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Pearson Composites emerges from TPI split

By IBI Magazine/Phil Draper

Owned by a private investment group True North Partners, Pearson Composites is the new name for what was previously the Marine Division of well-known American company TPI Composites Inc of Warren, Rhode Island. The change of name came about following True North's sale on September 30 of its TPI Structural Composites Division to the Landmark Capital investment group based in Boston, Massachusetts, which also bought the rights to the TPI name.

Employing around 200 people in all, what is now Pearson Composites LLC continues to operate in its 23,250m2 (250,000ft2) Warren premises and continues to be responsible for contract building the entire J Boat sailboat range from 8m-19.8m (26ft-65ft) for J-Boats Inc, as well as building under its own name. It also builds one sailboat model of its own, the Pearson Alerion Express 28. And it builds two of its own lobsterboat-style motorcruisers, the True North 33 and 38, which were introduced around 2000 and 2003 respectively, and thus far it has delivered over 100 of them. It sells those direct in North America under the Pearson Yachts banner.

Pearson Composites' turnover is undisclosed, but overall it claims to build around 150 boats a year currently about 40 Alerion Expresses, 50 True Norths and 60 J-Boats. All are dispatched as finished product from the Warren facility. March '05 will also see Pearson deliver the first of 16 David Pedrick-designed 13.4m (44ft) sail-trainers that it has been contracted to build for the US Naval Academy over the next two and half years or so.

Pearson Composites retains the right to use the SCRIMP process, a TPI-proprietary resin-infusion technology that has been successfully licensed to other lamination operations for around 15 years. However, ownership of the SCRIMP system has now passed to Landmark Capital along with TPI Composites.

Pearson Composites CEO is Patrick Burke and its president is Mark Pearson, son of Everett Pearson, who founded TPI (Tillotson-Pearson Inc) along with Neil Tillotson back in 1968.

Under True North ownership, the TPI Structural Components Division grew to be responsible for all manner of industrial mouldings from windmill blades to automotive parts. It employed around 100 people.

Over the years the TPI operation built well over 15,000 boats, power and sail, under brands such as J-Boats, Pearson, Alerion Express, Alden, Freedom, Jeanneau and Rampage.

(9 November 2004)




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