Expansion mirrors sales growth at Northern Marine

Spurred by a growing list of orders for its long-range cruisers and luxury motoryachts, Northern Marine has inaugurated a series of initiatives to augment manufacturing capacity. Meanwhile, work continues on multiple projects currently underway at the company's Anacortes, Wash., yard.

Centerpiece of the expansion program is the remodel and upgrade of an existing 30,000 square-foot high-bay building acquired on a long-term lease, according to Northern Marine Marketing Vice President Dave Mahalko. Improvements to the structure, which will increase existing enclosed space by more than 20%, include a new slab floor, new insulation for exterior walls, new roof, lighting and offices, and the installation of four overhead cranes in the two main bays, which measure 236' X 72' and 236' X 52'. When complete, the building and fixtures will accommodate projects up to 54 feet in height. The renovation project has been completed this fall.

"This new facility will enable us to build four yachts simultaneously up to 151 feet in length," Mahalko said, "and is in addition to our existing manufacturing space for our long-range cruiser series." Two 151' tri-deck motoryachts already under construction, the second and third units in the series, will be moved into the new building for completion. While the popularity of the recently-introduced 151 was a major factor behind the expansion, Mahalko said, a growing list of contracts for vessels in the company's Long-Range Cruiser series itself has tested existing capacity, and also has driven the facilities initiative.

Concurrent with the building addition is the development of new tooling for the 151 tri-deck. Northern Marine has enlisted the services of nearby Janicki Industries to create permanent molds for the yacht's hull, superstructure and smaller composite parts. "The market's response to the first 151 has clearly indicated the need for tooling capable of sustained series production," Mahalko said. "Janicki's superior capacity, technology and experience in the marine and aerospace industries combine to make them the ideal candidate to create molds consistent with our standards of quality."

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