After layoff, man finds success in boat repairs

HIXSON, Tenn. — After being laid off, a Tennessee man who restored and refurbished boats as a hobby has turned his passion into a business, according to a report in the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Sean McDonald had worked on boats for more than 10 years, but it wasn't a full-time job until the economy turned sour. When he couldn't find work, he borrowed $750 and opened North River Boat Restoration.

McDonald told the paper that the phone barely rang for two weeks after he opened the business, but he now has been forced to turn away customers.

“It took me two weeks to get my first boat in here,” McDonald told the paper. “It’s been going like gang busters since then.”

North River does fiberglass repair, carpet installation, painting and customized work. McDonald speculated that his boat restoration business is booming in part because people are buying used boats and fixing them up or holding onto their boats longer.

McDonald said his business is a one-man operation, but things are going well enough that he is considering taking on a part-time employee who could do mechanical work.

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