Sea Pro Boats is investing $5.5 million in a new manufacturing facility in South Carolina and the relaunched company will introduce seven new models that are expected to debut by the end of the summer.
Its new Newberry County facility, a 200,000-square-foot building, will house the company’s headquarters and manufacturing operations and generate 238 new jobs in Whitmire, S.C.
Founded in 1987 in the Midlands of South Carolina, Sea Pro Boats was purchased by Brunswick Corp. in 2005. The company stopped producing them in 2008.
Recently, Jimmy Hancock, one of the original owners of Sea Pro, and Tidewater Boats founder Preston Wrenn decided to relaunch the company, planning an all-new incarnation of the Sea Pro brand — “The Next Wave,” according to the South Carolina Department of Commerce.
The new line will consist of bay boats and center console offshore fishing boats.
“We are absolutely thrilled to be resurrecting Sea Pro Boats in Newberry County, and the outpouring of support from the town of Whitmire has been both humbling and heartwarming,” Sea Pro owners Hancock and Wrenn said in a statement. “I can’t express how much we appreciate what Newberry County and the South Carolina Department of Commerce have done to help make this dream a reality.”
The state Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved a $100,000 set-aside grant to Newberry County to assist with the costs of acquisition and real property improvements. The council also approved related job development credits.
“We’re excited to celebrate the return of one of our own companies and one of the most recognized brands in the boating industry,” South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said. “Sea Pro’s $5.5 million investment and the 238 new jobs it will create are not only a milestone for the company, but also a huge win for our Midlands community and the entire state of South Carolina.”