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Eliminator Boats Restructuring

This is, far and away, the saddest piece of industry news I’ve ever had to report. Eliminator Boats, the perennial leader in the West Coast Custom performance-boat market, is filing for Chapter 11 Restructuring. That means, for those who might not understand the shorthand of restructuring, bankruptcy.

“It’s not anything we like doing, but on the other hand the option not to it is fatal,” said Bob Leach, the owner and founder of the Perris Valley, Calif., company, which in its best years produced more than 300 boats. “I would rather pay everybody every dollar we owe, but it’s just not in the cards at the moment.

“Believe me, if I had my choice I would pay everybody,” Leach continued. “But I don’t have it. I have liquidated everything I own personally to maintain us and get to where we are.”

Leach, who added that simply going out of business was “not even on the table at this point,” said his restructuring plan will be reviewed by the court next week. There is a strong chance that the company will return to its former headquarters in nearby Mira Loma.

According to Leach, outside investment in the company remains “a distinct possibility.”

“There’s a lot of interest in our new 27 Speedster, and we’ll be looking at building some other new models as well,” said Leach. “I ‘interview’ everyone who comes through the door, and 80 percent of them are saying their businesses are picking up. So that’s the good news.”