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Old 07-22-2008, 07:03 PM   #1

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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Everett Wa
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Default Olympic boats going bankrupt

EVERETT, Wash. – There are some hard times ahead for the boating industry. One Western Washington company just announced it's temporarily laying off workers while another recently filed for bankruptcy protection.
Again, you can blame the economy.
"I have a little 18-footer and it takes a lot of gas just to go out and dink around," said boat owner John Peterson, who spends about 80 dollars in gas per trip.
Redmond-based Olympic Boat Centers has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. It owes $100 million to creditors.
"I was pretty surprised," said boater Nancy Flowers. "They've been around a long time and they have a pretty good market here."
Next Monday, Arlington-based Meridian Yachts will temporarily layoff 600 workers through August. Parent company Brunswick has more boats than it can sell.
"You've got an uncertain economy, high fuel prices, high food prices, the housing slump and it's really affected consumer durables such as boats," said Brunswick spokesperson Dan Kubera.
Companies also face competition from people selling their used boats. By 10 a.m. Monday, there were more than 130 new postings for boats for sale on Seattle Craigslist. The headlines include "Must sell," "Make offer," and "Price reduced."
Some sectors of the boat industry are doing well, including sailboats. Very high-end luxury yachts are also selling, but that's for the people who are so well-off that money is no object.
Some people are also replacing their gas guzzling motors with more fuel-efficient engines.
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