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2009-02-04 / Front Page

After 40 years, boat factory closes an era

Auction planned Feb. 7-8 to liquidate inventory; 18 lose jobs

Don Dacus, owner of Galaxie Boat Works Inc. closed his factory in December for Christmas and decided not to reopen the facility.

Mr. Dacus has been involved in the manufacture of boats for the past 40 years when he opened the business to build quality boats and trailers. He incorporated the business in October 1968.

Approximately 18 years ago, a fire destroyed the factory and Mr. Dacus and his staff brought the business back to life. He continued to be a vital force in the Jacksonville job market.

Galaxie Boats can be found on lakes around the country. The boats have been popular with fishermen and many have been used by skiers during the past 40 years. A number of the older boats and the newer models are being used by area sports persons.

Mr. Dacus said last week, "I can't stay at home all the time, I will find something to do."

As to what he will do, he said he had not decided.

"It has gotten harder and harder to sell boats. I decided that I just can't keep people to build boats when you can't sell them," he said.

When the company closed in December, there were 18 employees. "Most of these have already found employment," Mr. Dacus said.

When boat building was at its peak, Mr. Dacus employed 45-50 persons.

A liquidation auction is scheduled for Feb. 7-8. The company's entire inventory of boats, trailers, boat parts, fabricating equipment, boat molds, tools, patents and trademarks, as well as real estate, warehouses and all assets will be auctioned to the highest bidder.

Darryl Prcin, Jacksonville Economic Development Corporation executive director, said, "Car sales are down so naturally boat sales would be too. It is a tough market."

The closing of Galaxie Boat Works came just after Discount City announced its closing where 20 employees lost their jobs.

Mr. Prcin said, "Some Jacksonville businesses are hiring and have grown and others are scaling down. The economy is pretty sluggish and will probably continue for most of the year."

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