Our thanks to Waterline Systems in Hubert for hosting the September JOED Board meeting aboard the 92’ NCDOT ferry! This was the first of many adventures in board meeting locations, showcasing our industries in Onslow County.

During the meeting, Winter Custom Yachts’ Katelyn Miller (VP) and Fielding Pagel (Designer) described the many yachts their company designs and builds in the Hubert facility. You can see their photo gallery here. They have the facility capacity and expertise to build boats up to 100 feet long, but do not have the required number of staff to do so. That lead to an interesting discussion on workforce challenges, housing shortages and a need for more recreation and entertainment amenities in Onslow County.

Randy Borges, owner of Waterline Systems shared how his lifelong love of sailing, including competing in the 1987 12-Meter World Championship and America’s Cup races, led to a career in designing and building world class racing sailboats. Eager to live in a coastal climate, he took on unmet contract responsibilities for three ferries in the Hubert facility. He moved his family here from Rhode Island, and  is considering moving his sailboat business here as well. You can read more about Randy here. Tracy Gable (Manager) shared information about the NCDOT ferry and Nick Vann (Sales Manager) described other partnership possibilities for some exciting and innovative craft builds.

After a discussion on the long-lasting return on investment of economic development activities and the resulting increase in local consumer spending, the topic turned to a potential Onslow County Multi-Purpose Center. Chairman Susan Edwards noted the many ways a multi-purpose center could curtail some of Onslow County’s entertainment and recreation leakage, as well as add multiple benefits to our Quality of Life. The Board of Directors then finished the morning touring the facility.

We thank the staff of Waterline Systems and Winter Custom Yachts for their time and hospitality!