Boat, pontoon maker plans expansion, 100 new jobs

By The Associated Press

NEW PARIS — A boat and pontoon manufacturer is planning a $12 million expansion in northern Indiana that's expected to create up to 100 new jobs by late 2024.

Smoker Craft Inc. announced Tuesday that it would build and equip a 200,000-square-foot addition to its 600,000-square-foot production campus in the Elkhart County community of New Paris for additional boat manufacturing and shipping.

Officials with the fifth-generation, family owned business said the expansion will allow the company to serve growing customer demand. Construction has begun, and the new building is expected to be fully operational by April, The Elkhart Truth reported.

“This expansion will be used to increase efficiencies to the loading process and allow us to ship not only more boats to our dealers all over North America but raise the quality of the delivered product,” said Tim Jones, vice president of finance for Smoker Craft.

The expansion is expected to create up to 100 jobs by the end of 2024.

Based on the company’s job creation plans, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. plans to provide Smoker Craft with up to $600,000 in the form of incentive-based tax credits. The IEDC will also commit up to $200,000 in performance-based state tax credits.

Smoker Craft employs 800 workers in the U.S., including 770 in Indiana. The company, founded in 1961, produces aluminum fishing boats, fiberglass sport boats and high-performance pontoons.

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