Carver Boat Corp. (www.carveryachts.com) is planning a $27 million expansion of its Marquis Yacht Division in both Pulaski, Wisc., and a new location in Green Bay, Wisc. that will be used for production of large yachts.
The expansion is expected to create 450 jobs and includes expansion of the metalworking, fiberglass lamination, assembly and testing/customer delivery divisions.
Increased international sales are one of the factors driving the company's expansion plans, Irwin Jacobs, chairman of Genmar Holdings, Carver's umbrella company said. "Our international business … has given us the strength, the tools and business with which to be here today as successful as we are," Jacobs said. "If the dollar situation was back where it was three or four years ago, I think we'd be putting this project back on the shelf for a little while."
Jacobs said the company is optimistic it has a long-term opportunity, and it has an established product and reputation in Marquis that buyers in places such as Russia, Turkey, Dubai and Japan are seeking.
The new facility will be housed in an existing 64,000-square-foot building and the company plans to move in Aug. 1, Robert VanGrunsven, president of Carver Yachts said.
Assembly and lamination of major hull parts will take place at the new facility. Electrical, stainless steel work and wood components will come from Pulaski and be transported to the Green Bay facility.
"From there, we will launch it and make delivery through the Great Lakes," VanGrunsven said. "A width of 23 feet [for a yacht] won't fit down the highway and the weight of the structure, a little over 200,000 pounds, [means] we have to launch them in the water right there." Carver anticipates making waterfront changes as part of the project, including new slips.
Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle was on hand at the announcement, which includes a $4.26 million investment from the state.
"The reason this project was so important to us is it is exactly where I want Wisconsin to go," Doyle said. "We have been, and always will be, a manufacturing state.