Though it’s gotten better over time, boatbuilding remains a messy business. Fiberglass resin stinks, it itches, and the assembly line can be one hot, sweaty, monotonous environment. Why do it? For some, the answer is a paycheck. For countless others, however, a much deeper satisfaction is derived.
We recently met some of the latter people at Cobalt Boats and Regal Marine, but you find them at builders throughout the industry. For them, boatbuilding is not just a job, it’s a passion — a craft they take immense pride in and insist on not just doing, but doing right. These are the people who agonize over a boat’s form, obsess on its function and then painstakingly put it all together, piece by well-crafted piece. If something’s not right, they fix it. And when they discover how to do it better, they do so.
Sure, these folks could build a boat faster, cheaper and easier. Instead, they elect to do it right, just like generations of the best builders have done before them.
Indeed, boatbuilding remains one of America’s few manufacturing industries that hasn’t been outsourced. It’s time to meet some of the people between you and your next boat — and discover why they matter.