Family-owned boatbuilder buys Yar-Craft Boats

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Yar-Craft Boats was recently acquired by the Pierce family, which owns Bass Cat Boats.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Yar-Craft will be an independent line, produced alongside Bass Cat Boats and built in Mountain Home, Ark.

Yar-Craft was acquired in 2004 by Corey Suthers and Norlen Inc. However, as Norlen grew with its Tomcor business, it sought to reduce its marine business, according to a statement. Norlen is a metal stamping and cutting company, and its subsidiary Tomcor is a powder-coating facility located in Wisconsin.

“Yar-Craft is an exciting move for us. We were looking at Yar-Craft about four years ago with Corey, and the timing was just not right for us then. We are much more prepared now to bring Yar-Craft past where Corey and his team have the brand,” Bass Cat Boats’ Rick Pierce said in a statement.

“This all came together pretty quick. I was eating dinner with a marine industry friend in Louisville, Ky., last October. I was explaining how we just finished reviewing the data on the walleye market and were intent on entering the market, developing our own brand,” Pierce added. “After we finished dinner I retrieved my e-mails, and there was a memo from Corey wondering if we were interested in revisiting a Bass Cat purchase of Yar-Craft. It was really a no-thought decision this time, especially considering Yar-Craft is a functioning product line.”

Bass Cat Boats is a subsidiary of Challenger Inc., which was incorporated by Ron and Jan Pierce. The Pierce family is now in its 40th year of building Bass Cat for the fishing industry.

“We are very excited for the Yar-Craft name to be associated with the Pierce family and Bass Cat Boats,” Suthers said in a statement. “I am a proud person today knowing that Yar-Craft is moving to a family-owned business. I know that our dealers and customers alike will be taken care of as well or better than we could. The move will also be a great asset for Bass Cat. A lot of dealers in the past wanted a bass and walleye line from one company, so some went to other manufacturers instead of Yar-Craft. Now they will have it all.”

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