Entrepreneur Jeb Griffith is plotting a course for growth after taking the helm of SkipperLiner, a custom houseboat and commercial passenger boat maker in La Crosse, Wis.
Griffith was a loyal SkipperLiner customer before he acquired the company in November 2010, having owned at least seven of its houseboats and one of its commercial passenger ships over the preceding two decades.
But the acquisition initially had little to do with building premium boats. Instead, Griffith was more interested in the company’s 6 acres of Mississippi riverfront property.
Plans changed, however, after Griffith and his son, Pete Griffith, got a closer look at SkipperLiner’s boat-building operation, which had shut down in April 2010 amid financial difficulties. That came as remaining employees worked with a buyer to complete a boat left halfway done when production stopped.
“The longer we were around, the more we fell in love with the business,” Pete Griffith said. “We’re all boaters and we really enjoy the boating lifestyle, so that helped as well.”
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Read: “Custom boatmaker refloated by customer,“ an article by Star Tribune System.