Skip to main content

Scout Boats adding manufacturing plant

Scout Boats, which unveiled this 355 LXF at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, is expanding its South Carolina campus for the second time in three years.

Scout Boats, which unveiled this 355 LXF at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, is expanding its South Carolina campus for the second time in three years.

Scout Boats Inc. began construction on a 120,000-square-foot plant — the latest expansion at its Summerville, S.C., facility.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held Tuesday as the company began construction on Plant D, which will consist of 100,000 square feet of dedicated manufacturing space for the new 530 LXF model, set to debut in late 2018, along with 20,000 square feet dedicated to product development and engineering.

Production of the 420 LXF also will be moved to the plant, which Scout is investing $10.9 million to build.

Scout unveiled plans at the Miami International Boat Show in February to build the plant in order to build the 53-foot center console.

“Plant D will build the new 53 and something in between the 42 and the 53,” Scout founder and CEO Steve Potts told Trade Only Today on the docks in Miami.

He indicated the “something” could be a 46-footer, although Scout has not finalized plans for the 2018 model.

Scout plans to build a new 53-foot center console in the new facility and create space for the company’s research-and-development team.

Scout plans to build a new 53-foot center console in the new facility and create space for the company’s research-and-development team.

The company has three factories on its campus. The third was completed in 2015.

Scout builds boats from 17 to 25 feet in Plant A. Plant B is for building boats from 27 to 35 feet; Plant C is used to build the 38-footer and the 42-footer. Plant D is expected to be completed by the summer of 2018 and will bring the size of Scout’s campus to more than 350,000 square feet on nearly 40 acres.

Scout has been using a 10,000-square-foot space in one of its plants for research and development. “We do all our design in-house,” said Potts in February.

“We’re investing $10.9 million into this expansion, with plans to expand our skilled labor force by 370 over the next few years,” said Potts in a statement. “This expansion is necessary for the continued growing demand of our product and will be a state-of-the-art production facility for our new flagship model debuting next year. This expansion is important not only for our brand, but also for the surrounding Dorchester County community and the state of South Carolina as a whole.”

Finding workers will be challenging, Potts said in February, echoing the current sentiment of many U.S. boatbuilders. “Finding good talent is what governs our growth. We’re building what we can build, based on that. It’s maxed out,” Potts said.

The company works with vocational schools in nearby Charleston, holds job fairs and basically gets “as creative as possible,” said Potts. “Getting trained boatbuilders is nonexistent. We’re very structured with safety, attendance, and some builders are a little more lenient.”

The company pays well, he said, and fosters a sense of community, pride and ownership among employees. “My wife and I started Scout 26 years ago in our garage,” Potts said. “We go toe to toe with billion-dollar corporations. We are a unique company.”

The company has been having lots of success with its larger models, but its smaller ones also continue to do well, Potts said. “We’d love for our dealers to have inventory, but they don’t,” he said.

Most recently in Fort Lauderdale, Scout debuted the 355 LXF, a new 251 XSF with a new hull and a new 235 Center Console.

Related

Norm

An Oft-Overlooked Sales Opportunity

A recent report from the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation showed that women comprise 37% of all anglers. If you haven’t tapped this segment, you’re missing out.

1. 2023 new boat retail outlook

Too Many High-Priced Boats

To wrap up 2022, marine retailers reported lower demand, expressed more negative sentiment and voiced concerns about rising inventory. Boat prices and the economy remained top of mind for dealers in December.

Soundings Nov 2022

New-Boat Registrations Continue to Slide

As the gaudy sales figures from the pandemic continue to return to more realistic numbers, the main segments of the recreational boating industry saw new-model registrations of 4,421 in November, a 30.3% drop from 6,340 during the same time in 2021. .

1_thumbnail_Darren Vaux Headshet 2022

ICOMIA President Darren Vaux sees common pressures facing worldwide boating industry

Founded in 1966, the International Council of Marine Industry Associations is a global organization composed of national boating federations and other bodies involved in the recreational marine industry. ICOMIA works on such issues as breaking down trade barriers, improving boating safety and promoting recreational boating worldwide.

1_AdobeStock_175388620

Clearing the Waterways

In Florida, in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, it was estimated that there were 6,000 derelict boats in southwest part of the state. In most cases, boat owners don’t know resources are available to remove them because until recently there weren’t many.

1_AdobeStock_40421038

A Window on the World

Inflation, supply-chain kinks and the continuing war in Ukraine continue to be serious concerns, but numerous companies with a global presence for exports are reporting optimism at the start of 2023.

1_BRP

BRP Announces Mexico Production Facility

The $165 million plant will open in early 2025 in Chihuahua and create up to 1,300 jobs while bolstering production capabilities.

1_COAST. GUARD.FOUNDATION

C.G. Foundation Announces Scholarships

The program each year awards more than $500,000 to qualifying children of active duty, active duty reserve and retired Coast Guard members.

PROPSPEED-HIRES

Propspeed Expands U.S. Sales Team

Josh McGuire and Cole Barone were named regional sales managers for the Northeast and West Coast.