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Old 05-20-2014, 01:56 PM   #101
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In deed a sad day for NM, no matter the reason for the flip. Some mentioned the history of the company itself. It is a bit interesting and fairly typical for the early to mid-2000. Bud Lemiex started NM in about 1995. He was a long time builder and exec at Delta Marina. He built a reputation building solid capable boats and was at the forefront of boat building technology. In the mid- 2000's he needed capital and hooked p with a Capital outfit, Ashton Capital. They bought a controlling interest in about mid-2006. As usual in these things, old management and new management did not always agree. Lemieux was forced out and Ashtom brought in their own management, more focued on sales and profit than in boatbuilding. Well, 2008 the recession it and Ashton wanted out. They had lost a ton of money. From 2008 until late 2011, I think NM only built 2, maybe 3 boats.. Ashton sold NM to Andy McDonald in late 2010. Andy was a protégé of Bud Lemieux. He got the company for next to nothing, relatively speaking. Andy was about 31-32 then, he is about 35 now. NM has not been well capitalized. The use of inadequate transport equipment could well be a sign if the inadequate capital. This boat was to be the "Big Splash" for NM in its current iteration. NM could not afford to build this boat on its own, the owner has borne just about the entire cost of the build up front. This disaster is going to be a financial disaster for NM. It will be interesting to see if they are able to survive.

A sad story that happened to too many boat builders in the late 90-s early 2000's. Let the equity capital guys into your company so you can get some cash out, and soon you are out and your company is gone and another well respected boat name bites the dust.
Too many businesses being run on a wing and a prayer and undercapitalized.

I would be very surprised to see them continue under current ownership and when builders in this condition are sold, the vast majority of the time the buyer never builds a boat.

First I see a lot of litigation around this

Second, I don't see anyone ordering from them while this is going on and not like they've been doing a lot of business as it was.

Third, a little math. Insurer says, not totaled. Hull salvageable. Also insured at cost, not selling price. Less some deductible. We'll pay you $4 million. Buyer says I want my $10 million back. NM doesn't have the $6 million difference. This is if the Insurer doesn't make a claim of negligence. Or insurer and builder claim buyer's fault as it was his captain who designed or claim equipment failure and sue dolly manufacturer.

In the case of a catastrophe it's always wise to be insured. But if you can't afford to keep operating while waiting for the insurer to pay two things can happen. You might agree to far less money just to keep the doors open or you go out of business before collecting the claim.

The buyer could actually end up the owner of Northern. That has occurred many times when boat not delivered although not in this same situation.
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Old 05-20-2014, 05:06 PM   #102
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Oh man, what a can of worms we have. There have even been cases of an owner having to take over a company to get his mega yacht finished. This story will continue for quite a while.
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Old 05-20-2014, 05:17 PM   #103
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Well. . . .That was an interesting hour at the accident site in Anacortes. I heard five different versions of how the launch accident happened, all from "eye witnesses!" Amazing how they all saw something slightly different. The only thing they can agree on is, it capsized and submerged.

I hope the Coast Guard doesn't have to call them as witnesses!!

But the Good news . . . it's pumped out, it's afloat, no spills. . . . now the haulout??

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Oh man, what a can of worms we have. There have even been cases of an owner having to take over a company to get his mega yacht finished. This story will continue for quite a while.
Maybe the owner will bring the Captain back that he fired, who disagreed with the haul and launch plan!!
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Old 05-20-2014, 05:23 PM   #104
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But the Good news . . . it's pumped out, it's afloat, no spills. . . . now the haulout??
So she's floating properly on her lines then?
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Old 05-20-2014, 05:38 PM   #105
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So she's floating properly on her lines then?
The crane still has a sling under the hull so it's a little hard to tell how much lift they're giving her if any.

Yes she's sitting straight and level in the water, but there is a lot of bottom paint showing. So either she is very light, no fuel or little ballast (as was reported) or the crane is still supporting the stern to some degree. When I stopped back by a bit ago, there was no water being pumped out of her and most of the barge crew was gone. So it looks like the de-watering is done.
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Old 05-20-2014, 05:58 PM   #106
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The crane still has a sling under the hull so it's a little hard to tell how much lift they're giving her if any.

Yes she's sitting straight and level in the water, but there is a lot of bottom paint showing. So either she is very light, no fuel or little ballast (as was reported) or the crane is still supporting the stern to some degree. When I stopped back by a bit ago, there was no water being pumped out of her and most of the barge crew was gone. So it looks like the de-watering is done.
Thanks for the update - as you say, the good news is that she is upright and apparently waterfree, which I guess is about all that can be said at the moment.

