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Sea Ray Boats’ Palm Coast Plant Shutting Down in Major Blow to 440 Workers

| June 25, 2018

Sea Ray Boats was one of Flagler County's top private employers. It has been a mainstay of the local manufacturing economy. (© FlaglerLive)

Sea Ray Boats was one of Flagler County’s top private employers. It has been a mainstay of the local manufacturing economy. (© FlaglerLive)

Palm Coast’s Sea Ray Boats plant, one of the top five employers in the county, is shutting down. Sea Ray employees this morning were told they would be laid off between now and the end of August.

As of February, Sea Ray was employing some 440 workers at its plant off Roberts Road.

Mettawa, Ill.-based Brunswick Corporation, which owns Sea Ray and numerous other brands, had been planning to sell Sea Ray since last December. Those efforts were unsuccessful. Today, the company announced it will discontinue Sea Ray’s sport yacht and yacht models while retaining the brand.

“Over the last several months, we have engaged in a thorough sale process for the Sea Ray business, which we believed would generate the highest value for our shareholders,” Brunswick Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mark Schwabero said in a statement issued this morning. “Although there was interest in the business, the offers we received did not reflect an appropriate value for this premium brand, and did not meet our expectations. The lower value was largely due to the persistently weak financial performance of the yacht product category, which complicated and obscured the value of the remainder of Sea Ray.”

The statement noted that “Sea Ray will begin to wind down sport yacht and yacht production in the third quarter at its Sykes Creek and Palm Coast, Fla., facilities, involving the elimination of as many as 825 positions. Palm Coast is targeted for closure as soon as practical in 2018.” But FlaglerLive learned that an announcement was made to all Palm Coast employees at the plant shortly after 9 a.m. about the closure later this week.

“This is a devastating blow to our community,” Palm Coast Mayor Milissa Holland said. “Sea Ray has been an economic driver for us for years and this decision will negatively impact us in so many ways. My thoughts go directly to the employees and their families. We must come together as a community to help find employment for them as quickly as possible. I will be reaching out to our Workforce Development Agency to determine a path forward.”

Dan Kubera, Brunswick’s spokesman, did not return a phone call this morning. In an email from Brunswick’s Illinois headquarters, he said employees would not be laid off at the end of the week. Rather, he said, without specifying timeline or number of employees, “We have developed a detailed plan to wind down operations. We have customer obligations to fulfill, such as completing in-process boats, warranty work and general shutdown procedures. Our timeline considers meeting these commitments, and extends beyond the end of this week. Without going into specifics, it will take some time to complete these tasks.”

A portion of Sykes Creek will continue to operate for the foreseeable future to support customer service and warranty obligations, along with other operational requirements.

“As the sale process neared conclusion, we started to evaluate other strategic options beyond our original plan to sell the Sea Ray business in its entirety,” Schwabero said. “Based on that re-assessment, we have concluded that our best opportunity to maximize value is to retain the Sea Ray brand and refocus the business on the sport boat and cruiser product portfolio. As part of the transformation of Sea Ray, we will discontinue sport yacht and yacht models and begin an orderly wind down of yacht production.

“We’re working to get in front of it as best we can,” Helga van Eckert, Flagler County’s economic development director, said moments after finding out about the closure.

Van Eckert said Sea Ray was “working on a transition plan” with its employees. “We’re going to sit down with them as soon as the dust settles a little bit and find ways to assist them also,” she said. “I think this is going to be a developing plan as it moves forward. The most important thing is to take care of the employees.” That means reaching out to existing companies for potential local hires or recruiting new companies, including boating companies that could potentially fill Sea Ray’s spot.

Van Eckert said the economic impact will be considerable. “It’s 400 jobs, I think it’s a big economic impact, we haven’t run numbers to see what the actual dollars are,” she said. But there’s been a workforce shortage locally, and Sea Ray’s employees have advanced skills, so she expects many would be able to find jobs.

Flagler Beach Commission Chairman Rick Belhumeur just last week had a conversation with one of his tenants, who works at Sea Ray. “He was pretty excited about the fact that a sale was finalized, he told me that it was finalized, and that he was looking forward to the future, and hoping that things would stay the same,” Belhumeur said. “That was his impression at the time. I guess he was misinformed. He was pretty excited about the fact they’d be continuing on.”

“Obviously it affects quite a few hundred people and their families and the economy in general,” Belhumeur said. “Gee, that’s going to displace a lot of people. Somebody building boats that’s not something anybody can go out and knock on some doors and build their boats, so it’s not going to be easy for a lot of them to find work. I feel bad for the employees and their families and certainly hope they can find an alternative source of employment very quickly. I guess if they’ve made that decision there isn’t much anybody can do about it.”

Flagler Beach Commissioner Jane Mealy was, like other officials, surprised by the news. “Economically it’s a bad thing, 440 people losing jobs,” Mealy said. “But environmentally I would hope something cleaner would take over that property. It’s been an ongoing issue over the fumes that come out of there, the people that live at the north end of Lambert Avenue, you can ride down the street, depending on how the wind is blowing or not blowing, you can smell it, so that part of it I’m glad about. But I’m not glad about 440 people losing their jobs.”

Mealy added: “It’s interesting that we went from we need more parking lot to we’re closing down.” She was referring to the 2015 controversy triggered by Sea Ray’s decision to turn 24 acres south of its property into a parking lot, a move Lambert Avenue residents and others in Flagler Beach, including the city commission, interpreted as a prelude to more industrial activity on that side of the plant. Flagler Beach briefly challenged the plan then gave in.

The Sea Ray plant spread on 64 acres between Colbert Lane and the Intracoastal. The property’s market value this year is $5.5 million, generating $88,000 in property taxes, half of it going to county government, almost half of the rest going to the school board, with less than $3,000 going to other agencies.

