Made in Michigan: Rec Boat Holdings

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Cadillac (WJRT) (7/6/16) - Michigan has thousands of lakes and a boat company that puts lots of good looking boats on the water. Rec Boat Holdings in Cadillac builds everything from small fishing boats to cabin cruisers.

"It's a great place to work. As we always say: We're building fun," said Joe Perrin, the lamination manager.

People who love boats are familiar with the name Four Winns. But in that same factory the company builds three others lines. There's something for nearly every budget.

"Now we build Wellcraft that was formerly built in Florida. We build Glastron, formerly built in Minnesota. Four Winns is still here and now we have a new brand Scarab jet boats," said Kelly Cater, Rec Boats Holdings human resources director.

All the boats built at RBH in Cadillac are fiberglass and range from 16 to 47 feet.

"The smaller products runs anywhere from $17,000 and obviously the high end large cruiser product can run up to half a million dollars," said Cater.

There are just over 450 employees in the Cadillac area. They're proud to tell you that nearly all the work needed build a boat is done in-house.

The work climate must be good. Employees have an average seniority of 14 years.

"We have had a few ups and down but overall, we just have an awesome bunch of people and we build and awesome product," said Perrin.

"I've been doing this since '84. So, absolutely proud. It's a great place to work. It's fun," said employee Dave Boersma.

The workers take a lot of pride in knowing their Made in Michigan boats can be found in 52 countries around the world.

"Very proud. Russia, China, we ship them everywhere," said Barry Smith, an engine installer.

"Some of our big cruisers go to Dubai," said employee Wally Sampson.

RBH operates a test facility on Lake Cadillac. That where employees can enjoy a fringe benefit.

"We have an employee boat use program. So not only do they build the product but they get to go out and ride the product they build," Cater said.

Other states have come calling at RBH, trying to lure the company to move operations. But RBH will have none of that.

"It's our workforce that keeps us here," Cater said.

Why go anywhere when you're based in a state with one of the highest boat registrations in the country?

'It's an extremely exciting business and it's a real fun business," Cater said.

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