Just west of Toronto in Oakville, Ontario, the Medeiros family has manufactured and distributed Limestone boats for many years. They’ve never missed a Toronto boat show – in-water or otherwise – and have even travelled to the state of New England to distribute their highly-structured vessels. Medeiros Boatworks truly has been a family business: while father Sergio – now 92-years-old – is the granddaddy of boat building, son Al delivered boats himself to a customer base across both the United States and Canada. Al’s sister Lucy, meanwhile, ran the marketing and sales out of their Toronto operation.
Limestone boats were designed by Mark Ellis, the famous architect of Essex, Connecticut. He also lived in Toronto for a short period while designing other vessels. Mark Ellis’ reputation is well earned: Limestones are known for a high quality that appeals to an upscale market living in luxurious waterfront areas like the Muskoka region.
Today, we report some exciting news straight from Limestone.
The Limestone® Boat Company Relaunches Heritage Brand
With a reach across northeastern United States and parts of Canada, Limestone has made a name for itself through 35 years of service. That name continues, albeit in a slightly different chapter for the heritage brand. This week, it was announced that Limestone has relaunched with new ownership and ideals as the Limestone® Boat Company.
Built in the Great Lakes region since the mid 1980’s, the models have undergone a series of enhancements throughout production phases. With evolution came notice: the manufacturer has been cited for its dedication to quality, durability, and functionality in a way which has inspired cult status.
Marine industry veteran Scott Hanson will serve as Limestone’s new chief executive officer. He stepped down as former head and lead designer at Rossiter Boats in mid-2019; earlier this year, he and his partners acquired the global manufacturing and Limestone branding rights from Mark Ellis Design LLC, purchased the Limestone molds, and created the new Limestone Boat Company. Ellis, however, will remain involved: he has been engaged to work with the evolution of both existing designs and new model creations.
Hanson brings over 30 years of marketing and business management experience to Limestone. He’s worked with many leading domestic and international consumer packaged goods, financial, and automotive manufacturers throughout his career. This varied experience served him well when leading Rossiter from two part-time employees to an international boat brand in just over a decade.
What are their plans going forward? The current 2021 and following 2020 model years will provide a nine-model lineup ranging from 17’ to 29’ complete with runabouts, cuddies, and centre and dual consoles with classic day boat and fish arrangements. Models include the L-1700DC & CC, L-200R & CC, L-250R, L-270CD, L-290CD, and the soon-to-be-launched L-270DC and L290DC.
Having partnered with a centrally located U.S. manufacturer holding more than 40 years’ history manufacturing boats, Limestone is poised for growth. Their new partner offers a 140,000 sq. ft. facility, a large and skilled labour force, and a management team experienced with household boat brands in the saltwater and freshwater markets. While Limestone models have typically been sterndrive – with outboard configurations used commercially and in coastal New England – current and future designs move models to outboard engine applications. Limestone plans to focus on outboards for enhanced characteristics.
“We’re currently in discussions with dealers across the country as we look to expand the brand into additional markets, and we’re ramping up production and R&D at our partner’s 140,000 sq. ft. facility in Tennessee as we speak,” said Hanson. “We’re offering a level of modular flexibility in these timeless – yet contemporary – designs, and customization in upholstery, tops and electronics for our customers moving forward.”
At the time of writing, the molds are currently being shipped from the factory – as business is completed – to the United States. There will be close to a two-year period of transporting all molds to the new owners.
For more information, visit Limestone Boats.