WHITMIRE — Sea Pro Boats recently held its first dealer conference in Newberry, bringing in dealers to discuss changes that were made to the models and to go over pricing for 2017.
This is the first time the conference has been held in Newberry.
Jimmy Hancock, president and CEO of Sea Pro Boats, said the conference was held in Newberry because of the amount of support Newberry has offered since the company first located off S.C. 34.
“Newberry has been very good to me,” he said. “Newberry County really stepped up and helped us to acquire our current facility. This facility ended up being perfect and Newberry County has really supported us.”
A banquet was also held over the course of the two-day conference.
Prior to the banquet, Sea Pro Boats met with dealers, served them lunch and provided plant tours. Dealers were also taken to Buffalo Creek where they were able to demo 12 boats. The plant was closed down and Sea Pro Boats employees were allowed to go out on the water. Door prizes were also handed out during the banquet.
“The banquet was held as a thank you to all of the dealers and to thank them for their support,” he said. “In the future, we’ll definitely hold more conferences in Newberry.”
Sea Pro Boats was created by Hancock and his brother in 1988 in Blair. Around 1990, the company moved to Chapin where they operated for five years before moving to Newberry behind Thomas & Howard.
In 2004, the company was sold to Brunswick Corporation and the company was closed along with six other boating companies during the 2008-2009 recessions.
Sea Pro launched its first boat in April 2015 at the Charleston Water and Boat Show, bringing awareness of the company’s return. Sea Pro Boats specializes in saltwater fishing, although Hancock says that around 75 percent of people buy their boats for recreational use. Sea Pro Boats has around 90 employees and builds between 14 and 15 boats a week.
Visit www.seapromfg.com for more information.
Reach Kelly Duncan at 803-768-3123, ext. 1868, or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.