US builder is putting renewed focus on its hotly-selling Boston Whaler recreational products

There is change coming to Brunswick Commercial & Government Products (BCGP), but no one seems to know just yet what it will be.

In vendor, customer and local resident conversations, IBI learned Monday that Boston Whaler had ceased production of its police, fire and military boats at a leased facility in Edgewater, Florida, at the end of 2018. Sources claimed to IBI that they were told certain models were being discontinued while others may be moved to different Brunswick Boat Group divisions.

Brunswick Corporation Director of Communication Dan Kubera told IBI, in a late afternoon e-mail exchange, that the company focus is on the hotly-selling Boston Whaler recreational products.

“The commercial vessels business has not ceased, but is undergoing some changes. We expect that this transition will be completed in the first half of 2019,” Kubera wrote.

Kubera indicated that “Whaler is evaluating its future commercial portfolio, and based on that evaluation and market assessment, intends to redefine how to best serve its commercial customers in the future.”

A recent 42,000sq ft expansion to Whaler’s main production facility allowed the company to consolidate and integrate production of both recreational and commercial vessels at the larger facility, according to the e-mail.

Kubera continues that the combined production will meet current and future demand for “saltwater fishing boats as well as certain commercial vessels.” Kubera would not confirm what, if any models were being discontinued.

According to the e-mail, approximately 80 people were employed in commercial vessels at the end of 2018. “As part of the consolidation, Whaler expects to retain the vast majority of those employees,” Kubera wrote.

Boston Whaler began building workboats in the early 1960s, with some of its first boats used in the Vietnam war. By 1983 a dedicated business – Boston Whaler Commercial & Government Products – was created to handle the growing demand. In 2001 it moved to its own manufacturing facility and became BCGP shortly after that.

BCGP manufactures aluminium hull boats under the Sentry brand, 17 models of Boston Whalers, and two styles of highly-popular Impact rigid hull inflatables. What shakes out of the portfolio in the future remains to be seen.