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Boat Building 

NOT TOO LONG AGO, IT WASN’T UNCOMMON TO SEE BOATS BEING BUILT IN BACKYARDS OF JUST ABOUT EVERY COASTAL COMMUNITY… WHILE THERE ARE SOME SUCCESS STORIES, THAT’S SLOWLY BECOMING A THING OF THE PAST

&quot:I like to work with my hands.&quot:

TOM MORRIS STARTED BUILDING BOATS 36 YEARS AGO.

&quot:I had a shop out behind the house and I hired one person to help me finish the first two.&quot:

MORRIS YACHTS GREW FROM THAT SMALL BACK YARD OPERATION TO A COMPANY KNOWN AROUND THE WORLD. TODAY, IT EMPLOYS MORE THAN 130 PEOPLE. TOM’S SON CUYLER IS THE SECOND GENERATION.

&quot:I’m a good boat builder. Cuyler is a much better business man and manager.&quot:

&quot:I put on my own pressure to make sure that the company continued to charge forth.&quot:

&quot:The family business has plusses and minuses. I would say mostly plusses.&quot:

INGRID WILBUR KACHMAR KNOWS ALL ABOUT THAT. HER PARENTS FOUNDED WILBUR YACHTS 35 YEARS AGO. INGRID AND HER BROTHER GREW UP IN THE INDUSTRY.

&quot:As soon as we could help out we were here scraping bottom paint and sorting screws. We were definitely entrenched in the family business.&quot:

INGRID AND HER HUSBAND JOHN HAVE TAKEN OVER THE COMPANY.

&quot:We want to continue what was started here and we want to add to it and build upon it. We’ve had the yard for almost seven years now and I think we’ve made some really good changes. We’re kind of taking it into the next century if you will with changes in technology and the way we do things.&quot:

MANY SMALL BUILDERS HAVE DISAPPEARED OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS.

&quot:It’s definitely a global market now and you really have to figure out where your customer is. It’s no longer just a local pool of people who are your customers.&quot:

&quot:There are people around the world who appreciate American craftsmanship and you know with the advent of the internet and more jet travel the world is getting smaller.&quot:

BOAT BUILDERS SAY IT’S NOT JUST THE MARKETING THAT’S CHANGED.

&quot:I think the pressure is on even more today. You can not be flogging the same old. There has to be something unique and different about offerings today.&quot:

&quot:It’s a new generation and a new way of doing things from computer software to just new techniques we are using.&quot:

THERE IS ANOTHER MORE SUBTLE CHANGE. MORE WOMEN ARE ENTERING THIS MALE DOMINATED INDUSTRY.

&quot:There have always been a few that worked here at the yard. You know I think they were hard workers. They were good at what they did and they were respected by the guys.&quot:

&quot:Women are very conscious and if they have a good work ethic they put out a really good product so we would love to have more women coming into this industry. I think they’d be a benefit to everybody.&quot:

THOSE WHO BUILD RECREATIONAL BOATS SEEM TO BE LESS AFFECTED BY THE HIGH COST OF FUEL AND OTHER EXPENSES.

IT’S A VERY DIFFERENT STORY FOR THOSE WHO BUILD FISHING BOATS.

TOMORROW NIGHT, WE’LL TAKE A LOOK AT THAT SIDE OF THE INDUSTRY, SOME CHALLENGES FACING ALL BOAT BUILDERS AND WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS.