Things started off well for Intrepid Powerboats in 2020. But before long, the boat-building industry faced stormy waters as the COVID-19 pandemic threw the world into turmoil. But, the company refocused its renowned capacity for innovation to overcome huge challenges that swamped other builders of custom yachts.
Early 2020 saw Intrepid Powerboats enjoying a triumphant showcase at the Miami Boat Show, and by February, the company received orders for more than $11 million in custom built boats. That all changed as the world-wide health crisis gripped people in every nation. But the leaders and employees of Intrepid determined to keep moving forward, even while vendors and other manufacturers of sport fishing boats and centre console boats all shut down.
Intrepid President Ken Clinton explained: “Our employees were counting on us. Our customers were counting on us. We worked to be recognised as an essential business, even bringing Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department boat to our property to demonstrate our important contribution to the community.” The company was only shut down for a day, and then was allowed to reopen the very next morning.
Like companies and individuals across the nation and around the world, Intrepid had to make significant changes to keep the production of custom-built boats moving forward. Employees social distanced, wore masks, took temperatures, and aggressively disinfected workstations.
The company’s office in Dania, Florida also endeavoured to press on and adapt. Staff continued to show up to work, provide maintenance to boats, and process deliveries. Although boat ramps and related businesses were shutting down around them, Intrepid Powerboats found a way, every day.
More than just treading waters, Intrepid looked to take the lead in serving the needs of owners and buyers of powerboats and custom yachts. While many were cancelling participation in boat shows, the company debuted their 409 Valor and 438 Evolution as part of their largest display ever at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.
The COVID-19 pandemic wasn’t the only challenge that Intrepid had to weather in 2020 and 2021. Production of their custom-built boats was threatened by a Texas deep freeze shut down refineries that created the epoxy needed for the resin that goes into their centre console boats and craft boats. A fire at a Taiwan factory further hampered supply. Availability of boat engines was very limited. But Intrepid found innovative solutions again and again to keep their cherished customers happy.
Care for the Intrepid owners and customers was central to the company’s determination during a difficult year. Ken Clinton said, “Although I will tout our tenacity and our determination, it’s the Intrepid Nation that separates us from the rest. They are the ones that stood by us, trusted us, and allowed us to feed our families, doing what we love so much.”