Watercraft Handcrafted In Wilmington
Cape Fear Catamarans
2102 U.S. 421, Wilmington
No. of employees: 8
Year founded: 2003
Top local officials: Barry LeRay, lead designer and fabricator, and Ben Watts, business operations and sales director
Company description: Cape Fear Catamarans is a custom builder of aluminum hull, center console catamarans. The company customizes, designs and builds aluminum boats to fit customers’ exact needs, including boats for charter fishing, fire and rescue, workboats and pleasure crafts. Boat builds generally range from 22 feet to 37 feet, but the business also has designs for larger boats.
Products made locally: All Cape Fear Catamarans are handcrafted in Wilmington from start to finish.
Product distribution: The company’s boats reach customers throughout the United States, spanning from northern Virginia to the Gulf Coast.
What made the company decide to make its goods locally? Ben Watts: “Our principals are lifelong North Carolinians, and the Wilmington region provides everything we need to create our product and surround ourselves with like-minded people. The business-friendly climate of the area has allowed us to grow in the region with great customers and employees.”
What’s your target market? Watts: “Anyone or any organization that values custom work in a hard-working boat. Our roots are in building industrial workboats, and we mesh that focus on durability and strength with the design and style in the boats we build today.”
What’s planned next? Watts: “Like most boatbuilders, our customers are trending in the direction of wanting larger boats, so we’ll continue to expand our offerings to meet the demands of our discerning customers. In addition to our recreational boat lines, we have developed a great relationship with the fire and rescue community and will continue to fulfill the needs of departments throughout the East Coast with boats built to help first responders protect boaters and property on the coast.”