KCS International, the parent company of Cruisers Yachts and Rampage Sport Fishing Yachts, announced that the first sportboat from newly acquired Azure Sport Boats will roll off the line today.
The AZ 258 Bow Rider will include a MerCruiser 350 Mag, Bravo-3 I/O (inboard/outboard) engine from Mercury Marine, officially making the boat 100 percent assembled in Wisconsin, the company said.
“Since we announced the acquisition of Azure at the Miami International Boat Show in February, there has been great anticipation for this day, both within the boating industry and at KCS,” company president Mark Pedersen said in a statement. “With the rollout of the AZ 258, speculation will be put to rest about changes that have been made to the brand. We are confident boating enthusiasts will like what they see and experience.”
Originally located in South Carolina, the production of Azure boats was moved to the KCS base in Oconto, Wis., and is expected to create 170 jobs during the next couple of years, with many of those positions already filled.
The company plans to have nine additional Azure models completed in time for the groups’ dealer meeting, which will be held in July in Sturgeon Bay, Wis.