Katrina forces growth at Trinity

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Hurricane Katrina ravaged countless businesses along the Gulf Coast last month, Trinity Yachts among them, but the yacht builder has positioned itself to double output in coming years, thanks to its acquisition of a boat yard in Gulfport, Miss., according to a story from the Associated Press Wednesday.

Trinity bought a boat yard in Gulfport with minor damage and moved its production there while employees clean up caked mud in the New Orleans yard, Felix Sabates, Trinity co-owner, told the AP.

The New Orleans site should be up and running in two to three months to help build the company’s backlog of boats, worth $250 million. The company will be able to make up to 10 yachts a year once both yards are at full capacity, said Jim Berulis, the company’s general manager, according to the AP.

“It almost makes you feel guilty,” Sabates told the news agency. “But we’re going to come out of this stronger. We’ve got to be one of the luckiest [companies] in the world.”

Sabates told the AP he had resisted pleas from business partner, John Dane, to expand the business until Katrina forced Trinity to buy a new boat yard.

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