Startup boat manufacturer Sea Pro Boats announced Wednesday it will be hiring more than 200 people as it ramps up operations in Newberry County this fall.
The company was initially founded in the Midlands 28 years ago, but was sold in 2005 to Brunswick Corporation and eventually went bankrupt. One of Sea Pro’s original founders Jimmy Hancock announced through the South Carolina Department of Commerce on Wednesday that he was getting back into the business and was partnering with Tidewater Boats founder Preston Wrenn to reboot the brand.
The new $5.5 million, 200,000-square foot facility will be housed at a former sock factory inside Whitmire — a town of just over 1,400 people located in the state’s Piedmont region almost halfway between Columbia and Spartanburg. Sea Pro said its new corporate headquarters will also be at the site.
“We are absolutely thrilled to be resurrecting Sea Pro Boats in Newberry County, and the outpouring of support from the town of Whitmire has been both humbling and heartwarming,” both Hancock and Wrenn said in the announcement. “I can’t express how much we appreciate what Newberry County and the South Carolina Department of Commerce have done to help make this dream a reality.”