State-funded dredging to benefit Cruisers Yachts

OCONTO, Wis. - With the help of the state, Cruisers Yachts will have a new launching point for its yachts just outside its front doors by the end of the year, the company reported in a recent statement.

Located on the Oconto River in Oconto, Wis., the yacht builder currently trucks its completed boats to a launching facility several miles away due to sediment buildup in the river.

"Over the last several months Cruisers Yachts has worked closely with the city of Oconto and the state of Wisconsin to determine a solution for completing a dredging project, making the river a usable access point to Lake Michigan," said Jim Viestenz, president of Cruisers Yachts.

In a recent announcement, Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle presented a $1.1 million Harbor Assistance (HAP) grant from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) to help complete the dredging project along the Oconto River.

"The dredging project will benefit marinas and other businesses throughout this region, including Oconto's largest employer, Cruisers Yachts," said Governor Doyle during a press conference held in October. "When the work is completed later this year, various types of commerce will have access to Lake Michigan that is much easier and more efficient."

"For several years, launching our larger vessels miles away resulted in an increasing cost impact to Cruisers Yachts,” said Viestenz. “This grant will change the way we launch, water test and water deliver new product to our dealer network."

Cruisers Yachts, a division of KCS International, Inc., which includes sister company Rampage Sport Fishing Yachts, produces 13 models from 28 to 56 feet in its Oconto facility as well as its boatbuilding operation in Wilmington, N.C.

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