(photo provided)

A manufacturer of pontoon and deck boats has broken ground on a $10 million expansion in Elkhart. Godfrey Marine says the expansion to its manufacturing facility will add more than 50 jobs over the next 18 months.

The expansion includes a 27,000-square-foot warehouse the company says will enable a 30% growth in production. It will also feature an automation wing designed to add innovative technology for pontoon tube production.

“With demand for new boats at an all-time high, it is vital to increase capacity to meet the future needs of our customers and dealers,” Ben Duke, president of Godfrey parent Polaris Marine, said in a news release. “We are very excited to get these new facilities up and running, invest in our capabilities and grow our team, while benefitting the community.”

The project is expected to be complete in the third quarter.

Godfrey Marine currently employs 580 workers in Elkhart County, in addition to 70 at its facility in Syracuse. The company is a division of Minnesota-based Polaris Industries.