S1 Marine takes over production of Salt Shaker Yachts

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. –S1 Marine, manufacturers of SeaStrike and SportCraft Boats, has begun 2008 with several new initiatives, which include combining all of its boats under one name and taking on production of all Salt Shaker Marine Custom Yachts, the company reported in a press release yesterday.

“While many boat builders are cutting back, we’re finding ways to use that to our advantage,” Tom Thies, president of S1 Marine, said. “First, we are combining all of our boats under the SportCraft name. The SeaStrike brand will continue to exist but all of its center consoles up to 26’ will now be known as SeaStrike by SportCraft The SportCraft brand will continue for our 232, 252, 272 and 302 Express Cruisers as well as our 241 and 261 Walkaround models and the new 31 Sportfisherman.”

The second major development is that S1 Marine has taken over production of all Salt Shaker Marine Custom Yachts, with the Salt Shaker molds having been recently transferred from Salt Shaker’s Punta Gorda, Fla., facility to S1’s 200,000 sq. ft. manufacturing plant in Perry, Fla.

“We are not acquiring Salt Shaker or taking over the marketing,” Thies said. “We will simply be producing their products to their specifications as the orders come in. This provides an economy of scale that adds to our production and relieves Salt Shaker of having to maintain production on what is essentially a custom line with a 33’ Family Fisherman and a 30’ Center Console.”

Thies noted that he is open to similar arrangements with other boat brands looking to shed the manufacturing responsibility.

“We’ve been successful for 30 years and have been so by always being willing to innovate in product and production,” Mitzi Maggio, president of Salt Shaker, said. “We think this new arrangement with S1 is the way to propel us through our fourth decade, enabling us to focus our resources on designing what we believe are the best boats in their class.”

SportCraft is also adding a new line of entry-level boats under its own brand. These will be skiffs in 16’, 17’, 18’ and 19’ lengths.

“We believe that in this difficult market environment, consumers will still be looking to buy boats,” Thies said. “For the family that can’t find their way to buying 232 SportCraft or 22B SeaStrike by SportCraft, the 18 or 19-footer may be the way for them to go in 2008. We want to get them into our brand of boat, no matter what size it is, so that when they’re ready to move up in a few years, we’ll be their first choice.”

Thies also promised announcements of other major developments as 2008 progresses.

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