Rumors of Checkmate Powerboats’ struggle to keep the doors open have been swirling for months. Six weeks ago, those rumors became reality when the Bucyrus, Ohio, V-bottom sportboat builder laid off its staff. Though I’ve been unable to confirm it through anyone at Checkmate—the company’s phone lines appear to be either out of order or shut down—the builder reportedly is in receivership.
Dark times, it seems, have come to Bucyrus. Again. Last time, it was Baja Marine that turned out the lights.
So what happened? After all, the company appeared to be on a hot streak with a reported ten sales of its new 260 Convincor in the six months after its introduction in late 2012. Baja, the company’s only real competition, was—and still is—cautiously restarting production. There appeared to be a void in the new single-engine sportboat market, and Checkmate looked perfectly positioned to fill it.