Bertram Yacht To Set Up Shop In Merritt Island
By Keith Malone // May 9, 2012
ABOVE VIDEO: Bertram Yacht Has Rich History
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA • MERRITT ISLAND, FLORIDA — Bertram, the 50-year-old Miami-based sport fishing yacht manufacturer with a rich history, will be setting up shop in the former Sea Ray facilities on Merritt Island.
The company is internationally renowned for outstanding performance in big seas and leading edge marine design innovations.
“Today’s Bertram continues to draw on the combined experience of its heritage, and that of its parent company, the Ferretti group,” said the company’s website, Bertram.com.
“Our unparalleled motivation and dedication to lead has ensured that today, as always, “second place is not an option.”
‘We’re On Our Way and We’re Here To Stay!”
CBS 60 Minutes may recently have put a downer on Brevard: Their badly-received TV news report here portraying a downbeat county with a jobs drain from the Space Center.
But Brevard is fighting back. With hundreds of jobs coming to Brevard the focus is on what we’ve always been good for in this coastal region – building boats.
Bertram Yacht held an upbeat media conference today at its new facility on the former Sea Ray factory site on Sea Ray Drive, alongside State Road 528 on Merritt Island.
Super-quality sports fishing boats costing from one $1.5 million will be built at the rate of 20-plus a year and rising – starting in June this year. The company is internationally renowned for outstanding performance in big seas and leading-edge marine design innovations.
The spanking-new layer of richly-dark asphalt for parking in front of the factory, that also sports a brand new Bertram logo, says it all: “We’re on our way and we’re here to stay!”
Hundreds of New Jobs
Bertram plans to hire 221 people – and the company is looking to recruit from a highly-skilled labour force lying idle and displaced following the shutdown of the Shuttle program at the Space Center.
The company is moving its manufacturing base from a cramped facility near Miami 160 miles up the east side of Florida to the shores of Merritt Island.
The factory site is just 45 miles from Orlando Airport and within a few minutes boat ride from the open ocean, making the location ideal for product testing, distribution and deliveries throughout Florida and the U.S. Eastern Seaboard.
“We appreciate the EDC’s (Economic Development Commission of the Space Coast) assistance and look forward to growing in an area with a highly skilled workforce that will help us build Bertram yachts that are so well known for hardcore saltwater sportfishing,” said Alton Herndon, President of Bertram Yacht at a media conference today.
“We also plan to bring many existing Bertram employees to Merritt Island to help establish our roots and keep the Bertram legacy growing,” added Herndon.
Ideal For The Ocean
So could this much-needed relocation signal an eventual name change for this stretch of coast?
“We looked at over 30 plant sites,” said Herndon.
“This proved to be the best. Our customers don’t want to go to the showroom and buy a boat. They want to come to the manufacturing facility and watch it being built,” said Herndon
“We at Bertram deeply value our 50 years of history and culture in Florida and are enthusiastic to remain in the state,” said Herndon.
“We appreciate the assistance of Florida’s Economic Development Commission (EDC) and are looking forward to growing in an area with a highly-skilled workforce that will help us build yachts so well known for hard-core salt-water sport fishing.”
Skilled Local Workforce
The skills of Merritt Island workers will be needed by Bertram to implement new production processes and systems that the company are keen to develop at its new Merritt Island facilty.
“Bertram Yacht is a legendary brand and we are pleased to keep this company with a strong Florida history,” said Lynda Weatherman, president and CEO of the EDC.
“The company recognised the competitive advatages ofa SpaceCoast location, particularly within our high-tech workforce. Bertram Yacht’s creation of new jobs is a positive step in mitigating the effects of the post-Shuttle economy. We welcome the Bertram Yacht team and we look forward to the company’s continued success and growth on our coast,” she said.
Bertram’s new operation will draw on the skilled labor force available in our region – particularly on those with experience in the marine and aresospace sectors, bringing those mor than 220 jobs to Merritt Island.
Importantly, the new production operation will create significant demand for ancillary parts and services from local suppliers and contractors. This will mean more jobs and a significant boost for the economy.
It’s this sort of new jobs presence that will get the economy going again and the feel-good factor will start to return to these parts.
Bertram is supported by parent company Ferretti Group, which is one of the world’s leaders in the construction of motor yachts.
It will complete the current models in production in Miami through this summer and will then begin relocating key models and production to Sea Ray Drive in preparation for the launch of the first of the Merritt Island super sport-fishing boats early next year.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT BERTRAM