Crest Marine breaks ground on new facility

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Crest is one of the fastest growing builders in the pontoon market.

Crest is one of the fastest growing builders in the pontoon market.

Crest Marine told the Argus-Press it has broken ground on a new $1-million, 12,000-sq. ft. warehouse. The company last year added 20,000 square feet of manufacturing space while the number of employees has risen along with production.

“We wanted to get all parts consolidated in one building,” Patrick May, Crest co-owner and CFO, told the paper. “It will free up some more space for manufacturing in some existing buildings.”

The company plans to build 2,600 pontoon boats this year, 700 more units than last year. Its current number of workers, 260, is expected to reach more than 300 by the end of the year. May said the company had 175 workers at the end of 2016.

“Crest has been steadily gaining market share in the pontoon segment,” May said. “We’re getting the message out that we’ve got a better product than anything else on the street. This is an exciting time for everybody at Crest, most importantly for our employees. Part of our strategic plan is to be the employer of choice in Shiawassee County.”

May said Crest’s sister company, National Composites, has also been hiring aggressively on higher demand for its products. The maker of plastic composite products for Crest and other builders will install a $500,000, 5-axis mill that makes tooling for the parts.

The pontoon boat builder has come a long way after coming close to shuttering operations in 2010. May and co-owner Patrick Fenton purchased the assets and renamed the company Crest Marine. The pair have since rebuilt the business.

“It really is a tremendous story,” Justin Horvath, president of Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership told the paper. “The new leadership turned the business around and into something extremely special. They offer blue- and white-collar jobs and have contributed massively to the local economy.”

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