Smoker Craft, Inc. – the manufacturer of fiberglass, pontoon and aluminum boats sold under the Smoker Craft, Starcraft, Starweld, Sylvan and SunChaser brands – announced the company will resume limited production at its New Paris, Indiana manufacturing facility starting on Monday April 27 and return to full production on Monday, May 4.
The return to production follows a five-week shutdown in compliance with the executive order issued by Governor Eric Holcomb on March 23, calling for Indiana residents to remain at home and non-essential businesses to temporarily cease operations in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Smoker Craft Inc. counts the health and welfare of its staff, dealers and partners as its top priority,” said senior vice president of marketing and corporate development, Peter Barrett. “With the expiration of that order, we will implement a carefully-phased return to full production under the guidance of six new health and safety protocols that have been developed by our Covid-19 Response Team in order to fully protect our most valuable asset – the exceptionally talented and skilled people who build the best boats on the water.”
The new safety protocols include provisions for increased social distancing, the provision of personal protective equipment, enhanced environmental cleaning procedures, controlled plant access with screening facilities for all employees and visitors, an exposure response plan for employees who should display symptoms and a greater level of personal responsibility shared among Smoker Craft employees.
The company will initiate its return to production the week of April 27 with a small number of employees in order to test and refine the new safety protocols, before returning to full production on May 4.
“We are fortunate to have the same management team in place as we had in 2008 when the company last faced a major operational challenge,” said Barrett. “Having that experienced leadership team at the helm gives us confidence to move forward, knowing that the key decision makers have navigated difficult waters before. As a family-owned and operated company that has been building boats since 1903, we have faced and overcome many challenges over our history. With our employees, our dealers, our vendors and our industry partners, we will get through this difficulty as well, and we look forward to continuing to build the best boats in the industry.”