EDGEWATER, Fla. (Jan. 18, 2018) — Boston Whaler hosted a groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday to commemorate the start of a major expansion project at its Edgewater facility, following the acquisition of approximately 60 acres along the facility's northern border last year. Notable attendees included officials from the City of Edgewater, Volusia County and the State of Florida, as well as executives from MarineMax and several major businesses and publications.
The event began with a welcome reception and opening remarks from Boston Whaler President Nick Stickler, Volusia County Council Vice Chair Deb Denys, Edgewater Mayor Mike Ignasiak, and Southeast Volusia Chamber of Commerce Membership Chair Donna Snow.
"Today marks the beginning of a new phase in Boston Whaler's trajectory," said Stickler. "We look forward to the tremendous opportunities for growth in terms of manufacturing, job creation and product innovation that this expansion will afford us."
After the opening presentations, guests were treated to a guided tour of Whaler's facility. Following the tour, the group was taken by bus to a northern section of the new acreage for the groundbreaking ceremony, which kicked off in dramatic fashion: A 30,000-pound front-loader was driven up onto the hull of a 210 Dauntless, reenacting the famous stunt to demonstrate the strength of Whaler's construction. Finally, a team of representatives with shovels lifted the symbolic first batch of soil, an act that was met with cheers from the crowd. The groundbreaking was broadcast live on the Official Boston Whaler Owners Club Facebook page, www.facebook.com/whalerownersclub/.
Boston Whaler had first announced the land acquisition in July 2017, which came after months of meetings with the city and community leaders, including the owners and residents of the community just north of the new acreage, Hacienda Del Rio. On June 5, 2017, the City of Edgewater Council approved annexing the current Boston Whaler site into the City of Edgewater. The site plan joined Whaler's current 45 acres with the newly added land and rezoned the entire area as MUPUD (mixed-use planned unit development).
"The final design of the new site fits the community, the City of Edgewater, and Boston Whaler's expansion strategy," Rebecca Crews, vice president of operations, said in July. "In addition to an outstanding site plan, Boston Whaler has partnered with the city in the development of the land."
Since that time, Boston Whaler has continued planning efforts for the new acreage, documenting and subdividing the land into four lots, including the current manufacturing and business operations facilities. Build-out on the first lot is slated for completion by 2020, with plans for the remaining areas still under review.
"I want to say thank you again to all our partners out there, our dealers, our community, for helping to make this a reality. You've been an enormous part of our success and the reason that we're here today," said Stickler. "We're excited to celebrate this large expansion and we look forward to working together for the next 60 years to come."
About Boston Whaler: For 60 years, Boston Whaler has been building superior quality unsinkable runabouts, cruisers and center console boats. Founded in 1958 and currently headquartered in Edgewater, Fla., the company's unique foam-cored construction process contributes not only unsurpassed flotation, but also superior ride characteristics and durability. The current product line ranges from 11 to 42 feet and is distributed around the world by a network of exceptional dealers. For more information about The Unsinkable Legend™, please visit www.bostonwhaler.com. Boston Whaler is owned by Brunswick Corporation, the leading marine manufacturer in the world.
About Brunswick: Headquartered in Mettawa, Ill., Brunswick Corporation's leading consumer brands include Mercury and Mariner outboard engines; Mercury MerCruiser sterndrives and inboard engines; MotorGuide trolling motors; Attwood, Garelick and Whale marine parts and accessories; Land 'N' Sea, Kellogg Marine, Lankhorst Taselaar, Payne's Marine and BLA parts and accessories distributors; Bayliner, Boston Whaler, Brunswick Commercial and Government Products, Crestliner, Cypress Cay, Harris, Lowe, Lund, Meridian, Princecraft, Quicksilver, Rayglass, Sea Ray, Thunder Jet and Uttern; Life Fitness, Hammer Strength, Cybex, Indoor Cycling Group and SCIFIT fitness equipment; and Brunswick billiards tables, accessories and game room furniture. For more information, visit www.brunswick.com.