The 2016 Washington Manufacturing Awards: Manufacturer of the Year, Midsize Firms

Winner: Fluid Motion
Manufacturer of the Year: Midsize Firms
Fluid Motion
Kent ›,
The middle of a recession wouldn’t at first glance seem to be a good time to start a new pleasure-boat company. But Fluid Motion, parent of Ranger Tugs, founded in 1958 and still owned and operated by the Livingston family, decided to launch Cutwater Boats, a line of fuel-efficient, trailerable, feature-packed vessels — think bow and stern thrusters — in 2011.
The result has been a quadrupling in the size of the business in six years, and 15 percent annual growth in its workforce. Fluid Motion now employs nearly 200 people at its six factories in Arlington, Monroe, Kent and Auburn. But it’s not a local company in terms of sales: Dealers for Fluid Motion’s watercraft can be found in Australia, Norway and Japan.
Last year, Fluid Motion senior designer Dave Livingston received the Northwest Marine Trade Association’s Legend Award, being described as “one of the most accomplished boat designers in the world” while becoming only the sixth person to be so honored by NMTA. 

Related Content

The only thing people ask of product packaging is that it organize, protect and market what’s inside, doing so as efficiently as possible. Three generations of the Wall family have built a successful packaging business that continues to grow and innovate. 

Skills describes itself with a one-two-three mnemonic: one mission (creating a stable, rewarding workplace for people with disabilities), two bottom lines (financial and social) and three paths to achieve its goals (employing people with disabilities, offering vocational programs and serving as a role model/resource to the community). 

Bakeries often have leftover ingredients and finished goods that are past their sell-by date. Feed Commodities turns these cereal and grain-based bakery byproducts into animal feed in a certified safe-feed facility. 

Canyon Creek has invested millions in expanded manufacturing and showroom space and replacing aging machinery, all with an eye toward boosting production capacity and quality while accommodating growth.