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Anaheim, Calif. – Jan. 20, 2015 – Willard Marine, Inc., a leading manufacturer of composite and aluminum boats for 57 years, announced the appointment of Mark Lougheed to their engineering team.

Lougheed brings more than 25 years of experience in naval engineering and project management to Willard Marine. Lougheed was most recently at Coast Dynamics Group as an Engineering Project Leader developing technology for SHOXS Seats. He was also the Senior Research and Development Engineer at Zodiac Hurricane Technologies, a division of Zodiac MilPro in Canada, where he managed the development of a line of composite and metal stepped hull planing boats.

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150104-N-DC018-207 JAVA SEA (Jan. 4, 2015) Sailors assigned to Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (MDSU) 1 and littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) make preparations to launch a Tow Fish side scan sonar system from the ship's 11-m rigid hull inflatable boat. Fort Worth is currently on station in the Java Sea supporting Indonesian-led efforts to locate missing AirAsia Flight QZ8501. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist MC2 Antonio P. Turretto Ramos/Released)

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On December 5, U.S. Navy Sailors tended to the Orion Crew Module as it was towed by a Willard Marine 11m Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RIB) into the well deck of the USS Anchorage (LPD 23). The ship’s crew along with NASA and Lockheed Martin teams retrieved the spacecraft from the Pacific Ocean at the end of the highly successful Orion flight test that saw the Orion fly about 3,600 miles above Earth in a 4.5-hour evaluation of critical systems and mechanisms including jettison events and the ability of the heat shield to stand up to temperatures of 4,000 degrees F.

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Anaheim, Calif. – Dec. 3, 2014 – Willard Marine, Inc., has entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with SeaArk Marine, Inc., to build all of their commercial and military boat models, of which 7,000 have been sold worldwide since SeaArk Marine’s founding nearly 60 years ago.

Based in Monticello, Ark., SeaArk Marine is family owned and was operated by the McClendon family beginning in 1959, and they experienced great success delivering boats to all 50 states, every U.S. held territory, and over 70 countries around the world. However, in 2012, SeaArk Marine’s military and industrial boat-building division closed due to lagging sales during what has been now termed The Great Recession.

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Anaheim, Calif. – Nov. 17, 2014 – Willard Marine, Inc. has been awarded contracts to develop two new sizes of Safety of Life At Sea (SOLAS) Fast Rescue Boats (FRBs) for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA).

An inboard-powered 5.9-meter SOLAS rescue boat with waterjet propulsion will be built for the NOAA ship Nancy Foster and a 5.4-meter outboard-powered SOLAS rescue boat is contracted for the Hi’ialakai in Hawaii. The SOLAS self-bailing fiberglass-hull RIBs are gel-coated international orange. Willard Marine will acquire the necessary U.S. Coast Guard SOLAS certification for both vessels. Both NOAA ships require SOLAS FRBs per the International Maritime Organization’s life-saving appliance code to facilitate NOAA’s research-and-survey missions.

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Anaheim, Calif. – Nov. 11, 2014 – The U.S. Navy has awarded Willard Marine, Inc. a contract for a new generation of 11-meter RIBs for standard ship’s boat operations. To date, eight standard craft with an Open Center Console (OCC) configuration and two OCC LPD-17 class variants have been ordered.

This contract specifies Cummins QSB 6.7-liter 380-hp twin engines paired with Hamilton Jet HJ292 waterjets. Each vessel will have aft seating plus removable seating for additional people on the foredeck and all will be delivered with WING® inflatable tubes.

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Anaheim, Calif. – Nov. 4, 2014 – The U.S. Navy has awarded Willard Marine, Inc. (WMI), a five-year contract to provide two types of 7-meter rigid inflatable boats (RIBs) that will serve as ready service lifeboats for search-and-rescue missions.

The contract includes a standard craft based on the 7-meter RIB WMI has been producing for the Navy for 25 years, and a separate version specifically for LPD-17 class ships, which WMI has also been supplying for a number of years. Twenty-four vessels have already been ordered under the contract and the first scheduled delivery begins in March 2015.

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 Anaheim, Calif. – Oct. 22, 2014 – Willard Marine, Inc. (WMI), a leading manufacturer of composite and aluminum boats for more than 50 years, has been selected through a competitive solicitation process to supply a demonstration model of a new, advanced combatant craft for the U.S. Navy under an SBIR contract modification awarded to Structural Composites, Inc.

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Anaheim, Calif., – Oct. 15, 2014 – Willard Marine, Inc. (WMI), a leading manufacturer of composite and aluminum boats for 57 years, announced the appointments of Bob Beck Jr. and Renée St. Lawrence to their Sales team.

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This year, Sea Tow celebrates its 30th Anniversary and Ryan Pratt, owner of a Sea Tow franchise in Jensen Beach, FL, took part in a very special project that underscores Willard Marine’s reputation for long-lasting durability and performance. Recently, Ryan purchased a 1995 refurbished 7-meter Willard RIB from a government auction with a vision of customizing it to suit his unique business needs. Ryan's ambitious project caught the eye of Boating Magazine, which did a feature on the RIB and all the modifications made to the vessel. We caught up with Ryan to learn a bit more about who he is, his work, and why he selected a 19-year-old Willard Marine vessel to modify and create what he calls his “ultimate rescue boat.”

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“This is the Sea Lion. We’re sinking. Men in the water. Water in the wheelhouse. This is our last transmission. We’re going down!”

Three weeks ago, Bjoern Kils was leaving the dock off the southwest shore of Long Island, N.Y. when he heard those distressed words. Kils is the owner and operator of NYmediaBoat.com, a business that runs boats out of Liberty Landing Marina for sightseeing, photoshoots, and other related business. At the time he heard this desperate mayday call over the radio, Kils was able to make an astonishing rescue while driving his 26-foot Willard Marine RIB.

