Boat builder sails rough waters of economic uncertainty well

BRAVING THE ROUGH SEAS. Boat Classified chief executive officer Ethel Joan Torrecampo, right, and husband David officially introduce Boat Classified in Porter’s Marina in Liloan, Cebu. Ethel Joan says the family’s boat building business is not only floating but thriving amid the weakened business climate. (BOAT CLASSIFIED)

CERTIFIED Class A boat builder Boat Classified has kept on sailing, proving that despite the Covid-19 pandemic, building quality boats remains a lucrative business.

Boat Classified owners David and Ethel Joan Torrecampo dipped their hands in this business in 2012. Since then the company has become one of the sought after boat building firms in the province. It was recognized as a Certified A-Class Boat Builder by the Maritime Industry Authority in the first quarter of 2019.

“It’s a hobby that turned into a business due to the high demand for boats built in high-quality fiberglass. We opened our first showroom in Cebu Yacht Club where new and used boats and yachts were sold,” said Ethel Joan, Boat Classified chief executive officer, during the firm’s official launching in Porter’s Marina in Liloan on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021.

From 2012 to 2014, Boat Classified repaired and built several boats with sizes ranging from 23 feet to 37 feet.

“We just kept on building and repairing until we got the opportunity to buy eight build molds and expanded the boat building business in a new location in 2015,” she said.

Boat Classified now has a canoe mold of 12 feet dock mold, and 16 feet, 18 feet, 23 feet, 25 feet, 30 feet and 37 feet boat molds.

“When we started counting, we noticed that we already had many clients from resorts, marinas, watersports businesses, boat and yacht rental companies, local government units and private individuals,” she said.

In a span of seven years, the company has built 41 boats, and done drydock services, refurbishment and repairs and built docks.

“The word of mouth and referrals helped our business take off. In 2018, we launched our website, and started selling marine fuel and lubricants,” she said.

The company also expanded its showroom that now houses known brands such as Yamaha, Suzuki, Mercury and Evinrude outboard parts and a lot more for the boating enthusiasts.

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the firm expanded to water transportation, charting the domestic shipping business.

The firm was awarded the contract to serve the water transportation for Cebu’s third bridge project. It currently has eight boats transporting the construction workers.

“When the pandemic hit us in March last year, we were just lucky that we still had clients to serve, clients who trusted us to build (boats for them),” she said.

The company builds quality fiberglass boats from 4.2 meter to 11.5 meter speed boats, fishing boats, water taxis, dive boats, island hopping boats and floating docks.

“We have been fortunate enough to stay busy during the coronavirus pandemic. We have a 28-man team of captains and crew operating the water transportation requirement of the bridge projects and eight men in the manufacturing and service center,” said Torrecampo. (JOB)


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