Aluminum boat builder reduces workforce

GREEN, Ore. – While North River Boats once focused on building aluminum boats for the recreational marine market, it has increasingly turned to serving the commercial and government sectors, reported in an article yesterday.

In fact, with expectations that the pleasure boat market will further weaken this summer, the Oregon-based company released what some workers estimated was about 30 workers this week, according to the Web site.

This wasn’t the first time the company has laid off workers since it closed Tacoma, Wash.-based Aluminum Marine Construction, also known as Almar Boats, in late January, but it appears to be the largest such move, the Web site suggested.

A North River Boats executive told the Web site that the layoffs were the result of production efficiencies gained when the two plants’ production was combined in one facility and through adaptations made to accommodate the rigging of larger boats.

While North River Boats isn’t alone in its concerns over a soft recreational boat market, its expectations aren’t driven purely by economic conditions. Restrictions on commercial and recreational fishing for salmon off the California and Oregon coasts will likely influence the market as well, according to the Web site.

The company’s marketing coordinator, Amy McKillop, told that while North River Boats has always served the commercial market, it decided in the fourth quarter of 2007 to concentrate more heavily on that segment.

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