Triumph Boats Inc., a pioneer in rotational molded boats, is moving from Durham, N.C., to a centralized plant in Little Falls, Minn., under a new company formed by Irwin Jacobs.
Jacobs, who founded Genmar Holdings Inc. in 1985, built it into a major producer of composite and rotomolded boats. Triumph became a unit of Genmar in 2001. Jacobs was Genmar chairman and CEO when it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in mid-2009.
Early this year, Jacobs teamed with a Genmar investor, John Paul DeJoria co-founder of hair-care-products giant John Paul Mitchell Systems Inc. to buy most of the assets of Minneapolis-based Genmar. They set up J&D Acquisitions LLC, also in Minneapolis.
In Little Falls, J&D makes all non-yacht boats. The company builds luxury yachts in Pulaski, Wis.
Jacobs said five of Triumph's six rotomolding machines will be moved to the Minnesota plant; Triumph will sell a small machine.
The company is building an addition for the rotomolding operation. We needed to build a facility that had 40-foot-high ceilings to accommodate our ovens, which are the largest in the world in rotomolding, Jacobs claimed in a July 21 telephone interview.
Genmar bought Logic Marine in 1999, including its Roplene system of dual-wall construction, and renamed it Triumph. These are some big rotomolded products: The largest is nearly 24 feet long.
According to Plastics News' ranking estimate, Triumph generated $24 million in rotomolding-related sales in 2009, down from an estimated $30 million in 2008.
It makes sense, Jacobs said, to house all operations in one plant, with one management group. He said George Blaisdell, Triumph vice president of operations, will remain with the firm in North Carolina. He is definitely involved in the move and he's helping get the factory running, Jacobs said.
Blaisdell confirmed he will remain with Triumph Boats.
Jacobs said J&D bought six boat lines from Genmar, including Triumph, and the Virtual-Engineered Composites technology, a closed-mold process used to make large composite boat parts. VEC is faster than traditional, open-mold processes that use a gel coat.
Jacobs said durability has helped Triumph develop a new market commercial fishing camps in Canada.