EDENTON, N.C. – Gov. Pat McCrory was on hand in Edenton Tuesday at the announcement of the merger of two North Carolina boat brands, Carolina Classic and Albemarle. The new company will be known as Albemarle Boats, The Carolina Classic.
The sportfishing boats, which are both owned by Edenton Boatworks, LLC, will focus on building sportfishing craft from 25 to 41 feet.
“This is a great day for our economy, for northeastern North Carolina and for our entire state,” said McCrory. “Today’s grand opening is a great step forward for a North Carolina company that recognizes our state’s talented workforce, business-friendly climate and economic comeback.”
The announcement is good news for the economy of northeastern North Carolina, which has struggled as traditional boat manufacturers have reduced their workforce following a decline in demand as a result of the national economic downturn.
“The timely arrival of the Murphy family helped preserve a business that over the years has contributed to the local community in its own right and has also been the incubator of two other boat builders in the area,” said Edenton mayor Roland Vaughn. “We are thrilled to have the Murphy family investment in this worldwide brand.”
Other midsize boat manufacturers in America have closed completely, but two names tied to the state will live on with North Carolina-based ownership via Murphy Alternative Investments.
“I want to say a huge thank you to the Edenton and Chowan county communities. We look forward to building a sales pipeline and expanding jobs as we move forward. Our employee family will make us who we want to be,” said Dell Murphy president of Murphy Alternative Investments.
The brand combination was a result of careful planning, according to company officials. The fish hook that formed the ‘C’ in the Carolina Classic logo is joined with the traditional scripts and blue marlin from the Albemarle logo to create the new logo.
“We have taken great care to preserve the integrity and history of both brands by combining the logos and marketing styles of the companies into a new, but recognizable look,” Murphy said.
The new brand will debut at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show in November, General Manager Burch Perry said.
“We are working hard to strengthen our dealer network in order to better serve our customers, not only in the U.S., but in markets all over the world,” said Perry.
McCrory was happy for the economic development, but also anxious to see the boats in the water.
“This marries manufacturing and travel and tourism,” McCrory said. The next time I come,” he joked, “I want a boat ride.”