Cleveringa said the 150-year-old company will reach out to former employees to see which ones would like to work on the project.

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