California boatbuilder finds avenue to profitability

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Marshall Duffield, owner of the California-based Duffy Electric Boat Co., has taken some difficult steps to ensure that his company stays afloat during the economic downturn.

Before the recession, new-boat sales peaked at $15 million annually, and now are holding at $7 million to $8 million a year, he told the Los Angeles Times.

To stay in business, the company changed course. Duffy trimmed costs; 60 people work at the factory where 180 once built, repaired and refurbished boats. And the company focused on building up the rental and refurbishing business to make up for falling sales of new boats, Duffield said.

The key, he said, was to save the company without sacrificing quality on the electric party boats.

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