Well, and that she is probably pretty damp inside!
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Old 05-20-2014, 06:00 PM   #107
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The crane still has a sling under the hull so it's a little hard to tell how much lift they're giving her if any.

Yes she's sitting straight and level in the water, but there is a lot of bottom paint showing. So either she is very light, no fuel or little ballast (as was reported) or the crane is still supporting the stern to some degree. When I stopped back by a bit ago, there was no water being pumped out of her and most of the barge crew was gone. So it looks like the de-watering is done.
Thank you to our eyewitness 8 reporter Edelweiss, on the scene in Anacortes. Now to the weather, but we're sure he'll be back with updates on this breaking story.

Seriously, it's great to have your updated information. As to many different stories, nothing compared to what will be heard and the speculation and finger pointing. Some have already spoken a bit but much more to come. Now how much we'll hear publicly is probably a matter of who listens to their lawyers and keeps quiet.
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Old 05-20-2014, 06:03 PM   #108
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Thanks for the update - as you say, the good news is that she is upright and apparently waterfree, which I guess is about all that can be said at the moment.

Well, and that she is probably pretty damp inside!
I'm sure the hull is salvageable. Not sure how much other is. But then you salvage the hull, what do you do with it? Who wants it? You can be sure the buyer doesn't. And Northern doesn't want a hull with no customer. But I'd be very surprised if that's not what they end up with.
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Old 05-20-2014, 09:00 PM   #109
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Northern Marine Closed

The employees were told and doors locked this afternoon. There will be much more I believe to come public. I anticipated this happening but not so quickly. My understanding is this isn't the only boat under construction and headed to litigation.
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Old 05-20-2014, 09:10 PM   #110
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Northern Marine Closed

How sad. The whole town could suffer ramifications from this. The employees will suffer the most. When I see a respected company with a good reputation close, it makes me hurt. Sometimes employees have no idea what management is struggling with to keep a company alive. Such is the free market

That area has suffered some hard licks. The curtailed logging was a big one. .
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Old 05-20-2014, 09:13 PM   #111
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I'm amazed that the trend right now is to think the boat was a POS and not that the problem might have been just launching it.

The boat might have been the best ever built....and the company the best in the business...

Why don't we all wait and see what the real reason was the boat rolled over????

I would still love one of their boats despite this incident...maybe a different model...but their boats have circumnavigated or travelled in confidence where many would probably not dare.
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Old 05-20-2014, 09:17 PM   #112
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The employees were told and doors locked this afternoon. There will be much more I believe to come public. I anticipated this happening but not so quickly. My understanding is this isn't the only boat under construction and headed to litigation.
That is deeply sad.
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Old 05-20-2014, 09:18 PM   #113
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How sad. The whole town could suffer ramifications from this. The employees will suffer the most. When I see a respected company with a good reputation close, it makes me hurt. Sometimes employees have no idea what management is struggling with to keep a company alive. Such is the free market

That area has suffered some hard licks. The curtailed logging was a big one. .
Respected and good reputation was really in the past. Employees knew their were problems. Partially finished boats sitting. I find it very painful. I don't feel pain so much for the principles but all the small vendors, the employees and those with partially completed boats that they've spent a lot of money on.

Ideally someone could use the facility for future production of this or other boats. I would hope, assuming no one tries to revive Northern, Anacortes would be aggressive. In the past they haven't been. Westport built their last facility in Port Angeles instead because they got a much better deal to do so.
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Old 05-20-2014, 09:21 PM   #114
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I'm amazed that the trend right now is to think the boat was a POS and not that the problem might have been just launching it.

The boat might have been the best ever built....and the company the best in the business...

Why don't we all wait and see what the real reason was the boat rolled over????

I would still love one of their boats despite this incident...maybe a different model...but their boats have circumnavigated or travelled in confidence where many would probably not dare.
The rollover is a small piece of what is going on. And whether it had anything to do with the rollover or not, that boat has some design issues. Well, if you'd like one of their boats, I believe there may be some partially complete ones the owners would be glad to let you have.

Yes, they did at one time build some very nice boats. But a product is only as good as the company and people behind it. And that company and those people have closed up shop.
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Old 05-20-2014, 09:33 PM   #115
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The rollover is a small piece of what is going on. And whether it had anything to do with the rollover or not, that boat has some design issues. Well, if you'd like one of their boats, I believe there may be some partially complete ones the owners would be glad to let you have.

