Washington State helps boat builder expand

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Aluminum boat builder Hewes Marine Co. is receiving a loan and grant from Washington State that will allow it to expand its manufacturing facility, the state reported in a recent statement.

The Washington State Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB) has approved a $381,000 loan and $148,800 grant to the City of Colville to help extend sewer and water services to support the expansion of the Hewes Marine Co.

Up until now, the boat builder hasn’t been able to respond to increased demand for its Hewescraft boats by constructing an addition due to water supply limitations. To meet existing product demand for the next several years, Hewes requires approximately 20,000 square feet of additional manufacturing space and 4,000 square feet of office space, which is estimated to result in increased sales approximately 90 percent above current levels, according to a recently conducted customer demand analysis.

Dealerships in California, Canada, the Great Lakes area and other Midwest states have expressed interest in Hewescraft hand-crafted boats, the state said.

“Hewes Marine was founded in Colville and is now in its second generation of ownership,” said Paul Wade, General Manager of Hewes Marine Company, Inc. “With the completion of this project and our expansion, we feel very confident that we will be here for the next generation.”

Hewes Marine will immediately hire 33 new employees, and up to 50 new employees over the next five years. Wages offered by Hewes are about 7-10 percent higher than is typical for similar occupations in north Stevens County, exceeding wages in similar occupations.

“We are proud to be part of a community that is helping local business grow,” Wade said. “The city and county governments, as well as our adjacent property owners, have all been very great to work with. They continue to help us work on win-win strategies for all parties.”

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