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.
WorkBoat caught up with Smokey Glover, our Director of East Coast Operations at the recent International WorkBoat show in New Orleans.
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.
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.
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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ANAHEIM, California (August 15, 2013) – Willard Marine, Inc. is pleased to introduce three additions to our workforce who bring a contemporary, fresh edge to their work. Either working toward their college diploma, or having recently graduated, please join me in welcoming Ronnie Shaeffer, Armin Fernandez, and Jared Yagi to the team. Give them a warm welcome and learn more about their areas of expertise below!
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ANAHEIM, California (August 12, 2013) – Willard Marine, Inc. announced Rolf Engstrom as the most recent addition to their engineering team, joining their ranks as an electrical engineer. Engstrom last worked as a Senior Test Engineer for Fisker Automotive, Inc., while having previously been with McDonnell-Douglas Information Systems Group, Verigone, Inc. (formerly a subsidiary of Hewlett-Packard) and Exadigm, Inc., where he established and managed all engineering activities as Senior V.P. of Engineering.
The America’s Cup is heating up and Willard is at the center of the action! Our 43’ High Speed Interceptor RIB is the 2013 Umpire Boat and it’s thrilling to watch it at work. Semifinal races for the Louis Vuitton Cup (best-of-seven series) began yesterday between Artemis Racing and Luna Rossa Challenge. Luna Rossa Challenge emerged the victor of the 15.83-nautical-mile race by 2 minutes in winds that averaged 16 knots.
Today marks the 2nd semifinal race, with races 3 and 4 continuing on August 9th and 10th, respectively. You can watch semifinal races 3 and 4 via tape delay on NBC Sports Network (8/9 @7pm ET or 8/10 @6pm ET). You can also view all of the semifinal races via YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/americascup.
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ANAHEIM, California (August 5, 2013) – Willard Marine, Inc. announced Monday that David “Smokey” Glover will join their east coast Virginia Beach facility as Director of Operations. Glover’s lifelong career in the maritime industry dates back to 1974 when he completed a four-year apprenticeship as Marine Machinist for Norfolk Naval Shipyard. He went on to work as both a Shipbuilder and Operational Manager with SUPSHIP Portsmouth and Bluewater Yacht Sales before dedicating 13 years to the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Combatant Craft Division (NSWC CCD) as a Mechanical Engineer Technician. While at the NSWC CCD, Glover worked directly with many members of Willard Marine, personally overseeing development and implementation of mechanical modifications, upgrades, and alterations on US Navy Small Crafts. Glover’s expertise ranges from conceiving and prototyping new designs and arrangements of craft components and configurations to providing Technical Point of Contact (TPOC) service to contractors performing repair or modifications to US Navy Craft.
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ANAHEIM, California (August 1, 2013) - Willard Marine, Inc. recently announced the newest member of their team, Richard Bryson, who will join their ranks as Director of Engineering. With over 20 years of maritime experience, Bryson was previously with Derecktor Shipyards, Christensen Shipyards, and Heisley Marine Corp. He served as Director of Engineering at Brunswick Corporation, overseeing approximately 50 engineers and launching eight new products annually over a five-year period. Bryson also spent time with Clipper Windpower where he served as Program Manager.
"I'm very happy to be joining the Willard Marine team," says Richard. "It's very exciting to join a company with such a reputation for building such high quality boats in the USA."
The America's Cup Challenge takes place September 7–21, 2013 in San Francisco, California. Leading up to the match are a series of races, known as the Louis Vuitton Cup, which take place in July and August. The contenders are Artemis Racing, Emirates Team New Zealand, and Luna Rossa Challenge 2013. The winner of the Louis Vuitton Cup will be the challenger to the previous America's Cup winner, Oracle Team USA. The America's Cup Yachts are 72' catamarans with rigid wing sails. They are FAST. They need equally fast boats for the Umpires of the races.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Willard’s 43’ High Speed Interceptor Selected as Umpire Boat
Willard Marine, Inc. of Anaheim, CA announced today that the America’s Cup Racing Association has chosen to use their 43’ High Speed Interceptor RIB as the Umpire Boat for this summer’s race. This year’s new AC 72 Catamarans have hulls that will reach speeds over 40 knots. The Willard Interceptor was designed for high performance and can go as fast as 62 knots which is needed to keep a faster pace than the racing hulls.
