More good news for Palm Coast today as Boston Whaler announces it is moving it’s manufacturing operations to the old Sea Ray facility, which has been dormant since 2018.
The news is even more exciting, considering that since Sea Ray closed its doors in Palm Coast, the region was never able to recuperate the lost jobs that followed Sea Ray’s departure from our community. Between the years of 2016-2019, Flagler County lost 478 manufacturing jobs, which resulted in the total percentage of manufacturing jobs in Flagler County to drop to 3.4% in 2019 (much lower than the state’s average of 4.3%).
With today’s announcement (press release posted below), Boston Whaler will bring back approximately 300-400 of those lost marine manufacturing jobs.
METTAWA, Ill., Jan. 25, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Brunswick Corporation (NYSE: BC) today announced that it is increasing production capacity at three of its global boat manufacturing facilities to meet unprecedented consumer demand and assist in replenishing historically low field inventory levels.
Brunswick will reopen its 225,000 square-foot Palm Coast, Florida boat manufacturing facility to expand dedicated manufacturing capability for Boston Whaler products by an additional 40 percent. The Palm Coast facility, which has been inactive since 2018, was designed for the manufacture of large boats.
Since 2014, Boston Whaler has invested more than $60M manufacturing a full line of award-winning new products in addition to expanding manufacturing capacity by 75 percent during that time at its current 550,000 square-foot global headquarters and manufacturing center in Edgewater, Florida. In 2019 Brunswick also opened the 45,000 square foot fiberglass boat technology center in Edgewater, home to the industry’s premier boat product development, engineering and design teams.
In addition, Brunswick is expanding boat manufacturing capacity at both its Reynosa, Mexico and Vila Nova Cerveira, Portugal facilities. The Reynosa facility, which manufactures Bayliner, Heyday, Sea Ray and Lund fiberglass boats, will increase capacity by 58 percent over the next 18 months, running seven days a week and adding an additional 260 employees. The Vila Nova expansion plan is well underway and, over the next three years, will more than double production capacity at the facility, which manufactures Bayliner, Uttern and Quicksilver products for the European market.
“We are committed to meeting the growing demand of our global customers and have an immediate need to expand capacity in the face of unprecedented retail demand and very low pipelines across all product lines, especially for our fiberglass products,” said Dave Foulkes, Brunswick Corporation CEO. “Investing additional capacity in Florida, Mexico and Portugal allows us to quickly increase production and undertake further vertical integration as we continue to grow market share and engage with new boaters.”
“We looked at various options to significantly expand manufacturing capacity quickly and with efficient investment levels”, said Aine Denari, President, Brunswick Boat Group. “Expanding Boston Whaler production by reopening the Palm Coast facility provides immediate access to new capacity for a fraction of the cost of building a brand-new facility.”
Boston Whaler currently employs more than 1,200 employees in Edgewater and will add an additional 300-400 jobs over the next 18-24 months at Palm Coast; a short distance from the Edgewater site. The first boats will come off the production line at the Palm Coast facility in the second half of 2021.
Headquartered in Mettawa, Ill., Brunswick Corporation’s leading consumer brands include Mercury Marine outboard engines; Mercury MerCruiser sterndrive and inboard packages; Mercury global parts and accessories including propellers and SmartCraft electronics; Power Products Integrated Solutions; MotorGuide trolling motors; Attwood, Garelick, and Whale marine parts; Land ’N’ Sea, BLA, Payne’s Marine, Kellogg Marine, and Lankhorst Taselaar marine parts distribution; Mercury and Quicksilver parts and oils; Bayliner, Boston Whaler, Crestliner, Cypress Cay, Harris, Heyday, Lowe, Lund, Princecraft, Quicksilver, Rayglass, Sea Ray, Thunder Jet and Uttern boats; Boating Services Network, Freedom Boat Club, NAUTIC-ON, OnBoard Boating Club and Rentals. For more information, visit https://www.brunswick.com.