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US boat builder gets $1m expansion grant


White River Marine Group, the world’s largest builder of fishing and recreational boats by volume, has received more than $1m in state and county funds to expand its New Bern facility (pictured) and create jobs.

The firm, which is owned by Bass Pro Shops, plans to move all its saltwater production to the New Bern site and add MAKO and Ranger saltwater brands while continuing to grow the Hatteras yacht line.

White River Marine acquired Hatteras Yachts in May 2021 with plans to modernise the New Bern facility and establish a state-of-the-art coastal manufacturing centre.

The plant will also serve as a research and development centre for sea trials and product development across all three brands.

Bass Pro Shops CEO Johnny Morris said: “Our focus is not on the next few months, it’s for way out there in the future. We’ll reside here for a long time. Our aim is to solidify New Bern as the world’s capital for saltwater game fish and boat building.”

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