Boatswain’s Locker adjusts to downsizing

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After shutting down its 10,000-square-foot manufacturing site in Jacksonville, Fla., last November, Boatswain’s Locker has reverted all of its operations to the shop across the street where it had produced fabric boat outfittings since 1979, the Jacksonville Business Journal reported in a recent story.

Business at Boatswain’s Locker took a large hit in June when Brunswick Corp., a major buyer of Boatswain’s canvas, said it planned to close 17 boat plants by the end of 2009 in an effort to save $300 million. Without Brunswick’s production orders, Boatswain’s Locker cut its staff from 50 to a dozen before Thanksgiving, according to the story.

“It’s surreal,” Lucinda Pool, general manager of Boatswain’s Locker, told the Business Journal. “We were a big player.”

But Boatswain’s President Bill Bransford is not ready to give up. “Reputation will carry you through these times,” Bransford told the Business Journal. “Customer service and quality will carry us.

“There’s still some good business in the industry and strong companies — family-owned — those companies are going to survive.”

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