Brunswick’s brands include manufacturers of marine-engine, boating, fitness and billiards equipment. It reported net sales of $1.16 billion in the first quarter of 2018 and operating profits of $115 million. Its boating brands reported net sales of $304 million, up from $285 million in the same period the previous year, with operating profits of $25 million.

[This is a developing story.]

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123 Responses for “Sea Ray Boats’ Palm Coast Plant Shutting Down in Major Blow to 440 Workers”

  1. Lnzc says:

    What a shame,lots of families devastated

  2. DumpTrump says:

    The latest example of “winning” under the current administration. Very sorry for the 440 affected employees.

  3. Cindy says:

    This is extremely sad. I remember 30+ years ago, Searay was the top employer in Flagler County. I always felt proud living in the county that made such a quality product. Many prayers and blessings to those affected by this devastating news.

  4. capt says:

    So how about those just released Flagler County unemployment numbers now., 440 people out of work, is a huge number for Flagler County. I sure hope these laid off employees can find employment in the surrounding counties. What an impact to their lives and families. .

  5. Just The Truth says:

    Doesn’t look like those employees who gave of themselves everyday for Sea Ray get a slap in the face with little notice that their all losing their jobs. Where are the benefits? Where are to comp time given for such short notice?
    Once again the county doesn’t seek to get manufacturing companies in here nor does the City of PC, they just get more retail stores that end up closing because of lack of customers. Not well planned by our city officials, and if PC Data closes this town will be a ghost town.

  6. Agkistrodon says:

    Very sad for all those involved. I guess Sport yachts just aren’t the rage they once were. With fuel the way it is no one can hardly afford to boat these days. Perhaps affordable boats would be a novel concept.

  7. Anonymous says:

    This is a big blow to this county and my family and friends that work at Sea Ray! What a shame. All I have to say is Sea Ray better help them find jobs because I just looked and nothing out their!!!!

  8. NortonSmitty says:

    I could have told you this months ago when they started building Condo’s for Millionaires all around it.

  9. Anonymous says:

    My family members are employed their. This means selling our homes because of no jobs here. Thank You Sea Ray! All the 20 plus years. We are all so scared to what the future will hold.

  10. Coyote says:

    Pulling out of the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) , and now tariffs.

    Search for yourselves and see what results these actions have had and will have on the boating industry.

  11. Lou says:

    After this, sure don’t need the extra parking space.
    Don’t worry about unemployment data, it is fake data!

  12. Anonymous says:

    My husband put in over 20 plus years and I have many family members that work at Sea Ray. Time to sell our homes do to no jobs around here. Thank You Sea Ray! A sad day in many lives and ours!!! Thia county will die slow

  13. S. Peterson says:

    Are we ‘winning’ yet? Sad for these families. Flagler is not a great place to find work :(

  14. Just The Truth says:

    Yes, Trump is Making America Great Again, just wondering for whom? New Tariffs, higher taxes on goods we now buy, more and more American Companies closing, yes Donald your doing a great job for the US, only you believe that.
    These folks give a company 20 yrs and now their told see ya bye. Sea Ray you should be ashamed of your company, not to find away to stay opened.

  15. Richard says:

    How many manufacturing companies want to build AND manufacture stuff in Flagler County? If you are in retail or a service industry you will do well here but as far as any major or even little known manufacturing companies, they will NOT survive in this county. Jacksonville or Orlando are your best locations to find manufacturing jobs.

  16. Anonymous says:

    My son and son-in-law both employees of Sea Ray were hit with this devastating news this morning! Such a shame when the employees would work 12 hour or longer just to bring a paycheck home for their families. This is a sad day for my family as well as many others!!

  17. Wendy says:

    My son and son-in-law both employees of Sea Ray were impacted with this devastating news this morning! These employees work 12 hours or longer just to bring a paycheck home for their families! This is a sad day for my family as well as many others!!

  18. R. Nelson says:

    So ironic to see the “anti-Trumpers” blaming Trump but ignoring the comments from their local liberal leader in this article which clearly shows the B.S. this company had to put up with and likely made it harder to compete in the marketplace. Sea Ray was there long before most of the current residents. Sea Ray attracts residents with great paying jobs. Residents attract service jobs. Service job residents then complain about the “smell” created by the engine that drives their parasitic lives. At the same time, I am sure the liberal leader is in favor of all of the onerous regulations driving fuel prices up but providing little to no value to the environment. Now fuel prices push Sea Ray out of business. And somehow it’s Trump’s fault (even though he’s been in office only 18 months) and not the disastrous policies of the past 30 years. Betcha there are WAY more Trump voters who own Sea Rays than the bitter liberals crying and sending “hopes and prayers” for the displaced workers. I bet the local liberal leader will be found in Orlando at Fantasy World looking for new companies to replace Sea Ray. LOL.

  19. common sense says:

    Sea Ray has been for sale for the past two or three years. Stop putting your liberal spin on this and blaming Trump. Maybe instead of complaining you might try helping the families. Hopefully something will move into that area and provide some jobs.

  20. Hints From Homie says:

    So Trump and his administration starting trade wars, giving away tax breaks to the 2%, insulting our allies and breaking up families both foreign and domestic is part of the “winning” and “taking back America” ? Albeit the Sea Ray yacht product is in a small and crowded industry with international players it was reckless to think it could compete and profit making huge boats. It was a bad business decision to begin with. Sea Ray was doing fine with small craft and apparently will continue those lines, perhaps with another ownership should a sale actually take place. Pretty safe to assume it would be “FORIEGN” money buying the brand as we are currently headed back into a recession thanks to Trump trashing the stock market and giving away tax revenue. That was our only chance to dig out from this massive and increasing national debt Trump and others have so conveniently “forgotten” about in order to line their pockets, not yours, certainly not the laid-off 400+ Sea Ray workers you just read about. VOTE THEM ALL OUT MID-TERM 2018!! Save America NOW!!!

