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SeaArk Marine making waves with military.

Monticello Boatmaker Produces Popular Line of Aluminum Workboats

SEAARK MARINE IN MONTIcello has quietly established itself as a leader and innovator in the production of workboats for military and other applications.

Most recently, SeaArk delivered six 21-inch welded aluminum patrol boats to the U.S. Coast Guard after sending eight of the same boats to the service in December. The boats are part of SeaArk's Commander series, and will be used by Coast Guard Marine Safety Units in the central United States for port safety and security, oil spill response, environmental monitoring and rescue missions.

"As far as the domestic market is concerned, we are the industry leader in the production of small aluminum workboats," says Ken McFalls, a spokesman for SeaArk.

The latest order is merely a small example of the high regard in which SeaArk boats are held. The company has built aluminum workboats for more than 30 years, formerly as the workboat division of MonArk Boat Co. In 1988, the Brunswick Corp. purchased MonArk's pleasure boat division and took the MonArk name along with it.

SeaArk, the company's new name, manufactures all-welded craft ranging from landing craft to 44-foot Dauntless offshore patrol boats. The craft are used for patrols, fire and rescue, law enforcement, survey, oil spill cleanup and personnel transport.

The company's clientele includes all branches of the armed forces, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Park Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Outside the government world, SeaArk also has landed contracts with major petroleum companies, utilities, cities and many universities. The company says it has built more than 6,000 aluminum boats, operating in more than 25 foreign countries and in all 50 states. The exports have been mostly to Central and South America and the Caribbean, but boats also have been sold to Japan and Persian Gulf countries. In the average year, exports account for about 25 percent of SeaArk's revenues.

In recent years, the company has enjoyed revenues as high as $10 million. But McFalls says SeaArk's performance has fallen off considerably because of a drop in federal, state and municipal contracts.

"Essentially, the product line we have now is based on new designs developed in the last two years by a design team in Boston at C. Raymond Hunt," says McFalls.

The new SeaArk boats have deep "vee" hulls and are capable of running smoothly through choppy waters and handling well at high speeds. The twin-engine Commander model exceeded 32 knots during builder's trials and was able to plane at 18 knots with only a single engine.

SeaArk builds about one workboat per day in Monticello, working from a set of standard hull designs but remaining flexible enough to custom-tailor each boat to the needs of its clients. The aluminum material is more expensive to use than steel, but SeaArk believes it provides ruggedness while simplifying the customizing process.

In April, SeaArk announced it would resume building aluminum pleasure boats, with 20 models ranging 10-24 feet in length.
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Title Annotation:SeaArk Marine Inc.
Author:Haman, John
Publication:Arkansas Business
Date:Oct 4, 1993
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