More than 200 visitors received tours of the production floor during an open house March 5 at US Watercraft’s Rhode Island factory.
US Watercraft builds Alerion Yachts, True North Yachts, North Rip Boats and C&C Yachts.
Visitors included owners of boats built by US Watercraft, new customers, journalists, industry friends and local residents curious about the 100,000-square-foot factory in Warren. Members of the US Watercraft engineering and production teams guided visitors through the factory, explaining the process used to manufacture sailing yachts and powerboats.
The tour began with a look at raw materials, such as fiberglass cloth and core materials, and the myriad molds used to create hulls and decks. Next was an explanation of the resin-infusion process and a look at a True North 38 hull in the infusion process.
US Watercraft said every hull it produces is built using resin infusion. The process begins with materials laid up in a precision mold, followed by vacuum bagging.
The tour also included a walk down the production line, where parts ranging from engines to hardware are added to completed hulls and decks. The final stop was the carpentry shop, where everything from interior woodwork and furniture to teak decks are produced both by hand and with the assistance of CNC machining.
TJ Perrotti, senior naval architect and chief design engineer for US Watercraft, led many of the day's tours.
"People ask great questions, and they're very interested in what we do here," Perrotti said in a statement. ”It gives our owners tremendous confidence to meet the people behind the construction of their boat and to see that everything is built right here in Rhode Island to the highest standards."
Visitors also got a look at nine finished yachts, representing each of the company's brands, including the two newest launches — the Alerion Sport 30 sailing yacht and the North Rip 30 center console fishing boat.
Also on view were the Alerion 41, Alerion 28 and Alerion 20 sailboats, the C&C 30 One Design racing sailboat, the True North 34 Outboard Express and True North 38 powerboats, and the North Rip 21 center console.
"Everyone at US Watercraft is incredibly proud of the boats we build," company president and founder Randy Borges said. "It's exciting to give our customers a behind-the-scenes look at everything that goes on here, and to introduce them to all of our brands. Some people know us for our sailboats, and others for powerboats; the open house is a chance for us to show off our skill in building and servicing both.”