  21. Mark says:

    Damit. Now local governments will need to raise our taxes to cover the economic loss. I know, let’s bring more people Ito Flagler, that’ll fix it.

  22. Anonymous says:

    It’s so sad that so many employees will loose their jobs but economy is going in the right direction and many of businesses looking for employees
    I own Architectural Granite,Inc and we actually hiring people
    If someone is interested please call or come to the office
    18 Hargrove Grade, unit 112 Palm Coast tel # 386 5970228

  23. anonymous says:

    MAGA!!!!! WINING!! Thanks for the tax cut.

  24. anonymous says:

    Soo much Winning. Thanks for the tax cut. MAGA!!!!!

  25. Shark says:

    Palm Coast needs that many people to maintain all of the planting beds that they waste hundreds of thousands on !!!!

  26. Heythere says:

    I bet the commission board is kicking themselves in the ass when numerous large corporations wanted to build on flagler county land and were refused ! The city and county are expanding , its time for our business development to also!!!! Restaurants and Retail are not huge econiomc boosts and don’t supply as many jobs as oh , let’s say , Six Flags(who wanted to build some years ago and were refused ) . Get off your ass , get some economic structure and jobs here locally so people don’t have to drive over an hour to make good money ! Bring in careers not jobs !

  27. Dave says:

    Those tariffs and trade war is really starting to show its effects. Shame on Mealy for celebrating in the face of the devastated, she could of held her hurtful comments till this tragedy is over. If the county would allow medical marijuana into its cities there would be enough jobs and tax revenue to patch up this small set back. Just think about it.

  28. Hmmm says:

    I saw this coming a while ago. Palm Coast Data will be next. Where will all these people find jobs now? Thats alot of people in this small town scavenging all at once for the few jobs that may be available.

  29. In the know says:

    They are not closing the end of this week. The employees were notified in writing that the plant will close August 24th.

  30. Domenick greco says:

    Don’t forget the article Sea Ray posted first quarter 2018 operating profits of 115 million dollars

  31. Terry Cooper says:

    The president had nothing to do with this, it was a long time coming, the Sea Ray name will go on for years to come. So very sad to hear about this, lots of very good people up there, it’s hard to swallow , but it was in the cards for a very long time.

  32. palmcoaster says:

    My heart breaks for all the SeaRay employees! What a sad they for us all in this county that have compassion and care for our fellow men and women!
    These proves that all this economic great recovery under this lying POTUS is just a BIG BS! Proves that the middle class is further financially down thanks to him and all the tax breaks he gave to the rich only generates misery for the rest. Simply, middle class is no longer buying those SeaRay boats manufactured in Palm Coast as can’t afford them and the wealthy that got the tax breaks go buy their boats in the overseas jet set market to keep up with the Johnse’s!
    Also Harley Davidson snatched the Trump’s Tax Breaks and shut manufacturing in our USA to set shop in Europe.How that helps our workers here Trump? Ohh well forgot that Trump clan says… “I don’t really care do U?”

  33. Michael Cocchiola says:

    I’m upset…very upset. I’m upset about the disruption of the lives of employees and their families. I’m upset about the lost wages and the economic impact on this area. I”m upset about the mid-life employees who lost long-held jobs around which they built good lives, who now have to enter the labor market and virtually start over. This community should rally around these people and make services and expertise available — certainly a vigorous placement service. Whatever we can do, do it and more!

  34. Veteran says:

    Yeah right, it’s Trumps fraught nobody wants to buy overpriced, gas guzzling yachts! Wake up people. Everyone knew this was coming.

  35. Anonymous says:

    This is just the beginning of a Trump Economy.
    My heart goes out to all the families and employees involved. God Bless.

  36. So Much for the Corporate Tax Cut. says:

    Seems like Brunswick Corporation is going to take its tax cut and run. Thank You, Donald. This is exactly the same story of Harley Davidson Corp.

  37. Jed Pulaski says:

    The chickens are coming home to rooste.

  38. S. Blacketer says:

    So it’s boat brand net sales for first quarter 2018 up 19 million over last year and it’s somehow Trumps fault? Ok lol

  39. Anita wilson says:

    Sad to hear but has nothing to do with the Trump economy, the economy is great ! Buisness is buisness and they answer to share holders not liberal feelings.

  40. rob sheffield says:

    When they announced it was for sale months ago…writing was on the wall…they did the same thing to the boating industry harley davison did to the motorcycle industry…got prices jacked up so high and ran out of customers that could afford them…sad deal

  41. Anita Wilson says:

    Wrong ! It’s called product demand and there isnt one for this product.

  42. Anita Wilson says:

    Most of us are except for the obstructionist left.

  43. Ernie says:

    Brunswick nearly put Harley Davidson out of business when they aquired them. They have awful management people. Too many chiefs that don’t know what their doing.

  44. Annoymous says:

    Like i always said work for yourself. Here comes the home crisis crash again and I’m ready i hope you guys saved your chips instead of sticking up I Nikes and living like Celeberties. Like Master P said

  45. Ernie says:

    This was coming long before Trump came into play. The main reason there going out is because of Brunswick’s very poor management,. They almost put Harley Davidson out of business when they owned them as well.

  46. MT says:

    You mean having 4 mcdonald’s next to burger kings next to starbucks across the street from starbucks that’s next to the autopart store that next to and across the street from 2 other auto parts stores is not smart business planning???????? what!!!!! Now they are going to waste the town center land to build more condos and apartments because we need more people here to fill all the jobs that don’t exist..

