Posted April 02, 2020 | by Phil Friedman
Breaking News: Seattle Yachts International Acquires 60-Year-Old Ohio Boat Manufacturer! Fairport Harbor, Ohio – Peter Whiting, Managing Partner, announced that Seattle Yachts International, is continuing its expansion and vertical integration with the recent acquisition of famed 60-year-old boat manufacturing operation, Tartan-Legacy. Seattle Yachts has formed a wholly-owned subsidiary, Marine Manufacturing Group LLC (MMG) to purchase the assets of Tartan Legacy Yachts, a manufacturing operation that produces Tartan Sailing Yachts, Legacy Downeast Yachts, and AMP® brand carbon fiber masts and spars. Speaking with candor and obvious pleasure, Whiting explained that Seattle Yachts has been a dealer for both Tartan and Legacy yachts for several years and had a number of boats in the Tartan Legacy production pipeline when it became evident the Ohio-based manufacturer was experiencing financial difficulties. Said Whiting,”Look, it’s no secret that Tartan-Legacy had fallen onto some hard times of late and was struggling despite having a healthy order book and some nineteen boats in process on the production floor. We could see that, with some needed recapitalization and the infusion of some heavy-duty boat building management talent, we could restore the brands to their historically strong positions in the market. We also felt that would ultimately be to the benefit of everyone, including current and future customers, other Tartan-Legacy dealers, and, of course, ourselves, who had significant investments at stake, not to mention the 45 some people who work in the operation.” Whiting explained further that when the urgency of the situation became clear, he retained well-known marine industry consultant and former president and CEO of Palmer Johnson Yachts, Phil Friedman, to help evaluate what might be done and, later, to consult in the acquisition. Friedman, a long-time friend and marine business associate of Whiting’s, described the whirlwind of evaluation and due diligence activities that followed. Said Friedman,“To an outsider with little experience in the recreational marine industry, the speed at which this process moved might seem astounding. But in situations like this, accelerated decisions are the norm, not the exception. The fact is, buying and owning a boat manufacturing operation is not for the faint of heart. Nor is it something for gentlemen hobbyists or bean-counters in pinstriped suits. It takes talent, hands-on experience in the industry, guts, and a fair measure of tolerance for risk. These are all qualities that contribute to being able to make sound decisions on the fly and are generally displayed only by seriously experienced boatbuilding business pros like Peter Whiting.” In turn, Whiting said that he was pleased to have Friedman available to help with the reorganization and relaunch of the Tartan Legacy operation because in addition to marine business management experience Friedman also has in-depth background in the construction of both sailing and luxury motor yachts 10- to 50-meter range. (Seen below: The Legacy 36 is a classic luxury downeast cruiser. Seattle Yachts has a Legacy 36 available in Florida.)
Whiting also pointed out that he and Friedman are being joined on the MMG management team by long-time yacht production pro, Bill Macnab, who spent a couple of decades building boats and yachts in Asia, at firms like McConaghy, Prout, Tri-Con, and Allegro — and who, before that, worked for many years at Westbay Sonship in British Columbia, Canada. Said Macnab, “Our main goal at Tartan-Legacy is, in the short term, to improve processes and through-put of the operation, while maintaining the high quality of construction, fit, and finish for which these brands have been known. We will also, by the way, deliver these rugged, seaworthy, comfortable, and good-looking cruising yachts at compelling prices.” Tim Jackett, Tartan-Legacy’s perennial in-house designer and product development manager will round out the team going forward. Said Whiting of Jackett, who has been with the boatbuilding operation for nearly 40 years, “Tim represents the best of what makes the Tartan and Legacy yachts what they are today. He brings to the mix a genuine wealth of historical knowledge, solid design sense, and the appetite for constant improvement and innovation.” Whiting went on to explain that the Tartan-Legacy manufacturing operation is being moved to a new 76,000 sf facility in Painesville, OH, about five miles from its current location. Although only slightly larger than the current facility, the new plant is, according to Macnab, much better laid out for boat building than what Tartan-Legacy has had for the last ten or so years. And the long-term lease at the new facility assures Tartan and Legacy brands will continue to be built in the heartland of America for a long time to come. About Marine Manufacturing Group LLC MMG is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Seattle Northwest Yachts, LLC. MMG recently acquired the assets of the Tartan/Legacy/AMP operation in Fairport Harbor, Ohio which has a 60-year history of designing and building Tartan sailboats and sailing yachts, as well as, more recently, Legacy motor yachts and AMP carbon fiber masts and other parts. MMG recently moved the Tartan/Legacy operation to a new 76,000 square foot facility in Painesville, Ohio, where the company expects soon to be producing several dozen units per year. (Seen below: The new Tartan 395 sailboat is in stock with Seattle Yachts San Diego.)
About Seattle Yachts International Seattle Yachts covers the waterfront with multiple local offices and a full-service boatyard situated from the Pacific Northwest to Southern California, Florida, the Bahamas, and the Philippines. Moreover, Seattle Yachts’ highly experienced, globe-trotting team can meet all of a customer’s yachting-related needs not only in the Americas, but in the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia, as well. The firm is active and experienced not only in selling yachts, but in their design, construction, repair and maintenance. Many of the SY team also have decades of hands-on experience in sailing and motor yacht operation and in cruising and extended liveaboard. In addition to offering a complete range of yacht brokerage services, Seattle Yachts is also an authorized stocking dealer for a wide array of new-yacht brands, both power and sail, including Alaskan, American Tugs, Endurance, Hampton, Legacy, Nimbus, Northern Marine, Northwest, Paragon, Regency, Whitehaven, Dehler, Hanse, Moody, and Tartan. According to managing partner, Peter Whiting, this enables Seattle Yachts to guide its customers and clients to the right buying decisions in accord with what is right for them, rather than being restricted by a narrow selection of available alternatives.