Classic boat maker Grand Craft Corp. shuts down

HOLLAND, MI – Classic wooden boat builder Grand Craft Corp. has shut down operations, apparently left high and dry by the foundering economy.

The 30-year-old company specialized in handcrafted mahogany runabouts reminiscent of classic designs from the 1920s and 1930s. Customers included entertainers Jennifer Lopez, Tim Allen, Kid Rock and Robert Redford, who purchased two of them.

The Holland Sentinel says the company employed about 20 people. Dick Sligh, who owned Grand Craft from 1984 to 2005, says the plant first shut down in December, leaving about eight boats unfinished.

Owner Tim Masek of East Grand Rapids confirms employees have been laid off, but tells the newspaper he hopes to sell Grand Craft to another company. He declined to provide details.

Marine retailers say the shutdown may reflect consumers' difficulty in obtaining credit.