  47. Scott fits says:

    Tell that to the 400+ people that just lost their jobs. The economy is only doing great on Fox News.

  48. RP says:

    So glad i turned down that finish carpenter job. Unfortunately this is a big blow for Palm Coast, well depends on how you look at it I guess, Palm Coast had it coming a shame though one of the few skilled trade jobs around there that paid a OK wage. Better get out those food stamp cards and stand in line for your unemployment. 10 to 1 most of these folks will be living it up on welfare. Trading in their food stamps for heroin.

  49. Anonymous says:

    Really… after the battle they had with the city/county did anyone think of hey would stay…

  50. Anonymous says:

    Sea ray boats have been around forever. I’ve been in the industry as a diesel mechanic for 12 years and can honestly tell you that most people’s perception of sea ray is “meh, it’s alright”. Even their owners. They’ve run their course, and the company doesn’t feel like the financial strain to keep advancing the product line is going to be lucrative. It was a business move on Brunswick’s part, plain and simple. They ain’t in the business for fun, they’re in It to make money, and if the outpour of money exceeds the financial gain, it’s time to let it go. Simple supply and demand. This has nothing to do with President Trump. It figures a couple of libtards would somehow figure out a way to blame it on our president. He probably doesn’t even know what a sea ray yacht looks like. Just stop.

  51. Stretchem says:

    Yacht division was making money. +25m over last year. Just not ENOUGH for the shareholders. It’s business folks.

    But the toxic business environment CREATED by the current administration leaves shareholders in limbo and weary of any onshore, long term investments. You can’t just rattle off psycho babble on a daily basis and expect no consequences. The yacht market is overseas, where the US dollar is sheltered by our rich, and I assure you this “brand” will appear at a port not in the U.S.

  52. Anonymous says:

    Flagler florida has 5,200 people. Do you really think it will be a ghost town because 400 people lose their job???

  53. KRY says:

    The Mayors comment was I’m sorry to say a freaking joke. How can we find these people jobs when there are none even close to what they were doing or getting paid in this town?? Maybe if we stopped building over priced houses, retail stores and restaurants and let some manufacturing places come in.

  54. gmath55 says:

    Funny how when the economy is doing good and the unemployment rate is low it is because of Obama. But, when the economy is going bad and the unemployment rate goes up it is Trump’s fault. You snowflakes can’t have it both ways. Wake up! It is bad management that Sea-Ray boats is shutting down.

  55. woody says:

    After a battle didn’t we let them enlarge there parking lot?Tariffs caused this? really? Here comes the Trump bashing.

  56. Glenn Gallant says:

    Shareholders making business look good to buyers, and don’t give a rats ass about workers, carving off the fat …. profitable, but not enough for them …..and the remaining Sea Ray brand will likely suffer similar fate …..because share holders are likely ones buying these in first place …. I own a Sea Ray , and would be thinking twice before buying a new one – glad mine is not on this line being built ….and as for Mr Trump …..Harley going to Europe , Smart for them …. the damage Trump is doing will fall in place next 4-8 years ……I never seen such a bull shitter ….. And his wife …feel sorry for her ……probably only a few knew how NUTS trump is till elected….now everyone knows and she cant hide !

  57. nameHere says:

    For Allen the comments saying that it’s SeaRays job to find these people new jobs after all they have done blah blah blah… Yes it sucks, it really does but I’m sure SeaRay will offer severance packages but no they are not obligated to find somebody a job, these employees have marketable skills and will be able to find work in a variety of places. Yes the city has failed when it comes to inviting in manufacturing plants and such but the voters in the city also failed. Big companies make cuts like this all the time so they can continue to employee thousands of other people or should they just keep the dead weight until they collapse the entire company as a whole and thousands lose jobs not just hundreds. Just ask any former employee of circuit city or toys-r-us.

  58. Ken says:

    Maybe approving that they condo project at the old cement plant was a nail in the coffin. People that move into those expensive condos do not want to smell Sea Ray boats odors. A lot of people warned the commission that this would happen but it didn’t matter big money matters more.

  59. Information says:

    So sorry to hear this but to all the ones impacted
    Flagler county school is looking for bus drivers and aids. Go on n stroll down to work for us. Drivers start at $13-$14 hr once ft
    Free training u just have to get your permit
    Cdl class b endorsement needed are
    School bus
    General knowledge
    Air brakes
    Flagler is in desperate need of drives shouldnt take long to become ft….

  60. Cat1126 says:

    The City Planning Dept. needs a big wake up call. We don’t need anymore fast food restaurants, no more retail stores, gas stations, etc!! We need businesses that manufacture products. I blame the city for being ignorant in the way the it has ignored the companies that wanted to build here. You can’t run for office when you don’t have a clue about the position. The impact fees you charge are ridiculous.
    My sympathy to the employees and their families. I pray for everyone to be able to find a job and keep your homes. Sea Ray should give a bonus to each and everyone of them for the layoffs and the disgusting way this was handled.

