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Latham Marine Continues Manufacturing Operations Despite Pandemic

Adding to their more than 45 years of designing and supplying high-performance aftermarket parts to the marine industry, Latham Marine owners Bob and Kathy Latham have continued through the shelter-at-home era, answering the needs of its discerning customers in spite of the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately for Latham Marine, most of the company’s staff has been happy to keep working at the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based factory, maintaining distance and using personal protective equipment, so the business has continued to operate at nearly full capacity providing boatbuilders and individual customers the parts needed to complete construction.

Bob Latham and his team have been building dependable performance marine parts for close to 50 years. Photos courtesy Latham Marine

According to a press release from the company, Latham reports a number of clients undertaking do-it-yourself projects to get boats ready for the upcoming season. The company reported that bigger center console boats with more powerful outboard engines continue to be the mainstay of its orders. Builders such as Skater Powerboats, Cigarette Racing Team, MTI, Thunderbird Products (Formula Boats) and HCB Yachts rely on Latham Marine for dependable steering systems, pumps and outboard spacer kits. At the same time, a percentage of sterndrive builders still rely on Latham’s robust and reliable steering systems—in particular some orders from customers in the Middle East are eager for their boats’ completion.

“Some builders never closed and continued ordering, as did some who closed for a couple of weeks, but were getting orders back on track,” said company founder Bob Latham. “Some were ordering in advance so they wouldn’t face supply chain issues.” He added that he did the same thing with raw materials as his manufacturing is based on proprietary and hard-to-get metals.

According to Latham, some of the company’s most popular parts include spacer kits, variable speed pumps, steering rams, tiebars and more. He even detailed some of the specific products in the release.

Giving Outboard Engines Space
Latham Marine’s patented spacer kits are being used on Mercury, Yamaha and, most recently, Suzuki Marine engines. Latham said the company worked closely with Mercury Marine to be prepared for its V-8 engines. Both boatbuilders and their customers seek the proper height of the engines to keep the powerhead out of the wash and the propellers at the right level in the water, which is a common issue with multi-engine configurations.

The kits are customized for each application and have improved the performance of many high-performance and fishing-specific center consoles. Latham said leading manufacturers such as Cigarette Racing Team, Intrepid Powerboats, HCB and Bahama Boat Works depend on Latham Marine for its strong steering systems and have expanded to add other custom parts.

Power on Demand – Variable Speed Pump
Latham Marine’s Variable Speed Pump has continued to be high tech and in high demand by center console owners. This innovation by Latham—the industry’s “go-to guy” for problem solving—prevents the pump from drawing excessive electrical power at idle. In addition, the new “Power on Demand” control system, driven by a microprocessor, varies the amount of power going to the pump and minimizes pump noise while maintaining effortless steering at all times.

Two models serve either single- to triple-engine systems and applications where space or weight may be an issue; the motor is equipped with a fan to keep the oil and electronics cool. The other model is for triple, quad or more engine configurations and for heavyweight, high-use commercial or government vessels. This model adds lower RPM, which reduces noise while its larger electric motor features more power and flow.

Night Vision – Out of Sight
Latham Marine teamed up with Electronics Unlimited in the creation of the Nighthawk II, a thermal night vision camera that increases situational awareness. Latham designed and manufactures the retractable platform, enabling the camera to disappear into the hull when not in use. Performance builders such as MTI found the camera in high demand by performance boaters who run at night and seek safe conditions in any low-light boating scenario.

The Strongest Name In Steering and Tie Bars
Latham Marine tie bars are being used on the Evinrude E-TEC G2 engines as well as the extra-high horsepower Seven Marine engines, which have also made waves in the industry. Tie bars and steering rams have been a mainstay of Latham Marine’s product lineup since its inception.

Rugged Rudders
Other boat builders, not recognized for performance but for luxury, like Hatteras, have also become Latham Marine customers, utilizing the company’s rugged stainless-steel rudders that are popular amongst some of the most impressive offshore racing teams.

Give Your Boat A Lift
Formula Boats also has used a custom Latham Marine hydraulic lift on its boats’ transoms for many years and another longtime customer—the U.S. government agencies and military units as well as other ally nations—rely on the company’s parts “when failure is not an option.”

For information on Latham’s world-class marine hardware and steering products—as well as customization questions—Latham suggested contacting the company’s sales department at 954 462 3055 or via email at [email protected].

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