Saturday, November 03, 2007

Nichols Brothers Closes Doors

The Sea Fighter - Built at Nichol's Brother's Boat Builders on Whidbey Island, Washington.

Excerpt from the Everett (Washington) Herald Published: Saturday, November 3, 2007:

Shipbuilder calls it quits

Citing financial woes, Nichols Bros. of Whidbey Island closed on Friday, idling 250 workers.

By Michelle Dunlop - Herald Writer

FREELAND -- One of Whidbey Island's largest private employers, Nichols Bros. Boat Builders Inc. abruptly laid off its employees and closed its doors Friday, citing financial problems and a pending lawsuit.

The company, which has employed about 250 people in recent years at facilities in Freeland and Langley, had operated on Whidbey Island

"NBBBI has faced significant financial challenges in recent years and has sought additional capital to assist in restructuring the company," officials said in a news release. "Those efforts have been unsuccessful, due in part to pending litigation and cash-flow challenges ultimately forced NBBBI to make the difficult decision to close its doors."

Company Chief Executive Matt Nichols declined comment about closing the business he's led since 1972. Nichols is the third-largest employer on the island and has operated for 43 years.

Click here for the full story in the Everett Herald.

Over the last year or so I have written several stories about the Nichol's Brothers, the history of their boat yard, and how they contribute to our community. Here's three of the posts:

Nichol's Brothers and Sea Fighter Post #1
Nichol's Brothers and Sea Fighter Post #2
Nichol's Brothers and Sea Fighter Post #3

I know the Nichol's family and all the Nichols brothers well, as I grew up with most of them here on Whidbey Island. I hope some way is devised to get their boat yard back running, as they have always been a positive contributor to our community, both in providing jobs, and supporting local activities.

Losing Nichols Brothers Boat Works is a huge loss to our community.

Let's hope this isn't permanent...........................


At Sunday, November 04, 2007 8:37:00 AM, Blogger Rivrdog said...

Big discussions about Nichols' Bros up in Seattle when I was just there.

Lots of speculation about what the "pending litigation" was all about.

Some said it was going to be the Navy suing them over problems with the ships built under contract, but others said that it was probably an enviro thing and the shipyard couldn't afford the clean-up and refit bills that were about to be forced down their craw.

Either way, it looks like the heavy hand of government has put another fine family business six feet under.

At Sunday, November 04, 2007 11:53:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

May be it was the fact that they put a 22 year old man six feet under!

At Monday, November 05, 2007 1:07:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I’m VERY INTERESTED in hearing any and all points of view, facts and opinions about Nichols Boat Builders, the people and the company. WRITE ME.
We can help the Western Washington boatbuilding scene. We’ve got to prevent layoffs, got to compete better, got to train better and be safer. Been studying boatyard successes all over the world, and WA is in bad shape. This is my home, too. I’m a business researcher, manufacturing consultant, MBA, writer.
Mr. Completely, thanks for the blog and fantastic photos. This is how the WWW can change the world.
I’d like to hear from everyone about this subject, write me at foxwing (the at sign) Comcast (dot) net.

At Monday, November 05, 2007 7:27:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Comp knows more about this than most - but the local rag says the litigation was over a couple of commercial vessels delivered a year late.

As for the deep breathers - Nichols has been pretty successful in ignoring them.

At Wednesday, November 07, 2007 8:34:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sea Fighter was a pet project of Congressman Duncan Hunter. The Navy was never really interested in this boat. Hunter was the House Arms Services Chairmen.


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