Yes, they did at one time build some very nice boats. But a product is only as good as the company and people behind it. And that company and those people have closed up shop.
True I have not been on one of their boats in awhile...but the rollover and design/construction may or may not have anything in common...

Many are jumping to conclusions that aren't in the boating business and it clearly shows.
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Old 05-20-2014, 09:51 PM   #116
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True I have not been on one of their boats in awhile...but the rollover and design/construction may or may not have anything in common...

Many are jumping to conclusions that aren't in the boating business and it clearly shows.
Only conclusions I see are boat rolled over and doors closed. Both poor reflections and results.

However, those in the business and those in the area know this isn't the only issue and this was not unexpected, just the timing was.
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Old 05-20-2014, 09:53 PM   #117
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Well, better at the launch site than out at sea in a storm with a family and crew aboard.
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Old 05-20-2014, 10:18 PM   #118
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However, those in the business and those in the area know this isn't the only issue and this was not unexpected, just the timing was.
By your posts one might assume you are "in the business" but seriously, you and your associated businessmen expected this manufacturer to roll a boat on launch?... just not yesterday? And as for those "in the area"... is that the Ft Lauderdale area or Anacortes area.

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Old 05-20-2014, 10:34 PM   #119
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I'm around many boatbuilders on the other coast- an established shop closing up is not unusual here. But even if the company closes doors, the folks that actually build the boats are still in town, and just as talented as before. The suppliers are still there, just capable of providing material. The shop is still there, just as capable of keeping a build out of the weather. Same with the tools and tooling.

All it takes is some organization and some capital and some drive, and building can resume.

The swamped boat can be brought back, too. Probably have to back up the schedule six months or so. They built it once, they can do it again. Who pays? It will be sorted out.


When I started my build, I actually contracted out the hull and house build to a local Carolina builder. Before I signed up, I did some research and found their financials were poor. So I wrote the contract as a "cost plus ten" with me holding title throughout. Just as we were starting lofting, they went belly up. I took over the lease on part of the building, used some of the subs, and with that and other (very talented) help, lofted and built the boat. After a while, lawyers were snooping around looking at "assets" in the building. One asked me when that (my) boat was to be finished or removed. I lied and said December. I think he thought I was just another worker bee (I was actually, but held title too!!). Without telling anyone else, a trucking firm and I hauled it out on a sunday in October. Just didn't need to tangle with the final wrangling that was coming.

Another boat remained in the building for years, just recently removed and sold, somehow.

Within a year or two, a new outfit coalesced in the same building, using some of the same tools and same subs and same suppliers, and is building some very nice 35-50 foot boats.

Similar situation, just without a rollover.

Boats will be built at the old Northern, too.

Just don't build next one that dang tall!!! And weld up a proper trailer!!!
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Old 05-20-2014, 10:46 PM   #120
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By your posts one might assume you are "in the business" but seriously, you and your associated businessmen expected this manufacturer to roll a boat on launch?... just not yesterday? And as for those "in the area"... is that the Ft Lauderdale area or Anacortes area.

Dave
Did not expect it to roll on a launch. Did expect Northern to close if not sold. This boat rolling at the launch is only a piece of it. As to those in the area I'm referring to Seattle, Anacortes, Tacoma, Port Angeles and a couple of other places. I'm not in the business but am close to some in it. However, much of the information was public knowledge at marinas and boatyards. Employees of one company talking to employees of other companies. Talk of that big blue thing. And several people questioned it's stability just looking at it's photos. I don't know if it was stable or not.

When you hear a single rumor you don't give it too much credibility. When you hear the same thing over and over, you do. My understanding is Northern has been for sale for quite a while, although that's not unique. And, actually yes, one person in Fort Lauderdale too.

The boat industry is a small one. Trawlerfest just took place. Lots of people there talking. Some even toured Northern to see the boat I'm sure. You bring that many boat people together in one spot and a nearby builder will be a topic.

Now none of my information was ever direct. All just scuttlebutt. I never posted a thing about it. But now it's all confirmed. A healthy company wouldn't close their doors over the incident with this boat. I can't recall off the top of my head, I think it was Benetti though, had a boat they'd just launched catch fire and severe damage. They didn't go out of business. They repaired it.

Only certain facts are: Boat rolled and sank. Doors closed. Many people likely hurt. Previous captain says he warned them. Note I said "says" because I don't know and he does have an ax to grind having been fired and taken off the job.
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