  61. Willie Jackson says:

    This Is The Beginning Of A Trend, Not Only In Flagler County
    But Everywhere Else.
    Robotics And Artificial Intelligence Are Going To Capture Many
    Jobs In That Have Been Done By Humans In The Future.
    Our Country And The Entire World Are Going Into A Transitional
    Period Much Like The Industrial Revolution, Change And
    Dislocation Are Going To Occur.
    If Anyone Wishes A Glimpse Into The Future
    You Are Welcome To Visit:
    Humans Are Optional (Robotics And A.I.Information)
    My Heart Goes Out To The People Affected, And I Wish
    All The Best In Your Employment Future.
    Respectfully, willie jackson

  62. GIVEMEABREAK says:

    This has been ongoing for years. I remember when employees were 3 weeks on and 1 week furlough. Try living through that! This has NOTHING to do with TRUMP and I’m so sick of hearing that crap! I stubbed my toe the other day – and damned if I couldn’t find him to blame him! Yachts are not in high demand. The neighbors – who moved there while there was a big boat building plant I might add – don’t add to the situation making it hard for them, so I’m sure buyers were struggling. This is a bedroom community people. It has been since I got here. How about we help and stop your constant blame game – this is life! This is how things go. Put your big gir/boy panties on, help your neighbor and let’s see what’s next and hope their long experience plays in their favor. And yes – this personally affects my family – but it’s no ones fault – hell – if I could blame anyone – I could blame every reader here for not buying a Sea Ray Boat! I’ve never read such a bunch of whining entitled complainers than I do on FlaglerLive. Bottom line – they’re all hard workers and need less of the blame game and more solutions.

  63. Dan Rozelle says:

    I am not hearing possible solutions, I am just hearing blame Trump. Why wouldn’t somebody buy it? That is your answer. If it was such a great idea to build sport yachts somebody should buy it. Why don’t the employees buy it or somebody here in the area. Shrink the boats make them more affordable. Everybody just gives up. Why doesn’t somebody from the county and city raise the flag find an investor. Do something anything sounds like everybody is quitting giving up depressing…Blame Trump and the Chinese and Russians maybe even Canada

  64. Anonymous says:

    Great job Nate! 200 Ribbons cut…440 jobs cut! Please stop helping…go get a job and stop wasting our taxes.

  65. PC Citizen says:

    Perhaps the City can hire these 440 laid off workers as SWALE CLEANERS. Palm Coast streets are a MESS because of over flooded swales from all the rain. Home owners DO NOT cut their swales so vegatation grows 3 ft high and blocks the drainage causing everybody’s lawns to be ruined. Come on Palm Coast, hire these guys !

  66. Momof2 says:

    That is a horrible statement to make regarding these peoe who will lose their jobs. There are honest hardworking men and women some of whom have been there many years. It will be absolutely devastating but so be it, if they have to collect benefits from the state while seeking other means of employment then that is what they have to do. This is a huge blow to our community and individual familes. Your insensitivity is appaling. I pray your family is never devastated by such a situation.

  67. Kay RT J says:

    Very sad happening for Flagler Palm Coast residents and family that works there. Prayers they find good replacement jobs pronto!

  68. mac donald says:

    they been saying that for months even got the ok to build a parking lot from the county .WTH .

  69. Mark says:

    How about building better engineered products, most other boat builders are booming.

  70. Pogo says:

    @This Sea Ray catastrophe

    will teach many the truth about what 20 years of Republican vampires and cannibals have done to Floriduh. The victims of Sea Ray are about to receive the help and mercy of jebthro and crooked ricky, i.e., less than nothing.

    Stone soup kids – come and get it.

    thanks trump – makin’ ‘murica grim again

  71. Really says:

    The real problem are the local Government bodies whom continually operate in a Management by crisis mode, after the fact, and not preempting this Co. Or others like it to come to this County, and or stay, and operate long term on an incentizied program that is an attractive Business environment. Instead for instance spending tax dollars on a website for low paying Tourism jobs.
    There is no forward looking leadership to bring Corporations and Employment to our area. Now you lose what ya had

  72. Optimist Prime says:

    I can’t count how many times I’ve seen large companies go under in my young adult life. Goes to show that nobody should keep faith in a livelihood supported by corporations and their Wallstreet “values.” Hopefully these tradesman and women can build and start a business for themselves. What a total disaster to lose 400+ jobs locally and no industry locally to accommodate the newly unemployed. Typical of the shoestring world we all live in. Never depend on anyone. And don’t let false hope in the “economy” drive your politics, either.

  73. Steve Scott says:

    A lot of local businesses are going to get the cream of the crop employees if these employees stay in this area. I’ve seen Sea Ray workers work, and it is pristine. Always room for a quality employee. I’m a retired local contractor.

  74. Bob says:

    It is not Trumps fault that Sea Ray built outdated yachts at prices that could not be competitive with the rest of the boat manufacturers. It is management and engineering that failed you. That is how the marketplace works.

  75. Xbadge says:

    Bummer…the good ‘ol boys club is shutting Horrible mgmt..not surprised, but PC has been changing alot in past years, turn the page another chapter, the rich will have another new boat launch n marina..

  76. Robyn says:

    I worked there years ago and learned alot of things about the manufactureing industry that has helped me with jobs since and you don’t see many people that work as hard as Sea Ray employees or the work ethics like Sea Ray employees have they’ll be dream employees for whoever hires them.Best of luck to all

  77. Anonymous says:

    MORE INDUSTRIAL JOBS! MORE INDUSTRIAL JOBS! MORE INDUSTRIAL JOBS. Flagler County and Palm Coast Commissioners, do you hear us+

  78. S. Matthews says:

    Lobo53- I worked for Sea Ray for well over 20 yrs. I know for a fact the battles that we as a company had to fight with the neighbors on Lambert lane because they get a smell when the wind blows just right. If it was not that it was something else all the time. Most of the time the actual source of their odor came from their neighbors working on a project. Flagler county is a retirement town and they do not want large manufacturing companies, extra traffic, noise, their town, never have.. They either do not let them new industry in or have a part in running them out. Well they should be happy now. All those new restraunts, bars, fancy apartments, etc. They will close because 400 people lost there jobs, that means they have to sell houses and leave. There wife, husband, kids and anyone else in there house that works in Flagler goes to. So to the smart butt above who say’s 400 people loosing their jobs wont hurt Flagler, better count again and just wait and see just want an impact this plant closing actually has on your sorry town. You know what they say about Karma.. God bless all of my Sea Ray Friends and Family. I wish you all the very best and pray that God will help to lead you all to something better and carry you through these trying times.

