New Jersey boat builders see signs of rebound

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — A number of major New Jersey boat builders say they are seeing early signs of a rebound and have started rehiring, according to a report this week in the Press of Atlantic City.

“We started bringing people back after the first of the year,” Brett Marshall, vice president of sales and marketing at Luhrs Marine Group, told the paper. He later added, “We’re going to try to gradually build it back up. We don’t want to hire and then have to lay people off.”

Luhrs reduced its staff from 250 to 97 last year, but it rehired 10 workers in January.

Other New Jersey manufacturers say they have also begun to rehire, though cautiously.

Viking Yacht Co. told the paper it has had a good run of sales, with about 15 boats sold from October through December. A spokesman said that if positive trends continue, by the end of this year the company will go from 50 percent to 75 percent of capacity, and then to full capacity a year from now.

Ocean Yachts saw its staff drop from 125 to 35 last year, but a representative of the company said he’s hoping that by the end of the Miami Boat Show, they will have a few more boats on the line, which would allow the company to start selectively bringing people back a couple at a time.

Egg Harbor Yachts was down to 10 employees last year but has hired five back, and a representative told the paper that after the Miami show, they anticipate recalling more workers.

To read the rest of what these companies had to say, click here for the full report from the Press of Atlantic City.

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