Bass Pro Buys Hatteras – Will Move Mako Manufacturing To N.C.  - The Fisherman

Bass Pro Buys Hatteras – Will Move Mako Manufacturing To N.C. 

White River Marine Group, LLC, a leading manufacturer of recreational boats founded by Bass Pro Shops owner/founder Johnny Morris, announced that it would be making a significant investment in New Bern, NC creating its first coastal manufacturing site while adding Hatteras Yachts to its portfolio of well-known brands.

Founded by noted angler and conservationist Johnny Morris, the White River Marine Group stable of brands includes the likes of TRACKER, ASCEND, MAKO, Ranger, Nitro, Triton, Tahoe, Sun Tracker and Regency pontoon boats.  The latest acquisition of Hatteras will shift the focus of the company’s saltwater manufacturing from the Midwest to the Atlantic Coast, to the saltwater market and a thriving community of craftsmen and women. The company will continue to support and grow Hatteras, as well as relocate production of iconic saltwater boat brands MAKO and Ranger Saltwater to North Carolina.

Plans also call for a major investment to modernize the Hatteras facility and establish a state-of-the-art coastal manufacturing center generating hundreds of new jobs. The plant is expected to offer customers demo rides and opportunities to tour the factory, and will serve as a research and development center for sea-trialing and product development across all three brands.

“With Hatteras’ rich heritage of craftsmanship and access to some of the world’s best offshore angling, our aim is to help solidify New Bern as the world’s capital for saltwater gamefish and boat building,” Morris said in a press release announcing the acquisition.  Sources indicate that Morris is a big fan of that area and has spent many days fishing in the Outer Banks for big tuna and marlin.  The local sportfishing culture is a major inspiration for the company to relocate its saltwater manufacturing.

White River Marine Group’s project in North Carolina will be facilitated by a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) approved by the state of North Carolina’s Economic Investment Committee. According to press reports, over the course of the 12-year term of this grant, the project is estimated to grow the state’s economy by $1.17 billion.  White River Marine’s JDIG agreement could also move as much as $604,600 into a fund that helps rural communities across the state attract business in the future.

However, sources indicate that the eastward expansion of MAKO production to the coast may also impact new boat delivery to the consumer as it could take time to get infrastructure moved while training new employees.  Anglers looking to purchase a new MAKO in the near future should plan to visit their local MAKO dealer soon for additional information.