MEDFORD, Ore. – The 12 companies in Oregon that manufacture welded aluminum boats have seen increased demand as a result of strong salmon returns in the Columbia Basin, the Associated Press reported in an article yesterday.
Seventy percent of the boats, which feature shallow draft hulls and inboard jet pump engines or outboard propeller engines, are used by fishermen, but water skiers and wakeboarders are also contributing to the demand.
“Five years ago, we were really struggling,” Trey Carskadon, Alumaweld Boats Inc.’s market director, told AP. “Now, we’re grappling with how to meet demand.”
One way the company – and North River Jet Boats – are coping is by partnering with community colleges to offer boat building classes, according to the news agency. That way, the companies have access to additional employees when they need to expand.