Taking Made-in-the-USA to the next level

At UES Marine, ‘Made in America’ also means made by Americans, installed by Americans, and backed up by Americans. It’s a start to finish promise that doesn’t just result in the very best purpose-built, high-quality products, but an unmatched, seamless customer experience.

UES Marine produces seating, cabinetry and other marine furniture solutions, for projects as diverse as crew boats; offshore patrol; commuter, Ropax and cruise ferries; excursion and fast crew support vessels; and the terminals where they dock. These solutions are built from the ground up at a 15,000 sq ft facility in Everett, WA. 

Chad Formhals heads the UES Marine furniture division and is the Director of Installation and Service. He says there is simply nothing else like UES Marine in the market.

“From extrusion to coating to installation and after sales support, we do it all, and we do it with a local team, here in the US. We are not bringing in product for installation. We start with the raw materials, and we cut, bend and shape it to make our range.”

One of the most high-profile projects completed by UES Marine in the US was the manufacture and installation of seating for three new iconic Staten Island Ferries.

UES Marine is proud of its commitment to US manufacture. The company produces a range of high quality marine furniture at its facility in Everett, Wa, and also offers customers installation and after market support from its American team

“We’re especially proud of that one because we know how much this ferry service means to the riding public. Passengers were able to vote for the seat they wanted, and we were incredibly pleased that our design was chosen,” Chad says.

Alex Morcos, Executive Chairman of UES Marine and its parent company, UES International, says the Staten Island Ferry project was a prime example of how embedded UES Marine is in the industry, and how well it understands the needs of its customers.

“We spent a lot of time riding the Staten Island ferries and we understood that the riding public had a particular soft spot for the older style Kennedy class vessels. When we created our proposed new seats, we took design cues from the original Kennedy class design, creating a woodgrain look using powder coated panels, to come up with a seat that was both connected with the past and very much designed for the future,” Alex says.

Nostalgic yet modern – the winning seating design for Staten Island Ferries
Chad Formhals (left) with some of his UES Marine US team members.

In fact, Alex says a desire to drive design forward is part of the DNA of the UES Marine business.

“Everything we do with design comes from interaction with customers. There is no blackboard in the back room where we come up with ideas that no one wants or needs.”

For Alex, one of the most important elements of success is ensuring every product in the range can be produced to identical standards no matter which facility it comes from.

“We need to be smart because manufacturing locally means we will always have higher labor costs. We invest in state-of-the-art equipment and rigorous bills of materials, engineering guides and step-by-step training so we can create the exact same piece every single time,” he says.

While other businesses slowed down during Covid, UES Marine powered ahead. The engineering team grew and the broader business was restructured to allow Alex more time and space to get out into the market.

“As we get past Covid, the US facility is going to grow, and the US business is going to grow, and we are going to be ready for it.”