Jersey boatbuilders see improving economic signs

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Southern New Jersey's major boatbuilders say they are starting to see early signs of a rebound.

"We started bringing people back after the first of the year," Brett Marshall, vice president of sales and marketing at Luhrs Marine Group, told The Press of Atlantic City newspaper. "We just finished a new Mainship Trawler we'll be introducing this month in Miami and we brought people back to help on that."

Viking Yacht Co. "had a good run of people buying boats" from an October Florida show through December, with about 15 boats sold, spokesman Peter Frederiksen said.

"We have two production lines running and we're hoping to open a third line sometime in March," he told the newspaper. "We're looking at calling back some of the people we furloughed."

Ocean Yachts also has seen signs of improvement in the boat market.

"We're cautiously optimistic," said Doug Finney, vice president of sales and marketing. "Since late October, some of the repossessed boats and a number of inventory boats all of a sudden started to move."

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