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Anaheim, Calif., – Feb. 4, 2014 – Willard Marine, Inc., a leading manufacturer of composite and aluminum boats for more than 50 years, announced the appointment of Karen Jacquelin as director of marketing earlier today.

Jacquelin will be responsible for leading Willard Marine’s product and brand marketing strategy, including all advertising, public relations and event marketing initiatives. She will be based out of the company’s corporate offices in Anaheim, Calif.

“Karen Jacquelin’s vast advertising and marketing experience across a wide range of brands including Gatorade, Callaway Golf, Ford, Lincoln, Toyota and the Irvine Company is extremely valuable to Willard Marine as we strive to elevate our brand image and develop new product offerings,” said Ulrich Gottschling, president of Willard Marine. “Karen will leverage marketing analytics and research to help us develop the best products and services that appeal to new market segments and better serve our customers,” Gottschling explained.

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Anaheim, Calif., – Feb. 3, 2014 – Willard Marine, a 56-year-old builder of composite and aluminum boats, has received an order to supply the Ukrainian navy with four aluminum patrol boats, with an option for a fifth.

Under the contract, issued by the U.S. Navy Foreign Military Sales (FMS) office, Willard Marine is supplying two SEA FORCE® 11-meter and two SEA FORCE® 7-meter aluminum patrol boats, each with an open cockpit configuration. An additional 7-meter patrol boat will be supplied upon request.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Anaheim, Calif., – Jan. 6, 2014 – Willard Marine announced the appointment of Ning Wang as director of operations and program management. Wang will be responsible for overseeing Willard Marine’s planning, purchasing, stockroom and IT operations. He will be based in the company’s corporate offices in Anaheim, Calif.

“Ning Wang is a motivated, highly analytical individual who has a deep understanding in these areas, which will help us expand our capabilities and further strengthen our management team,” said Ulrich Gottschling, president of Willard Marine. “Our customers expect timely deliveries of high-quality products, and his new role reflects our commitment to obtain only the very best talent available to keep us competitive as we grow.”

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Back in the early 1980s, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) introduced a new line of rescue boats, the first being built by Willard Marine, Inc. in 1983. This boat was named the Surf Rescue Boat. At the time, the boat’s design, which was self-righting and self-bailing, proved markedly different than typical lifeboats used by the USCG. The boat was designed to perform search and rescue in adverse weather and surf, much of the design being centered around speed. While top speed was 31 knots (57 km/h), most of the hulls dealt with minor water intrusion that slowed the boats to approximately 28 knots (52 km/h) at max RPM. 

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Today we remember and pay tribute to our long-time President, George Angle, and all of his fellow Veterans. Thank you to all who have served or are serving this great country. Happy Veteran's Day from everyone at Willard Marine.

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WorkBoat caught up with Smokey Glover, our Director of East Coast Operations at the recent International WorkBoat show in New Orleans.

Get to know Smokey, here.

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Willard Marine's history of manufacturing quality boats dates all the way back to 1957 as the first company to offer a line of production fiberglass trawlers. The first of these trawlers was the William Garden designed Vega 36 in 1961, followed by a wide variety of models based on 30, 36, 40, and 47-foot hulls. Although we ceased production of recreational vessels in 2003 to focus on military and patrol boat markets, our trawler yachts and sailboats are still in high demand and loved by those that own them.

It’s always a pleasure to hear from those owners and glean the story behind their trawler. Recently, we had the pleasure of being in touch with Ana Santos, a six-year owner of a Willard trawler named Nuala May. Nuala May was built in 1974 and Ana loves being a liveabaord, splitting her time between Alaska and Port Townsend, WA.

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After serving as the 2013 America’s Cup Umpire Boat, Willard Marine’s 43’ High Speed Interceptor was selected as the Start Boat for the Lucas Oil Ocean Cup, a 435-mile endurance run, which took place on October 12, 2013. The grueling race began under the Golden Gate Bridge and ended at the Queen Mary in Long Beach. As the Start Boat, our 43’ Interceptor was responsible for running alongside the 48’ APISA endurance boat and marking its exact time of passage beneath the Golden Gate Bridge. Assistant Referee, Gloria Crim and APBA Inspector, Frank Banducci both rode aboard the Interceptor. 

With 1,100 horsepower and a boat that could maintain speeds of approximately 80 miles per hour, a crew of four—Nigel Hook, Andy Hindley, Dan MacNamara, and Lance Ware—set out on their journey just past 8:30am. While initially optimistic about weather conditions, the crew ended up experiencing tumultuous waters with swells of up to 10’, causing everything from electrical problems to water in the fuel tanks. While these technical difficulties were cumbersome, the seasoned crew addressed them quickly and with skill, having to stop only a few times along the run. When all was said and done, the run was completed in 9 hours, 50 minutes, and 51 seconds, setting a world record observed by the The American Power Boat Association (APBA) and the Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM), which is the world's recognizing body.

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The 2013 America's Cup Challenge takes place September 7-21 in San Francisco, California as four teams sailing AC72 wing-sail catamarans vie for the prestigious America's Cup trophy. This year’s catamaran design means racing will take place at very high speed. In turn, they require an Umpire Boat to not only match these speeds, but exceed them, providing a safety measure (should a boat require immediate attention) and accurate visuals of the competition.

We are thrilled to announce that Willard’s High Speed Interceptor RIB was selected to serve as the Umpire Boat for this year’s races, and it’s a tremendous honor we’re proud to share with all of you. Get familiar with the Umpire Boat below.

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