Hunt Yachts moves to Rhode Island

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. - Hunt Yachts has moved its factory and sales offices to the Melville Marine Complex in Portsmouth, R.I., in response to what it said was a “substantial increase in demand,” the company reported yesterday.

The increased demand, which Hunt Yachts said includes sales growth of 31 percent over the past 12 months and has averaged 40 percent per year for the past 3 years for its C. Raymond Hunt Associates designed range of powerboats, caused the company to outgrow its former facility.

Hunt's new headquarters more than doubles its manufacturing space, pulls its sales office into the same building and puts the entire enterprise at waters' edge in what it says is the fastest growing marine business development in the U.S., which is already is home to several boat builders, marine service companies, and marinas.

“We just outgrew our original facilities in Padanaram (South Dartmouth, Mass.) and needed not only more space to meet the strongly growing demand for our highly personalized yacht building but more functional space as well to improve efficiency and boost productivity,” said Peter Van Lancker, Hunt Yachts' president. “[Moving to the Melville Marine Complex] is kind of special for me personally as I had been involved in the past with product development, design and manufacturing for Black Watch, Freedom, Little Harbor, Alden and J/Boats. All these companies were - and some still are - located in this neighborhood.”

Hunt Yachts will now have more than 24,000 square feet of production space, enough to increase capacity by over 100 percent as well as to take on larger sizes than its current line of 25-to-36 foot yachts. The new facility includes office space adequate for Hunt's new boat and brokerage sales personnel, marketing team, engineering department and operations staff.

An additional 12,000 sq. ft. building will be used for indoor storage of customers' Hunt boats for which a new service operation has been established. The Hunt facilities further include bulkhead and 600 feet of dockage immediately adjacent to its manufacturing facilities.

Hunt said the move also supports its appointment by Global Yacht Builders (Kaoshiung, Taiwan) to be that company's U.S. East Coast agents for the Hunt-designed GLOBALarrow68, which debuts in the U.S. next March. This Taiwan-built luxury express motoryacht complements Hunt Yachts' USA built Surfhunters (25, 29 and 33) and Harriers (25, 31 and 36), the company said.

Under aggressive development plans through the Rhode Island Economic Development Corp., additional pieces of land in the former U.S. Navy base are slated for more marine-oriented development, aimed at creating a business environment that increases Rhode Island's marine industry. These plans include luxury housing and a new 1,500-slip marina. Hunt's site within this dynamic location insures plenty of room for continued growth and should further increase sales opportunities, Hunt said.

“Rhode Island is proud to welcome Hunt Yachts to their new home in the Ocean State,” Rhode Island Governor Donald L. Carcieri said. “We are pleased to have Hunt's highly skilled workforce join the ranks of our state's 3,000 employees who work in this sector.”

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