Charleston Regional Development Alliance

Berkeley, Charleston & Dorchester Counties

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Scout Boats announces expansion of existing Dorchester County operations

Nov. 1, 2005
For Immediate Release
November 30, 2005 – Scout Boats, a manufacturer of high-end recreational boats, has announced the expansion of its existing Dorchester County operations. Construction is expected to begin the first week of January 2006 on two new additions: a 50,000 square-foot expansion dedicated to building Scout models up to 35 feet, and a 40,000-square-foot manufacturing facility dedicated to Zodiac. About 50 new jobs will be created, with an investment of approximately $5.5 million. Today’s announcement was facilitated by the Charleston Regional Development Alliance.

The additional 90,000 square-feet of manufacturing space brings the total size of the Scout plant to 234,000 square-feet. While the new 50,000 square-foot facility will be specifically for Scout, the new 40,000 square-foot stand-alone facility will be devoted exclusively to manufacturing and distributing Zodiac rigid-hull inflatable boats (RIBs) in the United States. Earlier this year, Zodiac of North America signed a lease with Scout Boats for the new facility, which will be built at Scout Boats headquarters and designed specifically for Zodiac. A portion of the space will be devoted to manufacturing, and the other to logistics for the Zodiac and AVON lines.

The new facility expands the working relationship between Zodiac and Scout, which started in 2003 when Scout began production of Zodiac’s deep-V fiberglass hulls, in addition to assembling the boats and rigging them with Yamaha and Bombardier outboard engines.

“Our new Scout expansion will benefit our company greatly, allowing for more dedicated space for building our models up to 35 feet, along with creating more jobs in the area,” said Scout President and CEO Steve Potts. “The new stand alone facility we’re building for Zodiac will be separate from the current Scout production lines and overseen by its own management team. Our company will benefit from the automated technology skills held by Zodiac. In turn, Zodiac will have the opportunity to cultivate and grow their U.S. market share in a pro-business region we have called home for over 15 years.”

Bill McCall, Chairman of the Charleston Regional Development Alliance, welcomed news of the competitive expansion. “This announcement is testament to the importance of supporting our region’s existing businesses. We congratulate Scout Boats for their continued industry success and thank them for choosing to continue their growth in the Charleston region.”

“Dorchester County’s constant goal has been to help our existing industry grow and prosper,” said Dorchester County Council Chairman Christopher J. Murphy. “We are proud to salute Steve Potts and his team as Scout Boats completes this major expansion.”

“We are pleased to be able to assist Scout with the development of infrastructure to serve its new site,” added Dorchester County Councilman Mike Murphree. “Scout Boats started here over 15 years ago and has grown to be a world-class leader in boat manufacturing.”

“The expansion of Scout illustrates how our county and region have aided local firms – the backbone of our growth in industry,” added George Tupper, Chairman of the Dorchester County Economic Development Board. “We also appreciate the assistance by SCANA for this project.”

In facilitating announcements such as today’s, the Alliance works with numerous public and private allies. Its relationship with the South Carolina Department of Commerce has been of particular importance through the years.

“Making sure existing companies have the tools they need to expand and grow is key to improving our state's economy" said Governor Mark Sanford. “Creating new jobs for our citizens continues to be one of this administration's top priorities. That's why we're committed to improving our business climate, so that we can continue to bring home additional new jobs and capital investment.”

“Working with our existing industry to keep them competitive and growing is a key part of our strategy for economic development in South Carolina,” said Commerce Secretary Bob Faith. “We’re extremely pleased that Scout Boats has benefited from South Carolina’s pro-business climate, which we are continually improving and strengthening. As this great company continues to grow, we look forward to supporting its success every step of the way.”

About Scout Boats
Scout builds sportfishing, fish ‘n ski, walk around, flats and bay boat models ranging from 14’ to 28’, and will be debuting its largest model to date in 2006: the 350 Abaco. Since its founding over a decade ago, Scout Boat’s goal has been to manufacture the best built boats in its distinctive sportfishing niches. Each Scout hull is a true original, as the in-house research and design team works closely with engineering to take concepts from blueprint to production more efficiently, growing the company’s world-class reputation for quality, strength, durability and value. To learn more, visit

About Zodiac of North America, Inc.
Zodiac of North America, Inc. is a subsidiary of Zodiac S.A., the world’s largest manufacturer of RIBs, inflatable boats, life rafts and marine safety equipment, and the world’s oldest manufacturer of inflatable boats. Zodiac brands include Zodiac, Zoom by Zodiac, AVON and Bombard. Zodiac builds all of its boats to meet or exceed the highest standards, including the ISO, ABYC and the NMMA boat certification program.

Zodiac originated most of the major concepts that evolved the inflatable boat, including the inflatable keel, Futura® hull, H2P high-pressure air floor and the Acti-V hull. Zodiac of North America’s corporate headquarters is located at 540 Thompson Creek Road, Stevensville, MD 21666; Phone: (410) 643-4141; Fax: (410) 643-4491; Internet:, and

About the Charleston Regional Development Alliance
The Charleston Regional Development Alliance represents Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties. Its mission is to create improved opportunities for all people in the Charleston region by competing successfully in the global economy. Since its inception, the Alliance has worked with thousands of companies to help promote business investment and quality growth in the area. To learn more, go to

Alliance Media Contact:
Natalie J. Lawrence

Scout Boats Contact:
Mark Jerkins
Higher Advertising, Inc.
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