A New Era – American Recreational Products
In June of 2022, National Composites announced their intention to build a new plant in Fenton, Michigan. American Recreational Products (ARP), a division of National Composites selected the location for easy access to major highways and railways as well as the talent laden workforce in the area. The new plant will focus on the development of two recreational product lines, Paddle Wheeler and Boka Marine. The move will not only help ARP to focus on the development of Paddle Wheeler and Boka Marine, but it will also free up floor space in the other five plants, allowing capacity there to improve. In a press release issued from Governor Gretchen Whitmer in June, the Governor applauded the development as exemplifying, ”the enduring strength of Michigan’s value proposition: talented workforce, diverse industries and the business environment focused on long-term economic growth”. ARP could not agree more.
Paddle Wheeler first came to market in the early 1980s as personal recreation boat. In a matter of mere months, the boating concept was really catching on and expanded the customer base to include many resorts. Now, vacation destinations such as Disney World, Cedar Point and Six Flags feature various Paddle Wheeler models all while the demand for personal use continued to rise.
Boka Marine is a new concept for ARP. Boka e-boats utilize the same fiberglass frame technology of its cousin, Paddle Wheeler. However, instead of pedal power, Boka e-boats are powered by a Torqeedo motors. There are multiple motor options with all being rechargeable battery powered batteries. Each fully charged battery can provide one to four hours of on the water enjoyment with varying speeds. Boka e-boats can also be customized with an electronics package that includes blue tooth speakers, interior lights, navigation lights and LED accent lights.
“National Composites is very excited to expand into the great city of Fenton. The opening of American Recreational Products will be a great new step for our company,” said National Composites Chief Executive Officer Adam Fenton. “It allows us to have a more targeted focus on the production of our proprietary boat lines, Paddle Wheeler and BOKA Marine, as well as open up more capacity and job creation opportunities at our other Michigan facilities.”
ARP will break ground of the new plant in early 2023 with Boka Marine and Paddle Wheeler boats rolling off the assembly line later that year.