MIAMI NEW TIMES: Florida Boat Companies Lose Millions as Polluted Waters, Fish Shortages Hammer Business

Miami New Times: Written by Isabella Gomes. August 4, 2017.

Stationed beneath a navy-blue pennant, Capt. Chris Peterson strokes the plush lining of his company’s prized 18-foot skiff. As a scattering of fly-fishing enthusiasts gather around the vessel, the master craftsman pivots the boat’s backrest upward, revealing its double feature as a step stool for the poling tower. Peterson spends his day inside an Atlanta convention center showing two shallow-water boats — but the hearty captain's true clientele is back home in Florida.

For 20 years, Peterson’s Titusville-based company, Hell’s Bay Boatworks, served the “weekend warriors” of South Florida’s backcountry fishing scene. Every year, the company has sold 110 to 120 custom-designed boats, each valued around $65,000.

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