Scarano Boat Building
When the world-renowned boat designers and builders at Scarano Boat Building and its affiliate Classic Harbor Lines realized it was time to expand their fleet by building a new schooner, they knew just where to go for financing. Having secured a previous loan from NYBDC in 2006 to build the Manhattan, the owners were confident that they could obtain the financing they needed through Empire State CDC.
“We were anxious to build another boat because we’re passionate about sailing and getting people to sail,” said Rick Scarano, who with his brothers John and Robert own Scarano Boat Building and several related businesses, including America 2.0, LLC, formed to construct the new 84-foot schooner, the America 2.0. “We were excited about building a schooner because we hadn’t done one in a few years.”
Established in 1976, Scarano Boat Building operates a vessel design and construction business, located in the Port of Albany in New York’s Capital Region, and Classic Harbor Lines runs a water vessel sightseeing business that operates in New York City; Rhode Island and Key West, Florida. With daily public tours and private excursions, the high demand for the company’s vessels warranted the construction of a new, larger boat so plans were made for the America 2.0.
Working with First Niagara Bank, Empire State CDC was able to help America 2.0 LLC secure the necessary funding to proceed. First Niagara provided a $1 million first mortgage and Empire State CDC provided an $848,000 second mortgage.
“The Empire State CDC 504 loan allowed them to add to their fleet of tour boats with their most technologically advanced ship yet, the schooner America 2.0. They were able to obtain 90 percent permanent financing over 20 years for this schooner, which was built not only to grow their tour boat business in New York City, but also to showcase the boat building business in the Port of Albany,” said Ross Pancoe, the NYBDC vice president who steered the financing project for Empire State CDC.
Christine Mesick of First Niagara Bank proposed getting NYBDC involved as a “more logical way to help us spread out our payments and have the ability to expand our business in the future. “These are very large payments for us and being able to spread them out over a longer period was helpful,” Scarano said. “Working with Ross and Christine was a very good experience. They were always very responsive and very supportive.”
“Scarano Boat has been a client for 18 years and I have enjoyed watching the company’s many successes over that period,” Mesick said. “My family and I have personally sailed with the Scaranos on all but one of their vessels and have experienced firsthand why they are so successful.”
Construction of America 2.0 involved 25,000 man hours. Launched in September 2011, the vessel provides jobs for 12 people during the summer months and five in the winter. In total, Scarano Boat Building, known worldwide for its design and craftsmanship in wood, composite, steel and aluminum construction of sailing vessels, has built 40 boats.