Boston Whaler has announced a major facilities expansion project underway at its Edgewater, Florida, headquarters. With an under-roof addition of more than 58,000 total square feet, the expansion will serve to increase Whaler's manufacturing capabilities and expand capacity. Whaler says the project will result in the addition of at least 46 full-time jobs over a three-year period, offering an average salary above the county average.
"This expansion gives us the capability to continue to grow our portfolio,' says Boston Whaler President Huw Bower. "We are proud to have introduced more than a dozen new boats in less than three years' time, and look forward to continuing this trajectory of innovation. Expanding the capacity of our facility underscores our commitment to continued growth and enables us to further expand our product line to meet the solid demand for our boats. We're very pleased to have the support of Volusia County Economic Development Board in this endeavor.'
The Volusia County Council's decision to provide financial support for Boston Whaler's participation in Florida's Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund (QTI) program was an important component of the company's decision to expand its Edgewater facility. The QTI program is designed to encourage higher-skill job creation and foster economic growth.
Through the QTI program, Boston Whaler will receive 80 percent of its funding from the state of Florida and 20 percent from the local county. The boat builder expects to receive up to US $138,000 in tax refunds over the next three years as it creates jobs. Volusia County Council has resolved to contribute up to US $27,600 towards the local boat builder's job-creating expansion project, with the state potentially paying the remaining US $110,400. Boston Whaler receives US $3,000 for each new job created, of which Volusia County's portion is US $600.
"The Boston Whaler brand is internationally known for quality, and this decision to expand their manufacturing facility will provide residents with quality job opportunities,' says Rob Ehrhardt, Volusia County Economic Development Manager. "Boston Whaler is a phenomenal company and we're most pleased that they are located here and have chosen to undergo their expansion in Volusia County.'
"It's a multi-building project,' says Traci Davis, Sales and Marketing for Boston Whaler. "We are developing a new very large building as well as some smaller buildings. Some of the preliminary work has begun, however the official breaking is within the next few weeks. We have been and will continue to expand our product line.
Davis says the additional space provided by the new buildings will help the company house its growing product line. “We'll be introducing our newest and largest model, the 420 Outrage, at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (October 30 to November 3),' adds Davis.
"The creation of additional jobs helps the entire community,' says Edgewater City Manager Tracey Barlow. "Boston Whaler has been a very strong partner for our community, and we look forward to a long and prosperous future with them.'
Founded in 1958, Boston Whaler utilizes a foam-cored construction process that contributes to its vessels' flotation, ride characteristics and durability. Owned by Brunswick Corporation, the boat builder's current product line includes boats ranging from 11 to 37 feet and is distributed around the world by a network of dealers.