The New Space – size really matters

It’s been quite a year for Finish Line Shell Repair.

At the onset of 2016 we made a decision to expand and grow the business to new heights. This was right after a major legal battle with a US Manufacturer of racing shells and a very successful winter of repairing boats. I remember walking into 101 Gorman and looking at my father who was pinched between 2 boats. Shells were stacked on top of one another and the space seemed to keep getting smaller.

Dan and I took a look at a warehouse a mile down the road and knew instantly we needed the space. After more than 5 months of legal work and personal fundraising I made the decision to buy a 22,000 square foot warehouse in the heart of Southwest Baltimore.

The space is as long as a football field and rests on more than 1.5 acres of land. It is, quite literally, 4.5x larger than our original space at 101 Gorman Avenue.

Almost simultaneously – but in reality felt like an eternity – we were able to successfully sell off the old space to help pay for the down payment of the new facility. I’ve had the opportunity to buy and sell residential and commercial property for the last 5 years and this experience topped the cake. It was one of the most difficult business decisions I have ever had to make. A larger space requires more revenue and ultimately has more expenses. Were we ready? Are we even capable of surviving? These are questions that ran through my mind daily and continue to plague my dreams at night (I suppose you call them nightmares).

The transition was a bit of a nightmare. In the course of a few weeks we had to pack up one shop and move it into another without losing steam on the work we had to complete. Dan used to tell me “there is never a good time. So we just gotta do it.” I remember a very hot and humid day in June we tore down the paint booth and loaded a rental truck from Penske Truck Leasing 3x and drove everything over. We completed the mission in 4 hours! Following the bulk move we had to reassemble the booth. I forgot how hard it was assembling a booth.

Fast forward 2 months we are finally in a place where we see massive return on our efficiency. A relative of mine tells me all the time “you need the proper flow.” I think we are nearly there.

Boat comes in, moves down to Sandy for repair, moves through the shop to the prep deck, into paint, out into finishing and onto a trailer. We have air conditioning, a better booth, more space to utilize for future en-devours and a state-of-the-art compressor that keeps the lines clean and the guns moving.

I don’t know where we will be in a year but the ride has been incredible. You can see pictures of the shop on our facebook page.