Renaissance Marine Group (RMG) Clarkston, WA, has purchased certain manufacturing assets, inventory and the rights to build and market Northwest Jet Boats Inc. Pasco, WA, from the brand's founder, Larry Whitten. Northwest Jet Boats manufactures aluminum sport and fishing boats ranging from 18 to 26 feet in length.
RMG is the parent company and manufacturer of the Duckworth, Weldcraft and Columbia boat brands. It builds heavy gauge welded aluminum boats from 17 to 30 feet in length and has a network of more than 30 dealers in the Western United States and Canada. With its acquisition of Northwest Jet Boats, RMG will be consolidating production in its Clarkston, WA factory while expanding its distribution network to include Northwest Jet Boats' existing network of approximately eight dealers, two of which are located in British Columbia and Alberta. “We have inquiries from a couple more dealers in Canada that we will be following up on,” says Daniel Larson, President and CEO of RMG. “The Canadian market is a little bit different from the US market for the style of boats that they want, so we'll be working with that Canadian market and dealers to see if we can satisfy that and do it fairly quickly.”
According to Larson, Northwest Jet Boats was acquired for strategic reasons. “It's a niche brand,” explains Larson. “We're able to take their production and move it into our existing factory facility in Clarkson. So we see an opportunity to increase the utilization of our factory and purchasing power, while picking up another brand and its distribution network, none of which were carrying our existing Renaissance Marine Group brands.”
Larson expects the production of the new line to begin shortly with the added benefit of additional power options. “We will be shifting the production and inventory into our facility in the month of February. We anticipate that by March 1 we will be beginning to build them at our factory. Northwest Jet Boats are very similar to the lines we already carry, so that gives us the opportunity to put them into our factory with very little disruption. We use the same materials and a similar process. Their hulls are a little different design and finish, but we'll maintain that distinctive look. We are an OEM for most of the brands and Northwest Jet Boats was much more limited. There will be more power options.”
As a result of the consolidation, RMG will be looking for addition personnel at its Clarkson, WA facility. “We're actively hiring at our factory,” says Larson. “We need at least six more people.”