Palmer Johnson, which last week announced the shutdown of its facilities in Wisconsin, said in a statement that it had purchased a shipyard in the Netherlands and would be moving manufacturing there.
The company said that it plans to focus on its carbon-composite SuperSport series of yachts. “There has been strong interest in the SuperSport range and the company will gain significant competitive advantages by building their next generation of yachts in Europe,” said the release.
The company added that it had “finalised an agreement” to take over a shipyard in the Netherlands, but it did not specify which one. It said the second PJ48 SuperSport hull being built in Norway would be completed at its new facility in November. A third hull is scheduled for April 2016. The statement added that moulds for the PJ 42m SuperSport are being manufactured. “The company has an order for the first of this model and it is expected to be completed in late 2017,” said the statement.
Mayor Thad Birmingham called it “a sad day in Sturgeon Bay’s history”. Palmer Johnson was founded in Sturgeon Bay in 1918 as Sturgeon Bay Boat Works. “It’s unfortunate but these things happen from time to time,” Birmingham was quoted by the Green Bay Press Gazette. “When I was growing up we had four shipyards in town, and now we’re down to one, which is sad.”
Palmer Johnson said that some staff from Sturgeon Bay would be moving to the Netherlands, but an email requesting clarification was not returned.