Bertram Yacht yesterday said the decision to move from Miami to larger facilities in Brevard County, Florida, could help lift sales by nearly 50 per cent over the next two years. The Ferretti Group builder purchased the former Sea Ray Yachts facility on Merritt Island.
Bertram President Alton Herndon told Florida Today that several suppliers in Miami are already making plans to open facilities near the new headquarters. Local suppliers for Sea Ray and other boat brands are also planning on seeing gains from Bertram’s relocation.
“A lot of our supply base is going to come here, and we’re going to need a lot of local suppliers for everything from mirrors to upholstery,” Ken Beauregard, vice president of manufacturing, told FloridaToday.com.
Vectorworks Merritt Island, one of Bertram’s suppliers, is opening a 35- to 40-employee facility that will use an environmentally friendly process for producing composite parts for Bertram boats.
Initial estimates by the state’s Economic Development Commission show that the 221 jobs at Bertram’s new facility will lead to 197 spinoff jobs, with a combined payroll of US$18.4m a year, as well as a projected annual economic impact of more than US$26.3m. The new facility will build 50- to 80ft convertibles, with a production run of 15 to 25 boats per year.
Brevard County provided Bertram with tax savings totaling more than US$1.9m million over 10 years. The could also receive up to US$240,000 in state tax refunds, for locating in a designated brownfield area and job creations.
Herndon said officials chose the site because of easy access to the ocean; a large, tall building that can accommodate Bertram’s largest boats; a strong, dedicated labor pool, including former Sea Ray workers; and proximity to a major airport like Orlando.
Bertram officials said the move to the larger facilities will help the company boost its annual revenue by 47 percent, rising from US$34m this year to US$50m in 2015.
Ferretti Group Chairman Norberto Ferretti told the paper that the new facility is a “very good solution” for the brand he acquired in 1998. “We are very, very happy to find this incredible factory,” he said.