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SeaArk Marine Closing Production at End of Year

August 31st, 2011 by

 

SeaArk Marine, a Monticello industry for 52 years, announced Tuesday that they plan to discontinue most of their plant operations at the end of 2011.

SeaArk Marine currently employees approximately 60 workers.  Their highest employment total was around 220 in 2008, but the workforce gradually decreased through attrition, down to 150 in 2010.

The company began a layoff in November, 2010, as economic conditions continued to take their toll on the marine industry.

Work will continue at the Gabbert Street facility, filling existing orders, until December, when the majority of the remaining employees will be released.  The company will also continue fulfilling spare parts orders indefinitely.

There is a possibility of opportunities at SeaArk Boats, for some of the SeaArk Marine employees, according to John McClendon, president, who also told MonticelloLive.com, “The SeaArk marine facility will remain intact, in case economic conditions improve.”

Here is the official press release from the company.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

SeaArk Marine, Inc. Temporarily Discontinues Accepting New Orders.

Military and industrial aluminum boat manufacturer SeaArk Marine, Inc. of Monticello, Arkansas announced today that it will temporarily suspend acceptance of new boat orders until further notice.

Due to very sporadic and extremely low (new construction) sales figures for nearly 24 straight months, the company announced that it would begin an overhead reduction plan in an attempt to “ride out” the effects of the current market until substantial improvement in the government & industrial marine sector appeared more apparent.

SeaArk Marine, Inc. is not completely shutting down its operations. The company currently has several boats on order that will continue in construction until those are completed and delivered with factory support and full warranty coverage. The company will also continue fulfilling spare parts orders indefinitely.

New orders for repair/refurbish work with short turnaround cycles will continue to be accepted until January 1st, 2012.

“Obviously, this is a very emotional decision for everyone concerned” commented John McClendon, President and CEO of the company. “We have recently worked our way down to the minimum amount of fixed overhead we could and still properly serve the market that we compete in. Typical construction time for our products can be fairly long – up to a year or more for some of the larger vessels. This means that very small contracts and ones that continue to be stretched far apart have the potential to keep pushing cash consumption further and further out; eventually beyond financially sound limits.”

McClendon went on to disclose the logic behind the decision: “The situation is that SeaArk Marine, Inc. is currently in a positive cash position, no debt whatsoever, and has the ability to keep our employees and vendors paid rapidly. “

“We wanted to be able to continue that position and control those elements long before it became any sort of crisis to manage. Company ownership has struggled with this decision for some time, but this sales downturn is the most severe experienced in the company’s 52 year history, and despite our sales team’s monumental efforts, the increasing uncertainty of various opportunities developing recently created serious doubts that it will reverse significantly within the next year.”

“We would not accept a situation where we couldn’t live up to our obligations to our customers or our vendors.”

McClendon continued, “Financially this is clearly the best option and I would rather “hunker down” now under a well controlled plan – with the real possibility of coming back strong in the future – than to just keep rolling the dice that things are going to improve quickly enough to make remaining 100% operational right now a good business decision.”

SeaArk Marine Inc. (formerly MonArk Boat Co.) has been in continuous operation in Monticello, AR since 1959. The company has delivered boats to all 50 states, every U.S. held territory, and over 70 countries around the world.

SeaArk Boats, the recreational aluminum boat builder also located in Monticello and operated by Robin McClendon (John McClendon’s sister) currently enjoys steady sales and is unaffected by SeaArk Marine’s decision. Each company serves distinctly different product markets with completely separate sales and distribution methods.

Zach McClendon, original founder of both companies, concluded the announcement with a reflective comment on the decision: “The current business environment in America seems to be getting more and more difficult by the day. Sometimes long term survival requires making extremely tough decisions. This was certainly the hardest we’ve ever had to make.”

9 Responses to “SeaArk Marine Closing Production at End of Year”

  1. Sherry Jones says:

    Its sad that almost every production job has left Monticello. Burlington Dura Craft ..now Seark Marine. The people of Monticello has take hit after hit. About the only jobs you can get is fast food Walmart or have college degrees so you can get into the Medical field or Education. The town is drying up and losing population because of there is nothing in Monticello anymore.

  2. not_surprised says:

    Sherry, how can you say the town is drying up? Monticello is by far the biggest town in this area. If you want to see dried up, drive over to Dermott, McGehee, or Pine Bluff. There are still job opportunities in the area. They might not be the best paying jobs, but there are jobs to be had. While I do feel bad for the 60 or so workers who are going to lose their jobs, I don’t think this is going to be the end for Monticello.

  3. John Wheeler says:

    Personally, I believe SeaArk Marine will return in time. It has taken storm after storm for 52 years, and this storm will also pass.
    God bless the SeaArk Team and the McClendon family for thier contribution to world order and peace. Rest assured, SeaArk Boats are on duty and will remain so for many more years to come.

  4. irritated says:

    to not_surprised above: what’s the point in having one of those jobs that are not the best paying if you cannot feed your family on it? And how is that a “job opportunity”?

  5. not_surprised says:

    Irritated, people should realize that they can’t feed their family of six by working part-time at Walmart. A better job isn’t just going to fall into someones lap. I’m sorry, but in Monticello, someone working full time and making minimum wage can afford to live on those wages. Unfortunately, many of these people making low wages have no idea what money management is. When you take your pay check and go buy a carton of cigarettes and some scratch off tickets before buying food and paying the light bill, I have no pity for you. Just go to one of the tobacco stores on a Friday afternoon after people get paid and see what they are spending the first part of their pay check on. It’s not the low paying jobs that are the problem, it’s the ignorance and stupidity of some of the people who have these jobs.

  6. monticello person says:

    that’s right irritated…..don’t work just set on your butt and wait for your dream job to just fall in ur lap.

  7. LAX says:

    Irritated! Any job a person can do is a good job. No one is better than anyone else. It is up to the individual to live within a budget. People like you who look down on others is what is wrong with this country.

  8. Patricia Mays says:

    Monticello–along with the rest of the country–will have to understand that our economy is changing. The old manufacturing jobs are not coming back. This is not cause for mourning, but cause for changing. Economies change. It is a fact of life. We have to find out where the economy is going, and go with it. There is agreement among economic analysts around the world that the opportunities for the next 20 years will lie primarily in the areas of finance, health care and green energy. In addition, entrepreneurship will increase. There is current demand for over 100,000 new representatives in the financial services industry. Every person must assess his or her situation and make the changes necessary to move with the economy. Find something to do–then get up and do it. It probably won’t be something you’re used to, but that is not always a bad thing.

  9. Larry Wilson says:

    I need a petal seat for my sea ark bass boat. where can I get one?
    Thank you

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