About the Company
Southport Boats LLC is owned and managed by second and third generation family members Kenneth G. Priest II. PE and Ian D. Kopp, who serve as the company’s Chief Executive Officer and President/Chief Operating Office respectively. The 40,000-sf modern manufacturing facility is located in Augusta Maine on a 50-acre campus shared with sister company Kenway Corporation; a custom composites manufacturer established in 1947.
Southport Boats is the culmination of a dream that began in North Carolina when a team of experienced boat builders, passionate fishermen and offshore racing enthusiasts joined forces with legendary C. Raymond Hunt Associates to develop a unique and revolutionary new boat design.
Working closely with the founders of Southport, the Hunt team developed Southport’s special hull design to maximizes the performance and power of modern dual outboards with today’s cutting edge composite manufacturing capabilities.
In 2003 the first Southport was launched in Leland, North Carolina. The first sea trial proved the team’s pursuit of excellence had been achieved; no other hull design of similar size delivers Southport’s soft ride, stability and nimble performance.
With its distinctive “Carolina” bow flare, wide beam, elegant lines and an expanding list of satisfied owners, Southport’s popularity soared. Despite the growing popularity – the original group built over 400 boats – the recession crippled the still fledgling company, which ceased production in 2010.
In 2011 Southport Boats LLC purchased the assets of the closed Southport Boatworks company and started manufacturing operations in Augusta Maine. With new owners, an experienced management group and an expert crew of modern composite boat builders, new successes were quickly achieved. Immediate changes included the transition to modern, vacuum infusion construction processes, upgraded wiring and plumbing systems and the introduction of vinylester resin to guard against water permeation and improved cosmetic properties. In 2013 Southport Boats launched the 29 FE model to great acclaim, winning “Best Powerboat Under 30’”at the Newport International Boat Show. In 2014 Southport Boats and C. Raymond Hunt Associates announced the development of a new 33’ hull design to deliver all the celebrated ride, performance and fuel efficiency of Southport in a larger, even more robust platform. The first of these game changing Southport 33’s was launched in Spring 2014 to overwhelming market acceptance and acclaim, with over a dozen new-build orders on the books within the first 8 months of production.