Today, another US Brunswick company, Lund Boats, confirmed that it had laid off 140 workers and one third Brunswick owned, Norwegian builder Askeladden, which has been building boats for 97 years, has told its work force that it could be forced to file for bankruptcy on Monday.
Our friends from BYM News have been at the Barcelona Boat Show and tell us the things are perhaps even more dire in Spain. According to exhibitors, the situation there has been worsened by a construction industry that, even before things got really tough, had been over building and under selling. Now the banks have said no more and the tightening of belts all round is threatening to send many boat builders into bankruptcy. Of the companies BYM talked to only Rodman said it had sold boats at the show. The others were unusually candid; there was none of the “Record sales” spiel that prefaced lay offs at the Southampton Boat Show. The message was simple “No sign of a sale.” One exhibitor remarked “It must be bad, even the time wasters have stayed away.”
Traditional boats, like the ones in the photo, are very popular in Spain and were supporting two thriving industries; one restoring original old wooden craft and another building new in GRP – in sizes ranging from 5 to 24 metres. The classic area of the show is usually thronged with visitors, but this year there was no need to pick a time to get photos. In fact, throughout the show, the aisles were almost empty and most of the people on any stand were actually staff. Take a look here.