Anaheim, Calif. – Dec. 3, 2014 – (Marine NewsWire) Willard Marine, Inc., has entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with SeaArk Marine, Inc., to build all of their commercial and military boat models, of which 7, 000 have been sold worldwide since SeaArk Marine’s founding nearly 60 years ago.
Based in Monticello, Ark., SeaArk Marine is family owned and was operated by the McClendon family beginning in 1959, and they experienced great success delivering boats to all 50 states, every U.S. held territory, and over 70 countries around the world. However, in 2012, SeaArk Marine’s military and industrial boat-building division closed due to lagging sales during what has been now termed The Great Recession.
SeaArk Marine’s commercial division is probably most well-known for its Commander and Dauntless series of aluminum work-and-patrol vessels ranging in size from 28’-65’ (8.5m-19.8m); 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 (RIBs).
Willard Marine president and CEO, Ulrich Gottschling, said, “The exclusive licensing of SeaArk Marine boat designs better positions Willard Marine to do business with law enforcement and marine security professionals throughout the U.S. 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.”
John McClendon, who served as president and CEO of SeaArk Marine for 16 years, said “The McClendon family is very excited about this collaboration. The Willard Marine team was a respected competitor throughout SeaArk Marine’s 55-year history. We both shared a common philosophy based on quality construction and elevated customer service which makes working together with them now such a comfortable fit. 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, Inc. developed over the years.”
The arrangement with Willard Marine does not apply to SeaArk Boats, which is the recreational boating division of SeaArk that has an independent dealer network. In the first quarter of 2015, SeaArk Marine boat photos and data sheets will be integrated into Willard Marine’s marketing channels such as their website and GSA schedule.
To help accelerate sales, Willard Marine has contracted with MilPro Marine, based in Grand Rapids, Mich., to represent all Willard Marine vessels including the SeaArk Marine designs throughout the Great Lakes, Midwest and Northeast regions of the U.S. MilPro has been in business for eight years and sells exclusively to military, fire, law enforcement and government agencies. Recent MilPro clients include the Chicago Fire Department, Columbus Fire Department, Pittsburgh Department of Public Safety, St. Louis Fire Department and MABAS Fire Department in Illinois.
About Willard Marine
With more than five decades of design, engineering and manufacturing experience, Willard Marine has developed more than 20 types of world-class watercraft for the U.S. Navy, Coast Guard, Army and Department of Homeland Security, as well as NOAA, foreign governments, and federal and local law enforcement agencies. Top achievements include RIB supplier to the U.S. Navy for more than 25 years; ISO 9001:2008 certification; and production of a wide range of U.S. Coast Guard-approved and certified SOLAS rescue boats. The company, based in Anaheim, Calif., and with an East Coast facility in Virginia Beach, Va., is privately held.