Norelco Cabinets Making Waves

Norelco Cabinets entered uncharted waters when it first partnered with KingFisher Boats in 2016. Six years later, however, the custom woodworking company is happy it took the plunge.

“When KingFisher reached out to see if we could make cabinets for their boats, we thought it was a bit of a stretch,” says David Campell, assistant general manager with the Kelowna, BC-based firm. “We’d done a lot of custom residential work, but making cabinets for boats wasn’t something we ever thought of taking on.”

Based on Norelco’s reputation in the residential sector, KingFisher sought the company’s expertise to create high-end Sapele cabinets for the boatmaker’s offshore aluminum models. And while it wasn’t a typical fit for Norelco, it was a challenge the team was eager to take on.

“It took us about a year for us to build the capacity and the team we needed to do this, but all the pieces eventually came together,” adds Campbell.

Since shaking hands, Norelco has provided custom cabinetry packages for 60 KingFisher boats a year. That includes all the millwork, finishings, and eye-catching features such as dinette tables, radio trim components, gas trims, and other interior touches.

Building for boats comes with some unique considerations. According to Norelco millworker Geoff Hill, everything from material selection to manufacturing and installation had to be carefully examined in order to provide an end-product that would last on the water.

“Being on the water means you’re exposing some components to direct sunlight and high humidity, so you have to pay extra attention to things like sealing and UV protection,” he explains. “At the same time, KingFisher makes high-quality boats, so we need to be using high-quality wood materials that are going to stand up to those conditions.”

 Staying the course

Rising to KingFisher’s task has been a source of pride for Norelco. And recently, the crew had an opportunity to see their work in the final product during a visit to KingFisher’s factory in Vernon, BC.

“That was a really fun and unique chance to see their whole operation, what goes into the manufacturing process, and where our products fit in,” says LP Tetrault, Norelco’s KingFisher account manager. “We’ve seen pictures on their website over the years and we always imagined what it would look like in person, so to be invited to their shop and see the final assembly was very rewarding for all of us.”

“Rewarding” is an apt word for the partnership in general, says Hill, especially as it has given Norelco’s crew a chance to hone their skills, flex their creativity, and dip into a new part of their industry.

“It’s been a great experience, and it just keeps evolving over time,” he reflects. “It also helps that both of our companies mesh well because we share the same passion for a high quality product and agree on the look and feel of what we want to achieve.”

“We’re honoured to be able to be their supplier, and they continue to choose to work with us to be that source of cabinetry,” Tetrault adds.

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