Southern Spars to close its Minden plant

Southern Spars, the mast maker

owned by North Sails Inc., will close its

Minden manufacturing facility early next


The company laid off 34 workers two

weeks ago.

"The economy isn't where it should

be," said Claude Cognian, general manager.

"Americas Cup is under way and we

have finished all the jobs. There just isn't

enough work."

The company's main plant in New

Zealand will expand to pick up the work

done by the Minden facility, said


In the meantime, North Sails,

Southern Spars' parent company next

door in Minden, has hired a few of the

laid-off workers, said Cognian.

Southern Spars makes made-to-order

masts for large sailboats. The bulk of its

business comes from the Americas Cup

sailing race. The company made masts for

eight of the 10 boats competing in last

month's Louis Vuitton race, a prelude to

the Americas Cup that determines which

team will compete against the current

holder of the Americas Cup next year.

About 45 workers remain at the plant,

but all will be let go in March or April

when the plant shuts its doors.


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