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FLIBS 2012: Sea Ray offers jobs to displaced workers

All of the workers at the plant that Sea Ray Boats recently announced will close have been offered jobs at other plants.

That’s according to Sea Ray president Rob Parmentier, who told Soundings Trade Only that the company hoped to hire staff elsewhere after the Knoxville, Tenn., plant closed at the end of the year.

“At the end of the day we just didn’t need the bricks and mortar,” Parmentier said. “All of those workers were offered jobs elsewhere at Sea Ray because they’re very skilled and talented people.”

Several people at that plant will be building boats at other plants, Brunswick Boat Group design director Tom Bucaccio told Trade Only at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.

It was unclear how many will be moving, said Sea Ray marketing director Joe Cacopardo. “We do hope to save some jobs,” Cacopardo told Trade Only.

Sea Ray announced Oct. 9 that it will shut its Knoxville, Tenn., plant where 225 full-time workers are employed, saying it will stop building and selling Bayliner cruisers in the United States so the brand can focus on its core bowrider and deckboat models, as well as new categories, such as the jetboat segment.

The new 21-foot jetboats will use twin motors by Weber, the maker of engine blocks for Mercedez-Benz and BMW, Cacopardo said, as well as the Polaris MSX watercraft when that brand was in that segment.

Outboard sundecks will roll out in March or April.

“We want to make sure that we’re as appealing to as many boaters and would-be boaters as possible,” Cacopardo said.

— Reagan Haynes

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