SkipperLiner Hopefully Regrouping

October 2014 Industry Web Exclusive

SkipperLiner appears to have closed down its business operation. This La Crosse, Wis., boat builder originally closed in 2010 during the troubled waters of the recession. It reopened under new ownership six months later and has been concentrating on new builds and refurbishing older SkipperLiner models. 

Operations supposedly ceased last week, according to people familiar with the company.

SkipperLiner owner Jeb Griffith and his son, executive vice president Peter Griffith, declined to respond to several requests for comment, so it is unknown exactly why the facility closed or the next steps for this beloved boat builder. 

Before the recession, SkipperLiner had kept over 100 people employed, but had been down to about 55 when previous owner Noel Jordan closed it.

After the Griffiths bought the company, they reopened the doors and brought back employees to keep this high-quality brand going. 

One of SkipperLiner’s most recent projects was building the Cal Fremling, Winona State University’s $1.4 million floating classroom, which was launched on the Mississippi River last June. The 60-foot boat was partly funded by a donation to the WSU Foundation from Jeb Griffith, a WSU alumnus. This modified houseboat allows students and passengers to experience the Mississippi River in person.

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