Jupiter Marine to expand

PALMETTO, Fla. — Jupiter Marine International is planning to expand its operations to Palmetto, Fla., and may become involved in an effort to form a cooperative with other boat builders in the area, the Sarasota Herald Tribune reported in a story yesterday.

Veteran boat builder Roger Bolduc was quoted in the story as saying he had persuaded Jupiter President Carl Herndon to expand his company’s operations to Palmetto.

Bolduc, 62, is a veteran boat designer who, for the past 21/2 years has been making a yacht, the Tempest, in run-down warehouses in the city. Bolduc had an option to buy the 8-acre site, but he sold it to Herndon, the newspaper reported.

“I gave him the idea to come here with me,” Bolduc said.
Jupiter Marine’s sportfishing boats are selling well, Bolduc said, but the transient work force in Fort Lauderdale poses a problem.

Bolduc told the newspaper he wants to form a cooperative to better train the workforce and stop competitive wage hikes. Workers are currently moving around and pitting boat building companies against one another in search of better wages.

Manatee County already is home to several prominent boat makers, including Wellcraft Marine Corp., Donzi Marine and Chris-Craft Boats.

The presence of those companies should give Jupiter access to a steady labor pool. The Herald Tribune said Jupiter officials could not be reached for comment, but Bolduc told the newspaper he would be running the Palmetto operation.

“Our plan is to go full-blast the first of January,” Bolduc told the newspaper. The partners plan to spend $650,000 to renovate the boatyard property, the Herald Tribune reported.

Jupiter Marine also might qualify for job-creation tax breaks, depending on the average pay and could qualify for tax incentives because Palmetto’s industrial park is in one of the state’s enterprise zones, the newspaper reported.

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