  79. HonkeyDude says:

    To all those effected by the closure. …. I hope you all band together, and return the kindness shown to you, for all your years of service. LET THE CREATIVE CONSTRUCTION BEGIN!!!

  80. Anonymous says:

    All these employees should come down to Edgewater and put in for Boston Whaler. It might be a bit of a commute, but we have tons of different positions, and are always looking for hard working people.

  81. Jim G says:

    There are tons of agricultural jobs available now all over the country and in the state of Florida! You know the jobs stolen by brown people!!!! #somuchwinning

  82. Jim G says:

    Harley Davidson is moving some of its manufacturing overseas due to tRUMP’s policies, Sea Ray is just another result, the company can tell the public lies, but in the end tax cuts = more profits and that outweighs the jobs lost!

  83. Anonymous says:

    Boston whaler is always hiring….

  84. David S says:

    What”s the City of Palm Coast & Flagler Co going to do about this not a damn thing. Cannot blame anyone who wants to get out of this county unless you want to work at Burger king for the rest of your life.

  85. David S. says:

    MAGA What a joke Trump are you paying attention. Why don’t you take your billions and give some to these hard working people of Searay and now Harley Davidson ?

  86. Bill kirkland says:

    Really?? All the company’s and jobs already created by Mr. Trump. And you gonna say that. Well I guess once never trumper, always a never trumpet. You a sad person. TRUMP ALL THE WAY!!

  87. Nancy N. says:

    To all of you complaining that this is the city and county’s fault and that they should be bringing in more manufacturing jobs to the area instead of more retail…where do you think they can get the magic wand that they would need to make that happen? We can’t force non-existent businesses to build here. Manufacturing is on the decline in this country as a whole. And what little there is, we aren’t an attractive area for really since we lack certain resources being a city of this size. The businesses that are coming are the only ones that actually want to be here. It’s not like the city is turning away masses of other ones right and left! SMH

  88. The Truth says:

    It’s hilarious to see all the Trumpsters squirm when someone blames something on their fearless leader. When Obama was in office, if a child’s sandwich was stolen from them at lunch it was Obama’s fault.

    Now I don’t completely blame Trump for this closure as they were already trying to sell before he took office, but I do find it very funny to see Trumpsters worm their way into a pretzel to defend everything this man does in office.

  89. palmcoaster says:

    The middle class financial power has been deteriorating since after 9/11/2001, specially affecting the boat building industry…simply but looking at that Intracoastal from the Rte 100, Granada Blvd and other overpasses and bridges with the increase on the price of gas (greedy move from the GOP oil barons) the water ways now are empty from the incredible amount of boats I used to see when I moved here in 1991 till 2001. Then Bush and his 9/11 arrived and was such and impact that left our local water ways empty of boats and middle class boaters…is no denial. Is the GOP’s undermining financial deterioration of our middle class. Boating is becoming a luxury for the one’s that make 90,000 and up only and the increasing wealthy do not buy SeaRay boats they go to buy them were their Johnsen’s, in the overseas Jet Set markets. The good old American Dream is now only for the millionaires and billionaires 1% for all else is dead. Otherwise the long line at Aldi’s job searchers of all ages that I saw few days ago, were the lack of privacy confronting a loud young interviewer disclosing past occupations and or kills of each of those people looking for work and for all of us customers to hear, was a real shame of a treatment for those American job searchers! But anyway mistreatment and total luck of compassion by the wealthy for American workers and babies snatched from the asylum seeker parents at the border shows the “I don’t really care do U?” from the so called first lady and her clan. Now sadly our SeaRay displaced workers have also to confront the higher taxes being planned as we speak by city and county governments here in Flagler after wasting our hard earned taxes in frivolous overpriced capital projects, outrageous compensations and giveaways to developers! By the way after building a castle to themselves were is our mosquito spraying that we dutifully pay in our taxes?

  90. Ben Hogarth says:

    I guess Sea Ray is a perfectly allegory for the time in which we are living. No, Sea Ray’s choice to shut down its plants in Flagler and on Meritt Island is not a direct result of Trump’s failing policies and rhetoric. However, it’s failure is analogous to the same Trump elite oligarchy that continues to devastate hard working families across this country. Imagine, investing 20 years of your life building pleasure flotillas for the ultra elite only to be told one day they no longer require your services because their shareholders can make a lot more money selling you and your living.

    THAT is exactly what happened with big banks for years before the crash, and it is what has led to this tragedy. I’m sure all of the county proponents of Sea Ray as a top tier company now realize that like all business relationships of its kind – it only lasts so long as the other side seeks to benefit the most from it.

    In other words, to those 409 hard working Americans – your hard work isn’t appreciated as much as stock options and liquidation’s.

    And that is very much, Trump’s brand of “America.”

  91. Agkistrodon says:

    Perhaps that would be a good location for a racetrack, or a fast food joint. Then the people who eat the food could throw more food trash out of their windows.

  92. Pogo says:

    @slippery rick

    parachuted in to cut a grand opening ribbon if a kid opened a lemonade stand. Where is slippery rick now?

    “America is the wealthiest nation on Earth, but its people are mainly poor, and poor Americans are urged to hate themselves. To quote the American humorist Kin Hubbard, ‘It ain’t no disgrace to be poor, but it might as well be.’ It is in fact a crime for an American to be poor, even though America is a nation of poor. Every other nation has folk traditions of men who were poor but extremely wise and virtuous, and therefore more estimable than anyone with power and gold. No such tales are told by the American poor. They mock themselves and glorify their betters. The meanest eating or drinking establishment, owned by a man who is himself poor, is very likely to have a sign on its wall asking this cruel question: ‘if you’re so smart, why ain’t you rich?’ There will also be an American flag no larger than a child’s hand – glued to a lollipop stick and flying from the cash register.

