Hell’s Bay and Gordon Boatworks merge

TITUSVILLE, Fla. – Hell’s Bay Boatworks is bringing back fishing boat builder Tom Gordon, plus two of its shallow-water performance skiffs with those Gordon Boatworks currently produces, in a merger of the two companies.

All of Gordon Boatworks’ models and intellectual property will be moving from the company’s Oak Hill, Fla., location to the Hell’s Bay facility in Titusville. No purchase price was disclosed.

“This is really a reconsolidation of a branch that went from us,” Chris Peterson, Hell’s Bay president, told Boating Industry in an interview this morning. “We’re bringing back in Tom with what were Hell’s Bay original models.”

Almost four years ago, Gordon, then Hell’s Bay’s plant manager, left the company and started Gordon Boatworks. He licensed the two models from Hell’s Bay, the Waterman 16’ and Waterman 18’, and directly competed with the Titusville boatbuilder.

Those models will now be folded into the Hell’s Bay portfolio. The company will now have 11 models of shallow-water skiffs in the 14-foot to 18-foot range.

The consolidation will help the companies realize some production efficiencies.

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“At Hell’s Bay, we have additional capacity and can knock out a lot of overhead,” Peterson said. “We’re not needing to hire a lot of additional people.”

Gordon Boatworks’ popularity will boost that of Hell’s Boatworks, Peterson said.

“Tom is strong in sales and has a strong, loyal following of customers,” Peterson said. “He bolsters the knowledge we have here of the shallow fishing industry.”

Peterson will remain Hell’s Bay’s president. Gordon will act as a consultant with the company’s plant manager and will work in national sales.

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