Contender 25 Bay running out in the ocean

Contender 25 Bay runs into the ocean
Joe Neber, president and owner of Contender Boats, consolidated Contender’s legacy as a family-owned, Florida-based business by purchasing another manufacturing facility in Fort Pierce.
Courtesy Contender Boats

Since its inception in 1984, Contender Boats has led the industry in building semi-custom sport fishing boats – for fisherman for fisherman. That mission has only gotten stronger over the years.

Today, in a market trend toward brand consolidation, Joe Neber, president and owner of Contender Boats, has strengthened Contender’s legacy as a family-owned, Florida-based business by acquiring another manufacturing facility in Fort Pierce.

The 100,000-square-foot facility not only opens up opportunities for the company to double the production of its highly coveted boats, but also runs the “for fisherman for fisherman” mission.

Contender Boats welcomes former factory manager Steve Cunningham back to lead the Fort Pierce plant. Cunningham will join the team led by Kenny Pontari, formerly of Viking Yachts, to lead production for Contender. Together, Cunningham and Pontari have 77 years of experience building premium sport fishing boats.

“The goal of the new plant is to completely switch to infusion, a modern lamination technique and a cleaner manufacturing process,” Neber said. “You can not produce the best boats on the market without the best team working together. That is why I am committed to working with experienced professionals who truly understand the product and our customers’ needs. ”

Neber has also added a new quality assurance manager, David Pliske, to the team with the expanded capacity. Pliske is indicted to ensure that Contender Boats continues to produce top-of-the-line performance machines. Will Serrano has also joined the staff as a dedicated customer service representative to serve the nearly 10,000 Contender Boat owners worldwide.

Contender 44 on his way out fishing
Contender will seek to hire up to 250 new team members to man the new facility. Production of all boats both 32 feet and down will be transferred to Fort Pierce, while all larger boats remain at the Homestead facility.
Courtesy Contender Boats

The Fort Pierce Contender Boats facility is currently being renovated with plans to be fully operational in the 4th quarter of this year. Contender will seek to hire up to 250 new team members to man the new facility. Production of all boats both 32 feet and down will be transferred to Fort Pierce, while all larger boats remain at the Homestead facility.

“The employees and team we’ve had at Contender have been a key part of our success,” Neber said. “Now is the time to truly invest in the company, in Florida and in our people to ensure the brand’s long-term success.”

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