    Americans, like human beings everywhere, believe many things that are obviously untrue. Their most destructive untruth is that it is very easy for any American to make money. They will not acknowledge how in fact hard money is to come by, and, therefore, those who have no money blame and blame and blame themselves. This inward blame has been a treasure for the rich and powerful, who have had to do less for their poor, publicly and privately, than any other ruling class since, say Napoleonic times. Many novelties have come from America. The most startling of these, a thing without precedent, is a mass of undignified poor. They do not love one another because they do not love themselves.”
    ― Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

  93. Born and Raised Here says:

    What will these workers fall back on, I see no other employment here in Flagler similar to the Boat Trade. I suggest the local colleges and Flagler Tech to offer free tuition so these folks can learn a new trade.

  94. FEDDY says:

    S. Mathews I agree with you except for one point, Palm Coast is no longer that retirement town when it was once established, look at how many elementary schools we have here and look at the number of students enrolled. BTES has over 1000 students, Palm coast is no longer a retirement town

  95. jack says:

    Trump has nothing to do with Sea Ray closing down. They have been talking for years about closing this plant and have struggled through the obama years where they laid off furlowed and all kinds of tricks to try and keep going. Fact is they let the Quality of the boats go down the cost go up and no one wants one any more. Notice the words warranty on the statement. There is so much warranty work you would never be able to imagine what that deals with. I have seen boats from the plant alomost sink and some have overseas. It is bad this is happening but don’t Blame Trump and join the FAKE groups of this country. When you sacrifice quality for time and money you loose. They wanted fast pace push through close your eyes work and now it’s bitting them in the butt. Warranty work has been cutting the transom out of the boat and replacing stringers where they used wet fiberglass and the resin would not set up. They have had extreme problems for years. So again don’t blame Trump…

  96. nomorepitbulls says:

    All you Trumpers saying its not his fault – go ahead and have it your way.

    The problem is there is going to be SO MUCH MORE that WILL be his fault…but you Trumpers will never admit that either.

  97. Just The Truth says:

    Was on the news this morning Harley Davidson moving out of our country because Mr. I WILL MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, placed a tariff in our country, so more and more American companies are going to be leaving us. And, they stated on the news his tariff was going to effect boat companies.
    So, when you go to the polls just remember Mr. Trump is causing our country to go under.

  98. Anonymous says:

    It’s pretty sad when plants close and residents lose jobs…… Flagler county has not been the greatest at welcoming new industry into the county and sad that we are blaming the only one decent sized company for leaving …… where is your vision board members ?Blaming Trump is just stupid talk …… start pounding the pavement and start looking for industry that will sustain the work force in your county .

  99. Anonymous says:

    These boats are first of all luxury items. The economy, especially in the upper 5%, is great right now. Don’t Fool Yourselves, they are keeping the Brand Name, they will reopen somewhere else{another country probably} for half the operating costs and double the profit margin. Watch and see! Good old greed at work here, that’s all.

  100. Trailer Bob says:

    I don’t buy it that the company doesn’t feel badly about its employees losing their jobs. Most of you never ran a business and think everyone else should take care of you. Most of the comments state that the employees worked 20 years or more for the company. In twenty years you should have been able to plan for the future and save some of you paycheck for things like this…which do happen. You forget how many of us self-employed people need to stash away money for the future and down times. ANd yes, when things get tough we need to let people go. Welcome to the real world.

  101. Sherry says:

    Ben Hogarth- You are “right on”!

    While this tragedy may not “directly” be trump’s fault, the worship of stock value over “human” value is certainly “trump’s brand of America”! This kind of thing is just the beginning of the ripple effect of allowing soulless billionaires to run our country!!!

    Our hard working citizens of the middle class are being sold down the river in order to maximize profits of the wealthy. This is just the beginning!!!

  102. RP says:

    eh.. no big loss they were crappy boats anyways. I bought a silverton instead. If the workers cared and took pride in their craftsmanship maybe the yachts would of sold better and they would still be in business. This is what happens when everything is made in china and american craftsmen don’t take pride in their work their company hell their community. When it comes to luxury yachts and automobiles only the finest craftsmanship will sell. Take the attitude your job is just a 9-5 versus it being your career and the company will fail. Made in the USA means nothing anymore.

  103. Mary Blythe says:

    Heartbreaking to hear this news. My thoughts and prayers go to all the people who work there.

  104. Flagler Flyer says:

    Sea Ray closing their yacht line has next to nothing to do with Flagler County, Flagler Beach, or who the president is right now!

    That being said the county and Palm Coast are extremely unfriendly to business! Every other county understands that manufacturing is important to the local economy. But neither the county or the city are able to attract ANY reasonable manufacturing companies. While Florida is a great destination and other counties thrive Palm Coast and Flagler County wallow in petty NJ style politics. Government focused on supporting the government rather than the people simply does not work.

    On the good side there will be more affordable housing available for the incoming retirees. Well done!

  105. Just The Truth says:

    City Officials, County Officials and Planning Board, wake up and start doing the job we are paying you to do. We need manufacturing jobs here, start making it easier for companies to move here and employ more people. We don’t need any more stores or fast food places. If you can’t do your job and do it for the better of the community, we will vote for the people that are willing to do that.

  106. Mark says:

    @ The Truth says,
    Nothing was obama’s fault, it was all Bush’s fault.

  107. Richard says:

    Nope, you are all wrong it was Russia’s fault!

  108. snapperhead says:

    “Together, the Administration’s actions increase the cost of manufacturing in the U.S., resulting in less domestic production, higher prices for American consumers, and fewer jobs for American workers.”

