Gunboat opened its new catamaran production facility last Friday in Wanchese, N.C.
The yard’s first project is the Nigel Irens-designed Gunboat 55.
“We are so grateful for the labor force here. The can-do attitude of this island area is unbeatable. We could have set up shop anywhere. We chose Wanchese. We will do our best to meet everyone’s expectations. We’re incredibly grateful for the warm welcome to the community, and the outpouring of support. This is a very special area,” Gunboat founder Peter Johnstone said in a statement.
Johnstone also cited the area’s long fishing and sportfish-producing history as a key element in the decision to relocate to the area.
North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue's office, the state Department of Commerce, the Boating Services office of the state's Small Business Technology Development Center and the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center played an integral role in Gunboat’s relocation effort, finding suitable sites, securing key grants to refurbish state property and assisting at each step, the company said.
Gunboat said a number of contracts have been secured and 20 people are already employed, with plans for as many as 70 in the coming years.
Gunboat is the sister company of Gunboat International, which is based in Rhode Island.