Escuminac boat maker launches business in Maine

Cory Guimond, owner of Millennium Marine, says his new US operation will help his company navigate through American red-tape.

The Escuminac-based company opens boatyard in Eastport, Me.

Cory Guimond, the owner of Escuminac-based boat company, Millennium Marine. (Millennium Marine)
Cory Guimond , owner of Millennium Marine, says his new operation in the United States will help his company navigate through American red tape .

Guimond has just set up business in a long-vacant linen factory in Eastport , Maine where commercial fishing vessels are the mainstay of his operation.

"But we also do other commercial boats, research boats, patrol boats, dive boats, any commercial application," adds Guimond.

He says federal rules in the United States restrict the entry of many types of boats made in Canada which is a concern, since he exports the bulk of his boats south of the border.

They do like our boats here.- Cory Guimond

"They do like our boats here," says Guimond.

"They would prefer that it was made in the U.S., so by making them here, building them here, we get through a lot of the hoops a commercial fisherman, for example, has to take just to use a Canadian-built vessel."

About six people are already working at the new facility in Eastport and Guimond hopes to increase that number to 50 over the next couple of years.

Commercial fishing vessel built by Millennium Marine. Seventy-five per cent of the company's boats are exported, mainly to the United States. (Millennium Marine)
Larry Post, the city manager of Eastport, says Millennium Marine is a welcomed arrival to an area in a deep economic slump.

"We're very pleased," says Post. "They're providing good jobs in the area."

"Here employment is hard to come by, the distances and so on between places of work limits opportunity. This is going to be a huge impact not just for us but for the whole area."

Millennium Marine is still in operation in Escuminac , but Guimond says work has slowed considerably.

"It's quiet up there. I can only get my hands on a few employees. It's been very difficult. That's my major reason for looking south of the border to be honest was the lack of skilled or lack of even people wanting to work full year round. It's been a real struggle in Escuminac . It's a small community."

Meanwhile, Guimond says he has a list of 30 qualified workers waiting to join those already building boats for him in Eastport .