KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (Feb. 28, 2014) Following the recent successful introduction of a new premium yacht series - the L-Class Sea Ray celebrated several infrastructure improvements at its Palm Coast yacht manufacturing facility during a waterfront ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, Feb. 28. The centerpiece of the celebration was a new extended water test ramp. Attending the event were several notable Florida state officials, including State Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection Hershel Vinyard and District 6 Constituent Services Manager Sue Bower.
Sea Ray President Tim Schiek spoke about the significance of the new ramp in relation to the companys trajectory. "This is an exciting time for Sea Ray. Just this month, we introduced our groundbreaking new L-Class series of yachts and the flagship L650 Fly at the Miami Boat Show, to great acclaim," said Schiek. "We have already seen tremendous demand for the L650 Fly, which is produced here at the Palm Coast facility. The new ramp will allow us to continue meeting demand and will ensure that our customers high expectations continue to be exceeded."
The extended water test ramp has already proven a critical addition to the facility. All L650 Fly models must water-delivered, as they cannot be transported by land. The new ramp allows for the movement of up to 150,000 pounds, meaning technicians at the Palm Coast facility can now move boats 50 feet and larger directly from the production line to the water, where quality assurance testing and eventual water delivery take place. Every boat leaving the Palm Coast facility undergoes rigorous quality and specification testing.
"The facility spent months going through the appropriate governmental and environmental protocols necessary to establish this ramp. Its important that we recognize with gratitude our Florida Public Agencies' support for this initiative," said Schiek. "The addition is a crucial one, and the impact will be great. Because of the yachts that can now be manufactured and quality tested here, we anticipate more than 100 jobs will be added to the facility."
Sea Ray's Palm Coast facility is the largest manufacturing employer in Flagler County. Several Florida state delegates recognized Sea Ray's valuable role and commitment to positive partnership with the community. Among those in attendance were Greg Strong and Jim Maher of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and several members of the Flagler County Board of County Commissioners.
In another indicator of the brands upward trajectory, Sea Ray recently moved its world headquarters to the landmark First Tennessee Building in downtown Knoxville, joining the Brunswick Boat Group under the same roof. The building is convenient to Sea Ray's Tellico Lake sport boat manufacturing facility, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in October 2013 and has seen several recent expansions of its own.
"Sea Ray is leading the charge for innovation and inspired execution in the boating industry," said Schiek. "The Palm Coast facility is an integral part of Sea Ray's story, and the addition of this extended water test ramp underscores our commitment to boatings bright future."