Consolidation of Hatteras, Cabo production set to begin

December 21st, 2010

Reprinted with permission from Soundings Publications LLC.

In an interview with local media in North Carolina, Meyer, 49, said the Cabo plant in California is expected to close by the end of the year and that both Brunswick lines will be manufactured at the plant in New Bern, N.C.

Meyer expects that the change will create a “very, very full factory” at the plant as the market returns, although he does not expect a return to peak levels.

“The entire world, unfortunately, has changed in marine over the last few years,” he told the Sun Journal newspaper. “The industry has gone through a substantial reduction in size.”

In better economic times, he said, the company produced as many as 75 Hatteras yachts and 125 Cabo yachts a year. Going forward, he said, the New Bern plant will be manufacturing about 50 Hatteras brand yachts and 100 on the Cabo side per year.

“For us to design a business that assumes that it comes back to the best it was in the past, I think that would be a terrible risk on our part,” he told the newspaper.

Meyer said the company has started a refit business so customers can bring back their yachts to have work done and has invested heavily in new products.

Pro-Line, Donzi eye move to North Carolina

December 17th, 2010

Reprinted with permission from Soundings Publications LLC.

Production of Pro-Line and Donzi boats may be moving from Florida to Fountain Powerboats’ facilities in Washington, N.C., though officials at American Marine Holdings, which owns both boat lines, stressed that no final decisions have been made.

“[We're] still delving into the possibilities, looking at our options. We’re in discussions with the economic development people in both Florida and North Carolina, but that’s as far as the decision has been made thus far,” John E. Walker, president of American Marine Holdings, told Soundings Trade Only.

“While the final decision hasn’t been made, right now the lead horse in the race, if you will, would be Fountain since it’s a more modern facility and it’s right on the water and we are looking at manufacturing all of our products in one facility, but the decision has not yet been made,” Walker said. “T’s haven’t been crossed, I’s haven’t been dotted, money hasn’t been spent.”

Walker said he has spoken with employees and explained the situation. He expects that a decision will be made by the end of the year.

Fountain and Baja boats are owned by Liberty Associates, which also is the majority shareholder of Donzi Marine and Pro-Line Boats.

Boat Wakes Make People Angry – And Can Injure

December 14th, 2010

Boat wakes — those long, frothy, V-shaped waves trailing from the stern of a powerboat as it slices through the water — have a sinister side. When other vessels encounter them, they can hurt people. They can make people angry, and they can bring the wrath of law enforcement, for good reason.

Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatU.S.) recently looked into the issue of boat wakes by combing through the insurance claims case files, where swampings, broken teeth, and back injuries are found. “You avoid being the recipient of gestures from other skippers by using a little common sense and courtesy,” says BoatU.S. Director of Damage Avoidance Bob Adriance. “This means coming completely off plane when you enter a no wake zone or anywhere your wake could compromise the safety of other boats,” he adds.

Here are some tips to help prevent boat wake injuries to you and other boaters:

Slow early: Boat wakes travel distances, so slow down before you reach a slow-speed zone, not as you pass the marker.

Just a little slowing down isn’t good enough:Upon entering a no wake zone, some boaters react by only slowing the vessel slightly, and then plow through with the bow way up and stern dug down, actually increasing the wake. Come completely off plane.

Make her level: Without using trim tabs, a slowed vessel should be level in the water. With some smaller boats, shifting passengers around can help, as too much weight aft increases wake size.

Watch the shallows: Shallow water increases wake size.

Small boats aren’t innocent: Wakes are not just a big boat issue — small vessels in the stern-down position can throw surprisingly large wakes.

When approaching a wake, slow down but don’t stop: Motorboats are more stable when underway, so stopping could make things worse. Avoid taking a wake on the beam or head on. The best approach is at a slight angle. This will keep your passengers in your boat.

Take care of older crew: The BoatU.S. insurance claims files show that persons over the age of 50 have the most personal injuries, mostly as a result of being seated near the bow when the boat slams into a wake. It’s best to seat passengers — especially older passengers — amidships.

Warn the crew: A simple “Hold-on. Boat wake” should do the trick, just as long as you shout the warning well before the wake arrives.