Australian boat manufacturer buys U.S. boat factory

MELBOURNE, Australia – Australian boat builder Whittley Cruisers has purchased a 100,000-square-foot facility in Willacoochie, Ga., which was formerly a Glasstream-Aquatron boat factory, the company reported in a recent statement.

Whittley said it has geared its U.S. introduction to fill the lack of affordable small cruisers, 25 feet in length and below, in the U.S. market. The completely equipped models in the Whittley line are outfitted to appeal to the first-time family buyer. They are ideal for weekend or vacation cruising adventures, which are the niche markets that originally helped build the U.S. pleasure boating industry, according to Whittley. Currently, this need is not being fully satisfied, said the Australians, who have studied the U.S. market.

“Our first units from Georgia will probably roll off the line in
May or June, and we plan to be in full production to begin participating in shows for the 2005 season,” said Whittley President Neville Whittley.

Whittley entered the U.S. market in 2001. Since then, Whittley
U.S. Headquarters activities have been handled by Jerry Martin’s Global Marine Network in Gurnee, Ill.

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