GENOA CITY, Wisconsin – You might be surprised to learn that on a secluded rural road in Walworth County, next to a cornfield, some of the most expensive and luxurious vintage-style boats in the world are under construction.
These boats range from $ 250,000 to $ 1.5 million. They are handcrafted from mahogany and take around 2,000 hours to build. The company that makes them is called Grand Craft in Genoa City.
âSo Grand Craft boats are definitely very high end. It’s not your typical purchase,â said Patrick Gallagher, President and CEO of Grant Craft Boats.
He bought the business in February 2021 and moved it in June from Michigan to Genoa City in Walworth County. The boats they build look like those from the 1920s, 30s, and 40s.
“I think what they love most about Grand Crafts is that it’s a mix of styles, lines and vintage designs from the past married to the latest technology and features of a boat.” , did he declare.
Celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, Robert Redford, and George Clooney all own Grand Craft.
âThe wonderful thing about wooden boats is that for most people they really become family heirlooms,â said Gallagher.
If properly maintained, these boats can last for several lifetimes through crafting.
Previously, Grand Craft only produced one boat per year. But now Gallagher has big plans for the future.
âWe plan to sell about five this year. We plan to build and sell about 10 next year, and then in the third year we plan to build 20 more.
Which is a major economic boost for the state. Grand Craft employs people from Wisconsin and sources from companies in Wisconsin. In addition, Gallagher has opted for the Lake Geneva basin because it already has the qualified workforce it needs.
âWe also chose him because it’s a talent pool that is exactly what we were looking for,â he said.
As there are wealthy owners owning boats on Lake Geneva, the people with the knowledge to make these high end vintage style boats were already here repairing boats.
Despite the high price, the demand for these boats is there. Gallagher said some customers want bigger, more expensive boats.
“A lot of the clients we work with are asking for even bigger boats, closer to 36 or 42 feet long, and those boats are going to be well over a million, some will be close to two million.”
So don’t be fooled by the cornfields. You never know what could be built right next to one.
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