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.”
“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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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/
Orange County CA — Willard Marine is proud to announce that it will showcase its long awaited new corporate website. Willard Marine is excited to be able to build our brand equity and show the strength of our company through our web presence. Our new website has been updated with an improved layout, new photos, and more information about our complete line of work boats. Willard Marine has hired world class web developer Kevin Treman of Trinacle to modernize Willard Marines web presences as a leading supplier of work boats.
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”.