Mavrik grows to industry giant


September 14, 2016

HAWAII BOUND – A catamaran passenger ferry just finished by Mavrik Marine boat builders in La Conner is about to be shipped off to its new owner, Expeditions, in Hawaii. – Photo by Maria Matson

Mavrik Marine, Inc. set up shop in La Conner in 2011 with a dozen employees and has since grown to a local industry powerhouse.

Their aluminum work boats include skiffs, patrol boats and gillnetters that are sent around the world after Mavrik employees carefully construct them from start to finish.

Webster defines the word “maverick” as “one who takes an independent stand.”

“We don’t like marching to someone else’s beat,” owner and founder Zach Battle said of his company’s name. “It can mean a lot of things. For us it’s about looking at other ways to do things and being progressive — not necessarily following the status quo. Mavericks are the people who change the world,” he said.

Battle has been working with boats his whole life and credits his experience and his employees’ craftsmanship as the biggest factors in his compay’s growth. Also, he said, they’ve found a niche in the workboat industry and are filling it.

The company custom builds aluminum and steel boats and also does repairs. They sell to businesses in the fishing industry, mostly private and commercial. Battle says they have a lot of repeat customers.

Mavrik was originally founded in Bellingham in 2010 and quickly relocated to La Conner, in a location he leases from The Port of Skagit.

The company’s headquarters at La Conner Marina is marked only with a discreet “M” on the building.

Battle says he likes it here. “It’s got a good history and is a good-sized town,” he said. “There’s a reasonable labor pool to work with.” When he first came to La Conner, he said he had 12 employees and now has about 90 to 100.

The company has a national customer reach, though it mostly serves the West Coast, he said.

The shop is constantly busy, working on commercial boats that Battle said range from 32 to 140 feet in length.

The company recently finished a 149-passenger ferry, which is set to be shipped to Hawaii in a few days. The 70-foot catamaran, moored on the Swinomish Channel, is the Maui-Lana’i Passenger Ferry dubbed the “Expeditions Six.”

Patsy Martin, the executive director of The Port of Skagit, said Battle is hiring faster than port officials ever dreamed.

“And that’s with good jobs — family wage jobs,” she said.

Martin credits Battle’s success with his background, his ambition and creativity. These traits are recognized in the industry — plus the company is the only one that builds aluminum commercial boats in Skagit, she said.

“We’re excited about his depth and breadth,” she said. “And we are very excited to see how he grows and expands.”

Mavrik was honored as the “Startup Business of the Year” in 2012 at the annual Skagit County Business Person of the Year awards dinner, organized by NW Business Monthly magazine.

“It’s been a really positive experience, with good support from the community,” Battle said, adding that he’d like to think they’ve built a good reputation here.


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