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Rhode Island marine companies earn national distinction

Rhode Island Marine Trades Association
February 20, 2013
Filed under News

Governor Chafee, Senator Reed to Honor Award Winners on February 22

Bristol (R.I.) February 20, 2013 — Three Rhode Island marine companies have earned national distinction as winners of the prestigious Sailing World magazine Boat of the Year Awards. On Friday, February 22, Governor Lincoln Chafee, Senator Jack Reed and civic and marine-industry leaders will gather in Bristol to recognize the award-winning companies J/Boats (Newport, R.I.), C&C Fiberglass Components (Bristol, R.I.), and Bluenose Yacht Sales (Newport, R.I./Portland, Maine).

The annual Boat of the Year awards are much-anticipated by the marine industry and consumers. An independent panel of experts puts new designs launched the previous year through rigorous inspection and sea trials before announcing an authoritative pick of overall and category winners. The J/70 from J/Boats and builder C&C Fiberglass Components captured overall honors; the Sparkman & Stephens 30 from Bluenose Yacht Sales and C&C Fiberglass Components won the best daysailer category.

“If you look at a map of our state, it’s not hard to understand why the marine trades have always been one of Rhode Island’s premier economic assets. They are among our state’s oldest and proudest industries, and this legacy continues to the present day with outstanding companies such as J/Boats, C&C Fiberglass Components, and Bluenose Yacht Sales. I offer my congratulations and my thanks for helping to maintain Rhode Island’s reputation for excellence in the marine industries,” said Governor Chafee.

With 400 miles of coastline and its compact size, Rhode Island is a magnet for marine businesses. Traditional and modern boat builders, sailmakers, hardware and component manufacturers, riggers, marinas and other services together form a manufacturing continuum that has created a significant center of expertise.

Peter Van Lancker, president of Hunt Marine Group, moved his business to Rhode Island in 2006. During the tough economic climate of 2008-2010, when many manufacturers were experiencing a downturn, Hunt was able to expand into new market niches. Being headquartered on Rhode Island’s waterfront was key to the company’s ability to grow and expand.

“Rhode Island is unique because of its size. The industry is consolidated here, and the resources are so broad you can get all the components and expertise needed to build a boat within a small radius,” said Van Lancker. “But it is not only the location of these businesses. This expertise has been here for a long time….There is no substitute for that type of deep experience.”

On February 22, Van Lancker, who will speak on behalf of the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association (RIMTA), will join Governor Chafee and Senator Reed to congratulate the skilled workforce of J/Boats, C&C Fiberglass Components, and Bluenose Yacht Sales.

Also speaking will be Dave Reed, editor of Sailing World magazine, and George Brengle, director of marketing for Sailing World. Jeff Johnstone, president of J/Boats, and Glenn Walters of Bluenose Yacht Sales will recognize the company teams behind their award-winning boats. Citations from Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressman David Cicilline will also be presented.

Friday’s event, organized by RIMTA and Sailing World, will take place at C&C Fiberglass Components in Bristol (75 Ballou Blvd.) at 10 AM.

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