Luhrs Marine Group files for bankruptcy protection

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The Luhrs Marine Group, consisting of Silverton Marine Corp., Mainship Corp., Luhrs Corp., Hunter Marine Corp. and five additional subsidiaries, today filed voluntary petitions to reorganize under Chapter 11 in bankruptcy court in New Jersey, Hunter Marine president and chief restructuring officer John Peterson confirmed to Soundings Trade Only.

The powerboat companies — Silverton, Luhrs and Mainship, located in Millville, N.J. — had ceased operations in January. Florida-based Hunter Marine, the sailboat builder, has never shut down production, Peterson said, and continues to be up and running.

The bankruptcy filing was not immediately available online.

Peterson said Hunter has secured interim financing from Bank of America to stay in operation. Only one person remains at the powerboat companies, and he’s on the Hunter payroll, Peterson confirmed. About 60 people were laid off from the New Jersey operation.

A phone number to the New Jersey office was disconnected.

As for Hunter, Peterson said, “Our orders are fairly strong right now. I think things are going fairly well [for Hunter]. We could certainly pay for ourselves on an ongoing basis, but we could not pay for the whole group on an ongoing basis.”

There are “numerous” entities interested in buying Hunter and other assets, Peterson added.

“Our backlog of orders is more than reasonable and remarkably higher than the last two years. Our Hunter dealers can count on us to continue to aggressively market our boats worldwide as well as continue our R&D projects uninterrupted. Hunter’s boats, customers and dealers will be supported, as in the past,” Peterson added. “Our dealers, our dedicated employees, our products make up the Hunter brand and this action will allow us to continue.”

When the Luhrs Marine Group originally shut down it said it would be for 60 to 90 days to allow boat orders to accumulate.

The company told its dealers, “We hope you will continue to promote our products and keep in touch with our sales team so that with your help we can again start producing the excellent products of the Luhrs Marine Group.”

— Beth Rosenberg

b.rosenberg@tradeonlytoday.com

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