    The top boat-building states are Florida, Tennessee, North Carolina, Minnesota, Indiana, Arkansas and Wisconsin. In Orlando, Florida, Regal Marine Industries — which makes everything from 19-foot motorboats to 53-foot yachts priced above $1 million — said it’s had $4 million worth of orders canceled or delayed. CEO Duane Kuck estimates that the company, which employs 750 in Orlando and Valdosta, Georgia, will lose $13 million in revenue this year from European and Canadian tariffs.

    “It’s hitting very hard and very quick,” Kuck said.

    The EU and Canada accounted for up to 20 percent of Regal’s business. If the tariffs last past 60 days, Kuck estimates that his company would have to cut about 40 jobs, either through attrition or layoffs.

    Bertram Yachts in Tampa, Florida, is scrambling to salvage sales. This week, a customer in Monaco called to cancel the purchase of a $4 million, 61-foot yacht, citing the added cost of the tariffs. To save the deal, CEO Peter Truslow plans to offer to make the contract contingent on the tariffs being lifted. Yet it’s far from clear when — or whether — that might happen.

    “It could be a day, it could be years,” Truslow said.

    Before the tariffs, Bertram had been growing rapidly, with Europe accounting for perhaps 15 percent of sales. The company had planned to expand its staff of 90; the tariffs have put any hiring on hold.

    “The perception in the public,” Truslow said, “is there’s a bunch of rich guys hanging out at fancy marinas or something. But 90 percent of the people that work in the yacht business, they’re laying fiberglass and installing hardware. They’re hourly, hard-working guys, the same as you’d see in a car manufacturer. Those are the ones that get affected.

    “Who’s the loser in this? The small yacht companies and the employees.”

    Trump policies certainly didn’t create an environment where a prospective buyer would want to take a risk. Be careful what you wish for Trumpsters.

  109. Dolores says:


  110. CBM says:

    Funny how the commissioner says Lambert will be happy. Even funnier the closest neighbor on Lambert to Searay supported Searay when we battled Flagler for land purchase. The plant closing has nothing to do with the president or Flagler residents. Poor corporate management is the only fault in this case so let’s not go crazy making this a political argument. You people have no idea what your talking about. The real issue here is 440 people just lost jobs. How about alittle compassion. The loss of Sea Ray will impact this county in so many way. Businesses will feel their absence.

  111. Greg says:

    Mad Max Waters fault!

  112. Jan says:

    OK, they wanted to sell. Who and where is the potensial byers? The ansver is Europe or Asia.
    Dont you see? No company in those areas take the chance to invest in US. All is waiting for the next tweet from POTUS to confirm that they are better off waiting for a President with a attitude above a 3rd grade. Investment require stability and nobody care if it is a democrat or rep, but with a President touching the borders of despotism this will only be the beginning.
    Yes, they have been planning this for a while, but they did not plan for selling domestic.

  113. Johnx says:

    They’re keeping the smaller boat operations in Tellico, Tennessee. Unfortunately, large boats are not popular anymore. From the Knoxville News-Sentinel: Sea Ray was not alone in its decline; overall, new boat sales in the U.S. dropped by more than half from 2000 to 2017, according to

  114. apolitical says:

    Wow, just wow. Turn every opportunity into a political statement, & wonder why things happen the way they do.
    Folks, it’s just business. Don’t like it? Start your own boat company, here’s your golden opportunity.
    No? Then you have no room to talk.
    People start businesses to make money. Investors invest to make money. People get jobs to make money. This isn’t personal, it’s business. It’s definitely unfortunate for the folks losing jobs, but it’s neither personal nor political.
    Grow up, quit whining about who’s fault it is, & do something good for yourself.

  115. Diane says:

    If this city didn’t make it so hard to start a business here we could have many more businesses and jobs for our community, they make it next to impossible!! Need new blood in this administration that thinks about the people’s future!

  116. Shark says:

    Winning !!!!

  117. John Bravo says:

    So Trump is to blame? Lets get this straight….you want to tax the rich, taking money from them, yet want them to keep spending money on yaghts? Did you really think they would sacrifice their home for a new boat? If they did, you would complain about the construction workers laid off because mansions were not being built.

  118. Flatsflyer says:

    Simple answer, look at the voter registration of those workers. Bet most are Republicans. The Admiistration has already cut the safety net that these people need now. Can you imagine what will happen to them with the Republican charge to cut SSAnd Medicare is passed, .people need to be careful when castiING thier votes , you often get what you didn’t expect or want!

  119. Sean says:

    Funny the county doesn’t take care of its own employees but wants to help others well atleast they are helping someone

  120. Jw says:

    Since most of you all are over political and have no clue about what really goes on at Sea Ray at the top levels let me tell you a little bit about them. Sea Ray has been shutting down operations for the past 20 years. They have shut down multiple plants and then getting out of paying severence packages by “relocating” within the allotted distance allowed. This way most workers would simply have to refuse their offer and not get a severence package. Their sales have fallen for years. The boating industry as a whole has taken a downward spiral over the past 20 years. Sea Ray makes great boats but most of the boats are for the well to do. This has been brewing for years. After the last housing crash there were talks of this plant going under. Thankfully it has gone under before the next housing/economic crash comes within the next 5-10 years. God Bless all the employees affected.

  121. Greg says:

    Jane Mealy Flagler beach commisioner is celebrating this as a win for the environment. How is a person like this elected? This is a huge loss to the community of 440 good paying jobs. I guess she will be even more excited when people have to leave the county to find work. Sorry lady not everone is retired or independtly wealthy.

  122. Anonymous says:

    Commissioner Jane Mealy and her celebration of the environment forget those 440 people who lost their jobs along with their families live in the community and vote. I for one will be celebrating her lost job come election time.

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