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Mega-yacht builder to bring jobs to Northern Wisconsin

Breaking News!  Palmer Johnson sells two large yachts, ensuring 150-200 shipyard jobs.

At least 100 jobs will return to Sturgeon Bay with the recent sale of what will be the largest Palmer Johnson yacht built in Door County.

Moran Yacht and Ship, headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Wednesday announced the sale of the 215-foot yacht called Project Stimulus already under construction in Sturgeon Bay. And that’s not the only one.
Palmer Johnson President Mike Kelsey said Friday that two large yachts have been sold in the last 60 days.
“We’re very happy for the community of Sturgeon Bay,” Kelsey said. “We are continuing to build a third in the yard now, along with other potential projects in the works. We expect our employment to be 150-200 over the next two years.”
The 215-footer is the largest yacht sold this year for Moran and the largest built by Palmer Johnson in Sturgeon Bay. It has twin engines and six cabins with room for 12 guests including the captain.
“This sale is huge and it’s significant,” said Bill Chaudoir, executive director of Door County Economic Development Corp. “It’s awesome given the devastating effect the economy has had on this sector.”
Financial losses have hit the yacht-building sector of the shipbuilding industry hard, and many companies did not manage to stay afloat since the economic downturn at the end of 2008, Chaudoir said. On Friday, he was meeting with state officials to pursue incentives that would benefit both Palmer Johnson and the local economy.
Project Stimulus is one of four yachts in various stages of construction in the Palmer Johnson yard on First Street in downtown Sturgeon Bay, Kelsey said.
The facility was expanded in 2007 to accommodate building larger yachts including a 220-foot-long paint facility with a 45-foot-high door and a 20,000-square-foot metal fabrication building. Chaudoir said if the company had not physically expanded, it would not have been able to build this new yacht.
“I give a lot of credit to Tim,” Chaudoir said. (Timur Mohamed is the British businessman and former professional cricket player who purchased Palmer Johnson in 2004, bringing it out of bankruptcy.) “He developed this yard and made a financial commitment to this. I hope the community is appreciative that they are still here and that they’ve weathered this storm. This global recession devastated his industry. He has held to his commitment to Sturgeon Bay.”
Locally the company added two new CNC routers, invested in new welding technology and revamped the design process including software and 3-D modeling.
New construction bays allow two additional hulls to be built — two 150-footers or a 120-foot and a 165-foot yacht). The facility uses four five-ton cranes that can be operated simultaneously to lift up to 20 tons in a single lift.
The recent Palmer Johnson sale is the fifth yacht sold by Moran in the past four years.
“This will mean jobs for plumbers, electricians and a trickle-down effect for Sturgeon Bay,” said Chris Callahan, marketing representative for Moran.
“It will add at least 100 jobs and 500 additional jobs for associated industries and service companies.”
Moran sells yachts for several boat builders besides Palmer Johnson.
Asked how industry sales have been, Callahan said, “We’ve been busy.”

UsedBoatyard.com appreciates Ramelle Bintz for this article from the doorcountyadvocate.com website.  Articles like this show the amazing craftsmanship of American marine workers.You can read more about Palmer Johnson super yachts @ http://www.palmerjohnson.com/

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