Luxury yacht builder, Merritt Island Boat Works,

Strengthens Growing Marine Cluster with Brevard Selection

Company selects world-class manufacturing facility after considering other southeast locations

Brevard County, Fla. (February 3, 2015) – Merritt Island Boat Works, a manufacturer of luxury yachts, will invest $16 million in Brevard County and create 380 new jobs. With the owner’s 40 year history in the luxury yacht market, Merritt Island Boat Works plans to build luxury motor yachts from 36-155 ft. and has a reputation of being one of the most prestigious yacht builders in the marine industry.

Initially, the company will utilize 150,000 sq. ft. of an existing manufacturing facility on a 37-acre site in Merritt Island with plans to move into an additional 80,000 sq. ft. of space. This ramp up in space will also coincide with an increase in labor starting with plans to hire 50 employees in the first year and reaching 380 employees over the next four years.

Governor Scott said, “Florida is on a mission to become the global destination for jobs and it is great news for the families in Brevard County that 380 new jobs will be added to the community. While Merritt Island Boat Works considered other states for their new facility, they chose Florida as the best place to create jobs. This year, we are proposing to permanently eliminate the sales tax on manufacturing equipment so more manufacturers like Merritt Island Boat Works will choose Florida to grow and expand their business.”

Merritt Island Boat Works considered locations in North and South Carolina but chose Brevard County for its available workforce and access to U.S. and international markets.

“When we set out to find a location that would become home base for our company, there was one community we found that had everything we needed and that was Brevard County,” said Jay Hood, president of Merritt Island Boat Works. “This is the best environment for us to grow our business, manufacture our products and become a bigger part of the business community. The EDC was there to manage the entire process and helped make the connections that resulted in our selection of Brevard.”

The company’s selection of Brevard County is expected to generate a $37.6 million annual economic impact once the plant gears up to full capacity.

“Facilities are often one of the most critical factors in relocation decisions,” said Lynda Weatherman, president and chief executive officer of the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast. “Part of what positioned our community at the top of the list was a move-in ready facility in a prime location. That, coupled with an area that understands the luxury boat manufacturing market, and an aggressive recruitment process, were crucial factors in the selection of Brevard County for Merritt Island Boat Works. They are a welcome addition to a growing industry across the Space Coast.”

This competitive economic development project was the result of close partnerships between Brevard County, Enterprise Florida, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, and the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast.

“The seamless partnership between the EDC, the county, and the state helped to bring Merritt Island Boat Works to our community,” said Brevard County Board of County Commissioners Chairman and District 1 Commissioner, Robin Fisher. “Our effort to be one of the most business friendly locations in the world is working and today, we are welcoming yet another respected company to Brevard County.”

Florida is the leading state for sales of new powerboats, motors and accessories with $1.96 billion in 2013, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association. Brevard County specifically has built a niche in the boat manufacturing market over the past decade with several high profile companies contributing to this growing industry cluster.


About the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast (EDC)
The Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast is dedicated to attracting new business and investment and expanding existing industry throughout the Space Coast, influencing change on government laws and regulations affecting economic development, promoting the Space Coast to encourage new investment, supporting efforts of Space Coast military installations, and relaying new programs and procedures to assist manufacturing and high tech companies. The EDC is a private, not-for-profit coalition whose stakeholders are business leaders committed to the economic growth and stability of Florida’s Space Coast. Visit