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The History of Hatton Marine

HATTON Engine & Generator Systems (HATTON Marine) opened in 1999 as a diesel engine shop with Craig Hatton serving as head mechanic and service manager and his wife Ellen handling the office. HATTON Marine opened as a dealer for two small diesel engine lines. Starting out with one employee in 1999, HATTON Marine now employees over 50 people in 2014. Starting out just as an engine repair shop, HATTON Marine added additional departments to handle parts sales, turbo rebuilding, machine work, engine and generator sales, electrical repairs, hose and fittings, and welding and fabrication. Sales have grown every year since the company opened and sales growth shows no signs of slowing. HATTON Marine has a proven track record demonstrating Craig Hatton’s single minded commitment to continuous sales growth. HATTON Marine continues to service of all brand to Marine Diesel engines and Generator.

HATTON Marine was thrilled to have the opportunity to take over the local GE distributorship in early 2009. At the time, the only GE marine units in service in the local area belonged to the Washington State Ferries. There were no GE engines in service in the fishing or local tug fleets. It took a while for Hatton to get the opportunity to repower a local fishing vessel. In 2012, two vessels were repowered with GE engines however, the Legacy, belonging to US Seafoods, and the Excellence, belonging to Phoenix Processor. US Seafoods, a long time Hatton customer, in fact made the decision to repower their entire fleet with GE 228 engines and purchased them and put them in storage with the plan to repower each vessel in their fleet as the existing engines reached the end of their useful lives. In 2014, the Arctic Explorer, belonging to B&N Fisheries, will be repowered, and the company plans to repower the rest of their fleet as well.

All of these opportunities have come about as a result of existing relationships that Craig Hatton had made in years past with these companies, all of whose offices or docks are within walking distance of the Hatton shop. Customers are wary of taking a risk by putting an unfamiliar product in their vessels, and in every case it was their familiarity with HATTON Marine and trust in Craig Hatton that swung the deal in GE’s favor. For many years GE had no engines in the local fishing fleet, but in the future it appears that every year will see at least a few GE repowers, and the more engines there are in service and the more familiar the local operators become with the engine and its performance track record, the more opportunitiesthere will be for sales growth.

In the tug market, HATTON cracked open the door for GE through Craig’s relationship with Bob Dorn, formerly of K-Sea transportation. Hatton Marine had been helping Bob with repairs and maintenance and technical issues with his yacht for many years and Bob had come to trust Craig and look to him for advice on engine questions. K-Sea transportation has in fact now become one of HATTON Marine’s biggest customers. As a result of his relationship with Bob, Craig was able to sell Bob on the idea of using GE engines in all the tug boats he has under construction. Having now gotten some engines in service, tug operators all over the country are looking on and considering using GE for repowers and for new construction and doors are opening wide for GE that previously were closed.

Pleasure Craft MarineFor Craig, GE is the jewel in the Hatton crown. GE is considered to be the future of HATTON Marine as it has the biggest potential for sales growth. The employees would focus all their energies on GE, and they would focus knowing that their long term futures depended entirely on the success of the GE line, with Craig being committed to share the wealth of the operation with the local employees, without whom the success would not have been possible. Craig is in it for the long term, laying a foundation for decades of success, and he wants his employees with him for the long haul. An employee who has spent years building up relationships with customers and knowledge of the GE product line should never have any reason to seek employment elsewhere. HATTON Marine in Seattle has very low employee turnover because people prefer to work for Craig as they know he has their long term interests at heart and isn’t just in the business for a quick buck.