James Murray Joins Gulfstream Shipbuilding Management Team
Gulfstream Shipbuilding welcomes James Murray, a second generation boat builder and operator/owner, to the Sales Management Team. James is the son of Jim Murray, who originally opened the shipyard 35 years ago as Freeport Shipbuilding. James built a variety of custom boats at the shipyard before venturing off to start his own successful passenger excursion company. Now, James returns to partner with the current owner Stuart Reeves on a new generation of custom shipbuilding.
“James exhibits the same passions and values that his father instilled on this company 35 years ago, including quality building, timeliness and on-going communication and customer service,” stated Stuart Reeves, owner of Gulfstream Shipbuilding. “His experience with shipbuilding as well as running a successful passenger excursion company for 12 years makes him a valuable asset to our clients.”
Since 1981, the full-service shipyard has produced quality steel and aluminum vessels up to 300 feet, including U.S. Coast Guard-approved Excursion Vessels, Offshore Fast Supply and Crew Boats, Passenger and Car Ferries, Cruise Boat Tenders and Custom Specialty Boats.
James Murray joined his father’s shipyard in 1997 after graduating college. One of the many vessels father and son custom built was the 125-foot, three-deck SOLARIS dining and entertainment yacht. In 2004, James left the shipyard to launch SunQuest Cruises in Northwest Florida. The SOLARIS yacht is in its 12th successful year of hosting weekly sunset dinner cruises and weddings from the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Northwest Florida. SunQuest Cruises expanded in 2012 with the SunVenture I, a 45 foot eco-excursion catamaran cruising from Destin, Florida.
In 2013, Jim Murray worked with longtime friend and maritime expert Stuart Reeves to transition the shipyard to Gulfstream Shipbuilding. They retained 75 percent of the original team and all upper level management, a true testament to the strong culture and professionalism brought by the ownership. In addition, over half of the client base continues to be return customers.
Jim Murray passed away last year but his legacy lives on as James rejoins the Gulfstream team to further his father’s vision. Together, Murray and Reeves continue to offer clients a personalized, hands-on experience with a tenacious team of managers, designers, engineers, planners and certified craftsman. This new generation of shipbuilding includes an unwavering commitment to raising the standard in aluminum and steel custom vessel building with cost-controlled construction and complete customer service
“With our extensive experience as both shipbuilders and vessel operators, Stuart and I can identify with the daily challenges and on-going issues within our industry,” stated James Murray. “This company and our entire staff is committed to increasing the customer service experience as the vessel progresses through the building process and providing support years after delivery.”