The SeaArk companies mark 50 years of boat building
This September, the McClendon family will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Monticello, Ark.-based SeaArk Marine boat builders. Zach McClendon, Jr., his father, Zach McClendon, Sr., and another local businessman, Norris Judkins, started MonArk Boat Co. in May 1958, building small aluminum jon boats. Today, the company, now called SeaArk, is a major manufacturer of commercial work and patrol boats for customers that include all branches of the U.S. military and many municipal fire departments.
MonArk Boat Co. eventually grew to include a large recreational division that included both aluminum and fiberglass boats and manufactured a wide range of products, from houseboats to the basic jon boat that is still built today. At the height of the recreation business, the company was building approximately 15,000 boats per year and had over 300 dealers throughout the United States.
Eventually, MonArk moved into producing workboats, including pumper boats and crew boats for the oil industry and, eventually, models for commercial and military use. In 1988, the Mercury Powerboat Division of Brunswick Corp. purchased MonArk’s recreational division and, along with it, the MonArk name. McClendon retained the workboat side of the company and re-named it SeaArk Marine.
The SeaArk Marine product line includes patrol boats for harbor security, hydrographic survey boats, law enforcement craft, fire and rescue boats, and models for drug interdiction as well as many other types of craft for various applications.