By: Scott Way
Brunswick Corporation, the largest builder of pleasure boats in the world, has announced increased production at three global manufacturing facilities to meet unprecedented demand.
The company will reopen their 225,000 square foot facility in Palm Coast, Florida to increase manufacturing capability for the Boston Whaler brand. The move is projected to generate a 40 percent increase in output. The facility has been closed since 2018, but was designed for the manufacture of large boats.
According to President Aine Denari, who joined Brunswick in October, “We looked at various options to significantly expand manufacturing capacity quickly and with efficient investment levels. 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.”
As for Boston Whaler itself, since 2014 the company has invested over $60 million to increase manufacturing capacity by 75% at their existing 550,000 square foot headquarters in Edgewater, Florida. In 2019, Brunswick Corporation also opened a 45,000 square foot facility in Edgewater for the design, development, and engineering of fiberglass boat technology. Boston Whaler currently has more than 1,200 employees in Edgewater and will add an additional 300-400 jobs in the next 18-24 months to coincide with the expansion. The first boats to reach the market from the Palm Coast facility are expected in the second half of 2021.
In addition, Brunswick is also expanding capacity at their Reynosa, Mexico and Vila Nova Cerveira, Portugal facilities. The Reynosa facility manufactures the Bayliner, Heydey, Sea Ray, and Lund brands, and is excepted to ramp up by 58% over the next 18 months. The plant is set to hire 260 additional employees and continue production seven days a week to reach the quota. The Vila Nova expansion is part of an ongoing three year commitment to double production capacity of the 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.”