Sylvan Lake boat manufacturer making a splash worldwide

A Sylvan Lake company specializing in the design and construction of aluminum jet boats

A Sylvan Lake company specializing in the design and construction of aluminum jet boats is steadily increasing its international presence.

Bratt Jet Aluminum Boats are shipped to New Zealand, the United States, Mexico and other countries to meet the increasing global demand for aluminum jet boats, said Manager Kevin Kipling.

Selling as many boats as it does ensures the company is kept busy year-round.

“We have a dealer in Grande Prairie, and we have a dealer in the Northwest Territories, so we build the dealers’ boats all throughout the winter, and then try to get some of our own on the ground,” he said. “For a shop of seven or eight guys, it’s steadily busy here all year round.”

Currently being built at the company’s Erickson Crescent shop is a turbine-powered race boat, which Kipling said would be capable of reaching speeds of up to 150 miles per hour.

The turbine engine in the $200,000 1,850-horsepower boat weighs only 350 pounds.

“The turbine thing is starting to really take storm,” he said. “It’s a lot more efficient cost-wise to build these things, and they last a lot longer than a lot of these high-dollar race engines we used to put in them.

“These are 1955 turbines that we’re putting in these things, but they’re super-efficient, powerful and really light.”

Kipling said he frequently encourages potential clients to drop by the company’s shop to find out what makes Bratt boats different from those of their competitors, and to test boats they may be interested in purchasing.

Boats built by Bratt, he assured, are made with utmost attention to detail, and are crafted in a way that prioritizes safety.

“We build the aluminum jet boats from start to finish right here,” he said. “Boats are getting faster and faster, and we’re trying to get them safer at those fast speeds as far as predictability and handling.

“We just came out with a whole new tunnel design and it seems to be working for us.”

Last year, 24 boats were built by Bratt, and Kipling said he expects to see that number rise to 36 this year.

The company was started in 2009, and is comprised of staff who previously worked for Eagle Power Boats and Harbercraft. Its owners are Kevin Kipling, Mike Sinclair and Rob Chrunyk.