Aquasport production suspended temporarily

TAMPA BAY, Fla. – Wellcraft Marine Corp., has “temporarily suspended” production of Aquasport fishing boats, the Tampa Bay Business Journal reported in a recent story.

Wellcraft, a subsidiary of Genmar Holdings Inc, builds Aquasport at its plant in south Manatee County, Fla. Wellcraft President Dean Samuelson told the newspaper that production was suspended due to “market trends.”

"It's a great brand, but there is no strong backlog (of orders)," Samuelson told the Business Journal. "The company has chosen to retool other models."

The changes are indicative of wider changes in the marine industry related to what kinds of boats people are buying, according to the newspaper.

Genmar's Wellcraft and Hydra-Sports recreational boats also are produced at the Manatee plant. The facility will be closed this week to retool and convert for 2006 models of Wellcraft and Hydra-Sports, the Business Journal reported.

Nine new models, including a $300,000, 36-foot Wellcraft with inboard engines, will be introduced for 2006, Samuelson said. Large recreational boats are more in demand now, which is part of the reason for suspending production of Aquasports.

"During the last 24 months, the trend is bigger," Samuelson said. "The average size is now 25 feet."

Aquasport models range from 17 to 27-and-a-half feet. The brand's designs are more focused on center console boats at entry- to mid-level pricing.

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