FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. — After entering the thermoformed kayak business, Accu-Form Polymers Inc. plans to expand the size of its North Carolina campus.
By mid-June, the company will complete a 20,000-square-foot building on its Warsaw, N.C., molding and thermoforming site, said President Pat Renfro. The expansion will give the processor the space to make kayaks and other products and more vacuum forming lines.
The need for space partly stems from Accu-Form's introduction of thermoformed ABS kayaks. In August 1999, the company bought the mold and equipment assets of New Wave Kayak, based in Middletown, Pa., for $115,000.
Since then, Renfro has shifted kayak production to Warsaw and started a new company, Hurricane Aqua Sports Inc. The company plans to make at least 500 kayaks this year, said Renfro, interviewed Feb. 8 during the International Boatbuilders' Exhibition & Conference in Fort Lauderdale.
The boats are stiffer and lighter than other plastic kayaks, which generally are rotational molded. The company also forms roll handles for the one-passenger vessels.
"It's going well, but it's a small part of our business now," Renfro said. "That could change in the future."
The company also makes a variety of other thermoformed and rotational molded custom parts for a host of industries. In the marine industry, products include recessed drink holders, deck wings and speaker covers.
The expansion will include two new vacuum forming stations to make the kayaks and other products. Accu-Form currently has a dozen vacuum formers and two rotational molding carousel turrets.
The company expects to invest as much as $1 million in the new plant, located across the road from the existing two buildings. Another 10 employees will be added to the 43-person staff by the end of the year, Renfro said.
Accu-Form anticipates sales reaching $5 million in 2000, said Renfro.