Smoker Craft To Double Size Of Pontoon Plant

New Paris, Indiana-based Smoker Craft Inc. has announced plans to build a 95,000 square-foot addition to its pontoon manufacturing facility.

The US $2.5 million addition will roughly double the company's manufacturing space for pontoon products, says Smoker Craft Inc. president, Doug Smoker. When complete, total production space for the company's Starcraft, Sylvan and SunChaser pontoon brands will encompass more than 180,000 square feet.

"We expect to break ground in September, have the roof and walls up by December and be in full production by February or March of 2015,' said Smoker. "The new addition will be built alongside the existing plant so the construction won't have any impact on current boat production.'

With pontoons now representing approximately 40 percent of the company's output in terms of total units shipped, the additional floor space will allow Smoker Craft Inc. to increase its pontoon production volume about 125 units per week currently to near 180 boats per week. Moreover, it will improve production efficiency. "As an example, we make our own upholstery for pontoons, but the upholstery shop is located two buildings away,' says Smoker. "Moving that upholstery requires a forklift to drive across the property, which just adds steps to the process and can be challenging in winter after we've had a major snowfall. So relocating that aspect of production into the same building just makes sense. The primary goal with this expansion is to be more efficient, to improve the way vendors in our supply chain deliver their products to us, and ultimately build a better product.'