Sportboat builder Checkmate Powerboats in Bucyrus, Ohio, has halted production of its once-popular line of outboard- and stern drive-powered V- bottoms from 18 to 30 feet.
“The business just stopped—we haven’t had enough orders to stay open full time,” said Doug Smith, the owner of the company, during a recent telephone interview. “We are waiting until we get enough orders to resume production.”
In a telephone interview today, Checkmate’s former general manager Dean Reynolds confirmed that he, along with the rest of the company staff, was laid off six weeks ago.
“I don’t know what’s going on there—I was laid off six weeks ago, and that’s pretty much all I know,” said Reynolds. “I’m sure Doug is doing everything he can to get it going again, but I really don’t know anything because I haven’t spoken to him. I would go back in second—it’s my passion—but I don’t think there’s anything going on.”
Less than a year ago, business appeared to be on the rise for the Checkmate, which has founded by Bill Combs and has been building boats for 50 years. The company introduced a new 26-footer called the 260 Convincor last year, and early orders for the new model reportedly were solid.
“We built ten of them in six months, and everyone who bought one loved it,” said Reynolds. “But I guess you can’t have a boat building business on just one model.”