Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Willard Marine Licenses Commercial, Military Boat Designs

By Mark Edward Nero

Anaheim, California-based watercraft design, engineering and manufacturing company Willard Marine has entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with Arkansas-based SeaArk Marine to build all of SeaArk’s commercial and military boat models, the company said Dec. 3.

“The exclusive licensing of SeaArk Marine boat designs better positions Willard Marine to do business with law enforcement and marine security professionals throughout the US,” Willard Marine president and CEO, Ulrich Gottschling, explained. “We can finally reach out to these new markets with relevant, proven boat designs that they know and like. To be more competitive, we must diversify our product portfolio, and this is one of many moves planned over the next two years to grow our business.”

SeaArk, based in Monticello, Ark., is family owned and was operated by the McClendon family beginning in 1959. In 2012, SeaArk’s military and industrial boat-building division closed due to lagging sales during the most recent recession.

SeaArk’s commercial division known for its Commander and Dauntless series of aluminum work-and-patrol vessels ranging in size from 28 feet to 65 feet; both models sport the deep-V hull form developed by the world renowned naval architecture firm C. Raymond Hunt & Associates, the same firm that created the hull designs that Willard Marine uses for its military and commercial rigid hull inflatable boats.

“The Willard Marine team was a respected competitor throughout SeaArk Marine’s 55-year history, “John McClendon, who served as president and CEO of SeaArk Marine for 16 years, said. “I know military and industrial customers around the world will be thrilled to learn they can have new boats built utilizing the wide variety of hulls and options that SeaArk Marine developed over the years.”

The arrangement with Willard Marine does not apply to SeaArk Boats, the Arkansas-based recreational boating division of SeaArk that has an independent dealer network.