VIDEO: Georgia startup boatbuilder sees early success

H2O Sports Manufacturing, which opened eight months ago in Americus, Ga., said it is adding jobs after seeing a recent sales spike.
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In what appears to be a successful business venture from the start, H2O Sports Manufacturing, which opened eight months ago in Americus, Ga., said it is adding jobs after seeing a recent sales spike.

"We started off with five employees and have built it up to 31 currently, and zero dealers and we're up to over 20," president Chad Roberson told WBRC Fox 6 News. "We recently had a dealer meeting and we sold right around 300 boats at that dealer meeting and, fortunately, we need more people,"

Roberson said the company is hiring to fill 15 full-time skilled-labor positions.

"We focus solely on the saltwater fishing markets," Roberson said.

"It's consistent and steady growth, which is what a community like Americus likes to see," local chamber of commerce executive director Barbara Grogan told Fox 6 News.

H20 was established last October by partners Chuck Baker, an American, and Tim Catanese of Australia, where Catanese worked for years at the family-owned fiberglass builder Stejcraft boat designs.

The wood-free fiberglass H20 lines of Outcast, Cape Craft and Clearwater bay boats and center consoles were initially built for the Australian market, according to a report by the Americus Times Recorder. H20 is now selling to the U.S. market through a dealer network stretching from North Carolina to Florida.

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