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200 new jobs coming with expansion to Nautique boat factory

Recreational boat maker Nautique said Tuesday it will add 200 jobs with an expansion to its Orlando headquarters and manufacturing facility.

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Nautique Boat Co. and owner Correct Craft announced plans for the expansion Tuesday, where it will add a 51,000-square foot building with more space for its manufacturing, engineering and product design segments.

It is expected to be completed in January.

“The marketplace has responded to the game-changing, innovative products that Nautique Boat Company has delivered the past few years,” said Nautique President Greg Meloon in a statement. “This facility expansion will provide our growing team with the resources necessary to continue the innovation of our products and cutting edge manufacturing processes.”

The company has not secured any tax incentives for the project, said spokesman Brad Gearhart. The new jobs will be added over the next few years, he said. Its factory now has 219,000 square feet where it makes water-ski and wakeboard boats.

Correct Craft now has about 390 employees in Central Florida, including its Aktion Park skiing and wakeboarding facility.

The company has been expanding with a new Aktion Park in South Florida and the acquisition of fishing boat makers Bass Cat and Yar-Craft. There are no plans in place to bring in personnel from the recent acquisitions, Gearhart said.

Florida is the nation’s largest powerboat market, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, with about $2.3 billion in boat sales in 2014.

Nautique’s headquarters is in southeast Orange County, east of Orlando International Airport. Information about jobs can be found at karnold@orlandosentinel.com”http://www.nautique.com/contact/careers.

karnold@orlandosentinel.com or 407-420-5664

Copyright © 2015, Orlando Sentinel


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Northbrook property owner pitches boat dealership

Northbrook hasn’t been able to lure a new car dealer – and the tax revenue it generates – for decades. But a local property owner’s scheme to build a boat dealership could be the next best thing.

Jamal Alwattar, the owner of slightly less than 3 acres at 1810 Skokie Blvd., is looking to sell power boats and small sailboats, a rare business in north Cook and south Lake counties. He would also store boats outdoors, stacked three deep in a new building.

He recently brought his idea to the Northbrook trustees, who seemed guardedly intrigued by the possibilities. Last month the board referred his nascent concept to the village’s Plan Commission for public hearings, when he’s ready to present a proposal.

A retired biochemist, Alwattar has never sold boats, but he’s owned them for years. The Bannockburn resident is now preparing his 34-foot sailboat “Scheherezade” for his 23rd Race to Mackinac next month.

Alwattar said he’s open to either owning a dealership or leasing property to one, and he’s found interest among manufacturers.

“My primary purpose is to get that piece of property productive to me,” he said. “I’m presently paying real estate taxes on empty buildings.”