Florida man plans boatbuilding startup

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Tim Norwood is planning to start his own boat factory in Manatee County, Fla., and he wants to build high-end whitehall rowboats and crew boats.

A manufacturing engineer and architect, the 49-year-old Norwood says it's been a lifelong dream to have his own boat factory, the Bradenton Herald newspaper reported. He remains ambitious about his concept for building recreational boats despite the odds he is facing and the capital he will have to raise in a tough economy.

His startup - to be named Row Norwood - will fill a niche he sees doing well in Manatee County, and creating 10 to 15 jobs in its first year.

Norwood told the newspaper he has been meeting with investors and working on registration of the company he hopes to launch this summer.

"Everything's still in the process right now," he said. "Just like everybody else, the startup capital is a big issue."

Norwood has spent the bulk of his career working in boatbuilding plants in production, design and engineering for builders that include Heisley Marine, Tollycraft Yachts and Manta Catamaran.

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