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Cruisers Yachts introduces new Flybridge series

Oconto-based company plans to release three new yachts in series

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November 1, 2023

OCONTO – Since its inception, fourth-generation boatbuilder Cruisers Yachts has strived to offer its customers luxury vessels – a commitment that continues today.

The Oconto-based company (located at 804 Pecor St.) recently launched its new Flybridge series, which President Mark Pederson said is an evolution of its Cruisers Cantius series.

“This series will propel the Cruisers Yachts brand into the future, helping to set a new standard in design, performance and luxury,” Pederson said. “The Flybridge series symbolizes our enduring dedication to creating exceptional vessels for our customers to always be in awe of.”

The series, Matt VanGrunsven, director of marketing, said will include three new yachts – starting with the launch of the 55 Fly – with the designs inspired by the Cruisers Cantius series.

“We’ve traditionally been an express-cruiser type builder,” he said. “The Cantius series came out in 2010 – it was a coupe-style boat with no canvas. Those boats were turnkey – you’d come to your boat, unlock it, open everything up and go from there. We’re taking all the competitive knowledge we know and developing the next Flybridge series.”

VanGrunsven said these yachts will have a sleek, futuristic exterior reminiscent of a spaceship gliding on the water and boast clean styling lines inspired by marine predators.

“The main deck living space will be much larger (in the Flybridge series),” he said. “We’re also using several new technologies in the build process and bringing in as much natural light into the boats as possible. The windows will be significantly larger than anything we’ve done in the past.”

Josh Delforge, vice president of operations and engineering, said “Cruisers takes pride in building these new vessels in our facilities in Wisconsin.”

“We set out to create a ‘Super Fly’ – a yacht that exceeds all expectations of Cruisers Flybridges of the past,” he said. “Our design team focused on delivering the best-in-class water interaction, a superior Flybridge entertaining space and a fresh interior design direction, all wrapped in a futuristic evolution of the Cantius DNA.”

VanGrunsven said the official launch of the 55 Fly will be in the spring of 2024, and another model will follow in 2025.

Matt VanGrunsven, director of marketing at Cruisers, said the company aims to do as much in-house work as possible. Submitted Photo

“We recently pulled the 55 Fly hull out of the mold, so that one is set,” he said. “The next one will be in the size range of 48 (feet). With the last one (in the series), we’re not sure if we’ll go bigger or smaller. The last boat will either come out in late 2025 or early 2026.”

VanGrunsven said all three boats in the series will be a part of the same family and have similar features.
A bit of history
Cruisers Yachts was founded in 1953 in Oconto.

“Because we are 70 years old, we recently celebrated with our employees from Oconto and Pulaski,” VanGrunsven said. “Coming up, we’ll have one of our largest sales events of the year – the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show – where we’re having a 70th-anniversary celebration party in Fort Lauderdale.”

In 2021, due to increasing product demand, Cruisers expanded its production capacity by purchasing a 216,000-square-foot, purpose-built boat manufacturing plant in Pulaski.

The expansion, VanGrunsven said, allowed Cruisers to more than double its capacity over time.

“Depending on the boat, some will be built in our Oconto facility and others in Pulaski,” he said. “The new 55 Fly will be built in Pulaski.”

VanGrunsven said both facilities aim to be “vertically integrated.”

“We try to do as much in-house work as we can,” he said. “In our Oconto facility, we have a wire harness shop, so we build all our electrical systems that supply both facilities. We have metal fabrication, cabinet, fiberglass and upholstery capabilities in both facilities. We’re trying to consolidate some of those areas to have the capabilities in one location.”

Upon expansion completion in Pulaski, both locations will remain operational, VanGrunsven said.

“But, we might move some current operations completely from one facility to the other to consolidate things,” he said. 
To accomplish the intended consolidation, VanGrunsven said Cruisers is currently undergoing an extensive expansion to its Pulaski facility with a completion date set for early 2024.

“One of our core values is to look to the long term, and this expansion project is a testament to that belief,” Pederson said. “We have been looking to expand since we acquired the Pulaski facility in 2021. That plant is designed to build larger yachts, and this expansion provides us with a facility that aligns with our new product development plans for the next five years.”

Cruisers President Mark Pederson said a 56,000-square-foot expansion to its Pulaski facility should be completed in early 2024. Submitted Photo

The 56,000-square-foot expansion, VanGrunsven said, comprises several key areas – each designed to enhance production and accommodate larger vessels:

Assembly – a new 10,893-square-foot production line will feature increased ceiling heights, enabling the assembly of larger yachtsUpholstery – 4,300 square feet will accommodate increased production capabilitiesMetal/maintenance – a 15,120-square-foot area will see increased capacity, providing the company with the ability to expand productionWarehouse – a new loading docks and expanded storage capacity will be added to the 25,749-square-foot warehouse, which will streamline operations and inventory managementA chemical storage building – the dedicated 1,200-square-foot building will be incorporated for the safekeeping of essential materialsAn expanded outdoor cold storage – will securely store materials and parts outdoors, further optimizing the production process.
“Watching the progress since breaking ground this past January has been tremendous, and we are expecting to move in this coming February,” Pederson said. “We are appreciative of the support from the Pulaski community and are excited to fill up this new space with additional job opportunities. It is another big step forward for the continued growth of Cruisers Yachts and the community.”

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