Willard Marine will be exhibiting at this years International Workboat Show. Stop by at our booth #1055 to visit us and learn more about our complete line of Search & Rescue workboats. For more details about the International Workboat show visit the link below. We look forward to seeing you there! http://www.WorkBoatShow.com/
February 18, 2012, Anaheim, CA: Willard Marine Inc. announced today that the company has delivered the first of four (4) patrol Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIBs) to a U.S. Navy project in Pascagoula, MS. The boats are being built for the Egyptian Navy. 540 inboard RIB. The boats supplied are the Willard Marine Sea Force. Willard Marine was chosen to supply this military quality RIB because of their expertise, best value and ability to build high quality, durable, military platforms that operate from larger vessels.
January 23, 2012, Anaheim, CA: Willard Marine Inc. announced today that the company is currently under contract by the U.S. Navy to build an undisclosed number of the company's 7-meter aluminum hull Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIBs) for the U.S. Navy FMS. Willard Marine has been a long time supplier to the U.S. Navy of the 7 meter RIB in various configurations and the boat is a proven veteran of countless operations. This particular group of RIBs is being built with 5086 aluminum hulls in our Virginia Beach facility. They will be outfitted with Yamaha's large 440HP engine with Hamilton Waterjets transferring the power to the water. Also each craft will be fully equipped with U.S. Navy specified array of radio and electronic gear. Constructed to be launched and retrieved from the stern ramps of larger patrol craft these boats will provide extended range and enhance the capabilities of the larger patrol boats.
January 23, 2012, Anaheim, CA: Willard Marine Inc. announced today that the company is the leading supplier of United States Coast Guard /SOLAS (Safety of Life At Sea) approved rescue boats. The Willard Marine Inc. SEAFORCE 670 was the first R.I.B. (Rigid Inflatable Boat) built by a U.S. Manufacturer to be SOLAS approved. SEAFORCE 670 R.I.B.s are designed to act as a fast reaction rescue and boarding boat that may be launched from a larger ship or drilling platform while encountering critical sea conditions. Currently used on U.S. flag vessels that include MSC, NOAA, and throughout the Off-shore industry.
May 18, 2010, Virginia Beach, VA: Willard Marine Inc. celebrated the grand opening of its new facility located in the Oceana South Industrial Park near the Oceana Naval Air Station in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The event was well attended by representatives from local, state and federal agencies, as well as current customers from the local region. The festivities began with Virginia Beach’s Economic Development Director Warren Harris joining George Angle, Owner of Willard Marine and Jojo Nery, President of Willard Marine in the traditional ribbon cutting to signal the opening of the new facility. In the ensuing program, Warren Harris addressed the gathering with a formal welcome to Willard Marine and the new employees to the Virginia Beach community. Willard Marine President, JoJo Nery, further commented “Willard Marine’s commitment is to the service and support of its East Coast customers and with the implementation of this new facility the company now has the ability to respond immediately to their needs”.
April 19, 2010, Anaheim, CA: Willard Marine Inc. announced its plan for an expansion site in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The new facility is located in the Oceana South Industrial Park near the Oceana Naval Air Station and is scheduled to open in May 2010. The 13,000 square foot facility will serve as Willard’s primary East Coast manufacturing and reconditioning center. Willard Marine will manufacture and assemble its 16 to 43 foot line of aluminum and fiberglass composite specialty boats designed for the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, Homeland Security and both Domestic and International Law Enforcement Agencies. The location will also serve as the eastern home for the Willard Technical Operation Programs (TOPS). This team of highly trained technical specialists will train; trouble shoots and assess on-site situations involving all boats worldwide.
Willard Marine Inc. announced that the Anaheim manufacturing facility has been granted ISO9001 certification. Included are the company’s design/engineering, manufacturing/assembly and testing facilities. The procedure involved both management and staff participating in intense training and the development of quality and training documents and procedures to provide continuous improvement in the company’s manufacturing processes.