Fishing & Boating News

Godfrey Marine and Rinker Boat Co. merge, Creating fourth largest pleasure boat manufacturer

Dealers, customers to benefit from diverse portfolio of leading brands

by: Walker Agency,

(Nov. 17, 2005 - ELKHART, IN.) Godfrey Marine and Rinker Boat Company today announced they have merged to form the fourth largest pleasure boat manufacturer in the U.S. Headquarters for the combined companies will be at Godfrey Marine's Elkhart, Ind., location. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.   The new company will market nine major brands, all of which are market leaders. They include Rinker express cruisers and Captiva runabouts; Godfrey's Hurricane deck boats; Aqua Patio, Sanpan, Sweetwater, Parti Kraft and Tuscany pontoon boats; Polar Kraft aluminum fishing boats and Polar fiberglass fishing boats. The combined companies' boats are sold by more than 525 dealers nationwide and in 22 countries.   "Both Rinker and Godfrey have  strong traditions of independence and commitment to  relationships with employees, dealers, and suppliers," said Bob Deputy, President of Godfrey Marine.  "Combining these two industry leaders offers significant benefits including, diverse and comprehensive product lines, state of the art manufacturing facilities and a reputation for industry-leading products."   "Joining forces with Godfrey is a natural strategic fit for Rinker.  Together, we bring extensive boating industry experience and an exceptional track record as independent companies delivering innovation, value and service," said Bob Moran, CEO of Rinker.  "Combining our respective strengths enables us to fulfill growth opportunities that will meet a wide cross-section of boating lifestyle needs."   Headquartered in Elkhart, Ind. since 1903, Godfrey Marine is the largest family-owned independent builder of recreational and fishing boats in the U.S.  Godfrey operates eight manufacturing facilities in Elkhart, as well as an aluminum boat plant in Syracuse Ind., and fiberglass boat plants in Benton, Ill. and  Vinemont, Ala.   Godfrey introduced the first aluminum pontoon boat in 1958 and their Sanpan, Aqua Patio, Sweetwater and Parti Kraft brands have consistently been recognized as No. 1 or No. 2 in industry retail sales.  Hurricane pioneered the deck boat concept and has long been recognized as the No. 1 builder of deck boats, based on retail registrations.   Founded in 1945 by the Rinker family, and headquartered in Syracuse, Ind., Rinker Boat Co. enjoys a category leading position in express cruisers and runabouts with 16 models from 19 to 43 feet.   The combined companies offer dealers and consumers a choice of  MerCruiser or Volvo Penta inboard/outboard power or outboard motor brands Evinrude, Honda, Johnson, Mercury, Suzuki or Yamaha.   The merged companies comprise a partnership between the private equity firm of Code Henessy & Simmons LLC  (CHS) and Godfrey Marine's senior management group, Bob, Bill and Larry Deputy who will retain a significant equity ownership in the new entity.  The Deputy family, which has owned Godfrey since 1953, will continue in key executive roles in the new entity as will members of Rinker's senior management team.