Winner: Fluid Motion
| FROM THE PRINT EDITION |
Manufacturer of the Year: Midsize Firms
Kent › rangertugs.com, cutwaterboats.com
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.