Starting July 18, we will be hitting pause on service work and boat transport for summer maintenance and repairs. We will finish up the work we have taken in and turn our full attention to our equipment before the hauling season.  This includes some important projects, like upgrades to our newer crane truck and trailer, and a redesign on the water reclamation system of our power wash station. There is a lot to do! Watch this space for updates and announcements as we put our trucks, trailers, and equipment back in service.

We will also be spending some serious time in the office transitioning to a marine services software package with point-of-sale and advanced inventory capabilities.  This is a powerful program that we plan to grow into, and setting it up correctly is essential. We’ve been running it parallel to QuickBooks, and the Spring launching season got us over the worst of the learning curve.  I’m excited about the potential it offers for increased efficiency, but I need to restructure our office procedures to take full advantage of the program’s features and be ready to run it independently next year.

While we are forging ahead on many fronts, the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic hit us hard and has prompted me to think very deeply about the future of the boatyard in the larger context of sustainability and resilience.  My plan was to help the dedicated crew that has ridden with me through the storms of the past few years to turn PBI into an employee owned venture.  We haven’t brought ourselves to a place where that can happen, and the promise of a fall season that mirrors the spring left me little choice but to downsize, reorganize, and restructure.  I have paid back their investments in the company and released my hourly employees to seek their fortunes. I will be renegotiating with my salaried employees, integrating some like-minded souls in development, and continue collaborating with dependable sub-contractors who are financially independent.

I am sure that all this change will trigger a new round of the typical rumors about PBI closing and me selling the boatyard. You may counter by pointing them to this page. In reality, the pandemic has underscored the need for creating community-based solutions to local and global problems, and this has bolstered my determination to transform the boatyard into a progressive, sustainable, egalitarian business center that answers that need.  Soon, I hope to engage the core of PBI’s customer base — part of John Peck’s  far reaching legacy — as partners in that transformation.


Laura Opie

President, Pecks’ Boats Inc.