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· The Pool Bitch
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Magic back to life
Longtime Havasu boat manufacturer re-opens

By Jayne Hanson
Tuesday, July 14, 2009 11:15 PM MST


Abracadabra, shazam — Magic is being brought back to life by Cougar.

A longtime local boatbuilding company that produced Magic and Sleekcraft boats, that closed its doors in April of this year for undisclosed reasons, is currently being resurrected by Cougar Powerboats.

“We got the key to the place three weeks ago … we are going to build Magic and Sleekcraft boats here, and also Cougar boats,” said Tony Poole, co-owner of Magic Powerboats manufacturing company. “We are still getting our feet under us … we are trying to bring it (Magic) back to life.”

The new owners, Poole and Bernie Shumate, said they have hired about a dozen employees who were previously employed at the Magic manufacturing plant before it closed. Some have even been transferred to Cougar Powerboats’ hometown of Hill City, Kan., to begin building Magic boats there, they said.

The re-hired staff includes workers experienced in gel coating, upholstery, electrical wiring and a computer-guided router machine operator that specializes in generating small parts. “Some of the good guys we are getting back,” Shumate said.

“I was really excited,” said Danny Bohler when he got the call to go back to work for Magic. Bohler operates the computer numerical control, or CNC, woodcutter at the local plant. He returns to work with six years experience under his belt building Magic and Sleekcraft boats.

Mike Lee will be the revived factory’s production manager. He has worked at Magic and Nordic boats manufacturing operations and was with Magic on-and-off for six years before it closed its doors, Shumate said.

The two owners have plans of moving a portion of Magic/Sleekcraft manufacturing to the Hill City location. “Then we can distribute in the eastern part of the United States, all three brands,” Poole said.

In turn, they plan to relocate part of Cougar Powerboats manufacturing to the Lake Havasu City plant. With so many boat builders in town, the availability of parts is greatly increased in comparison to the remote Kansas location situated about halfway between Denver, Colo., and Kansas City, Kan., the owners said.

The plan for Magic is a return to custom boatbuilding instead of the prior production-boat operation that rendered volume, Poole said.

“The (powerboat product) lines complement each other. We can reach a lot more customers,” Shumate said. Cougar Powerboats currently custom-builds models ranging from 18-foot to 27-foot “beautiful and go-fast boats,” Shumate said. Magic’s deck boats, a popular seller according to the owners, range from 26-foot models all the way up to 40-footers.

There were several locations in town and out-of-town linked to the previous Magic operation. Poole and Shumate said they are currently working to consolidate the pieces of the company into one smaller, more streamlined operation.

“We are absolutely delighted the assets of Magic have been purchased and that someone with boat manufacturing experience is the buyer,” said Jim Salscheider, executive director of Lake Havasu City Marine Association. “It sounds like they are going to resurrect the Magic/Sleekcraft name … one of the premiere boat manufacturers that was in our city for a long time. It sounds like they will be hiring some people, building boats and hopefully selling boats.”

The boat factory recently received five orders for custom boats, and workers are currently working to satisfy the request. The custom orders were generated over the weekend from a water-sports company based in Colorado, according to Shumate.

“We are working with Cougar customers and dealers to see if they would like some Magic boats,” he said.
 

· Already miss the 310/562
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While in Cali a few weeks ago I got to take a high speed run in Jim Loos 34 Magic... What a blast, 85 ish running along side the federal breakwater...

Thanks Jim for the white knuckle ride... :)devil
 

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That's great news for the Magic employees, and the boating industry. The best part is the new owners saying they want to get back to "custom" boat building and not "production" building, which I'm sure lead to the problems the previous owner had.
 
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