Have you ever wondered what it looks like inside the Nickels boat works plant? Alicia and I were in Michigan for about two weeks over Thanksgiving and stopped in for a brief tour. I picked up some spinnaker rigging and talked with Hugh about building a tube or sock for the ‘ol bucc. He was very gracious and walked us through the entire operation. They were refurbishing two Lightnings, fiber glassing the deck of a new Mutineer (almost identical to the Bucc, but a tad shorter in the stern) and were gel coating a glassed buccaneer hull.
Interestingly, they have a contract with the military to construct fiberglass portable field showers that the army uses all over the world. They had many of these in production. They were also making a fiberglass body for a zimbonee (sp?) machine. I was glad to see they’ve diversified and stay busy, even when new boat demand slacks off.
Below is a flickr slide show from the visit. If interested, you can turn on the “show info” option at the top right of the screen while hovering the cursor over an image to see captions.