Washington-based aluminum watercraft designer and manufacturer SAFE Boats International is now owned by its employees under a newly minted employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), the company announced March 31.
The road to ownership started in late 2022, resulting in the ESOP, a retirement plan that gives employees the chance to own shares in the company and benefit from the growth in those shares over time, according to SAFE boats, which has locations in Bremerton and Tacoma, Wash.
“It has always been our dream and our vision to make SAFE Boats International about our team and the community we live in,” company co-founder Scott Peterson said. “Transitioning to a 100% employee-owned company creates the foundation to become a true Northwest legacy.”
Since its inception in 1996, SAFE Boats has grown to include over 250 employee-owners at its two locations.
The company has secured various contracts over the years, delivering more than 2,500 boats to customers in more than 70 countries, including the U.S. Coast Guard Response Boat-Small (540 boats) and Special Purpose Craft-Law Enforcement (58 boats), U.S. Customs and Border Protection Coastal Interceptor Vessel (52 boats), and the flagship USN MK VI Patrol Boat (12 for the U.S. Navy and eight for the Ukrainian Navy), according to the company.