Hunter Marine, part of the Luhrs Marine Group which yesterday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, said it restarted production today and added more workers. The trustee overseeing the company asked the New Jersey federal bankruptcy court to allow that brand's assets to be sold on June 28 in a "fast-track" process.

John Peterson, president of Hunter and now Luhrs Marine Group’s chief restructuring officer, told IBI that his company had received interim financing from the Bank of America. “That has allowed us to continue operations,” he said. “We’ve brought everyone back from furlough and added workers, so our employment at Hunter is now around 75 people. We have a good backlog to keep production going.”

Peterson said the group's trustee asked the judge to schedule an asset sale for Hunter Marine on June 28th. “The filing was done to protect the asset base at Hunter,” he said. “We’ve had numerous offers in the last couple of days now that we have entered the bankruptcy process. We would like it to be a fast-track process.”

The Luhrs Marine Group’s powerboat brands, which include Luhrs, Mainship, Silverton and Ovation, have not been producing boats since January in their New Jersey facility. A call to that facility reached a disconnected number.

Peterson said those brands would eventually come up for sale. But Hunter is the only boat builder that is expected to be manufacturing boats during the bankrutpcy process.

The court filing yesterday listed an estimated number of creditors between 1 and 49, with estimated liabilities between US$1-US$10m. Its three largest secured creditors were Textron (US$1.02m), Ven Yachts in Venezuela (US$200,000) and GE Commercial Distribution Finance in Europe (US$153,805).

Other creditors owed more than US$50,000 included KDE Marin Denizcilil in Turkey, Athey & Company in New Jersey, Gioia Sails in New Jersey, and Bank of America Trade Operations in Pennsylvania.

With production facilities and properties in New Jersey and Florida, the Luhrs Marine Group estimated its assets between US$10-US$50m.