Building Caymas Boats
[Ashland City, Tennessee] – The Hendersonville branch of City Electric Supply is working with Chris Searcy, owner of Electrical Concepts, to revamp and retrofit a large industrial facility as well as build a completely new structure over the course of a roughly two-year project.
Caymas Boats is a mammoth project with $30M committed just to get the plant up and running. This job kicked off November 2018, and in approximately two years, the goal is to update the older building — formerly belonging to a chemical plant — and make it operational for manufacturing boats. Once complete, they will begin building an additional 75,000-square-foot structure over the next few years.
CES was asked to supply all electrical materials for the entire project. When it came to retrofitting the old building, the facility had to be completely gutted and refinished from the ground up. This meant all new wiring, conduit, fixtures, lighting, etc. With no lighting designer or architect to help with illuminating the facility properly, it was up to Searcy to plan everything himself.
“There was no lighting designer or engineering firm used on the build. I did all the lighting design myself. They had an idea of what they wanted, so with that in mind, and with Troy’s help, we came up with a good solution. We’re right at 103 foot-candles. Very even lighting, using all LED fixtures,” Searcy said.
The lights used are Spring Lighting Group 2×2 high-bays, suggested by CES Hendersonville Outside Sales Representative Troy Crow. “We’ve sold a ton of them,” Crow said. “At 28,000 lumens in 20-something foot ceilings, it provides plenty of nice, clean light that spreads evenly. We’ve never had problems with them. We gave him a couple to install so the building owner could check them out before the big installation,” he said.
This is a tactic used often by Crow. He believes it’s always best to let the customer physically see how the light will look, rather than just making suggestions. However, as simple as the lighting solution seemed, the entire project was met with challenges throughout.
“The plans for this job changed constantly. This meant having to adapt to new designs and new machine placements. A lot of times we’d have to adjust our electrical stuff on the fly, which meant we were having to constantly call in new orders from CES. Troy and his team went above and beyond to provide parts whenever we needed them. They were adjusting on the fly right along with us,” Searcy mused.
How CES Helped
For years, Searcy was in and out of Crow’s store, purchasing supplies without ever opening a charge account. That didn’t change until he came in one day with a simple request: he wanted a CES shirt. Crow happily obliged by giving him a free shirt. A few years later, Searcy had a large job lined up in Nashville and was unable to get all the product needed for the job with another wholesaler.
“He came back to the Hendersonville branch to open an account and we were able to provide him everything he needed,” Crow said. “He’s been with us ever since.”
One competitive advantage for Crow and Searcy’s relationship is the local supply house market.
“Everybody is so residentially oriented in this area,” Searcy said. “The benefit to CES is that they’re not so residential heavy. They’re ready to supply commercial and industrial, too.”
CES supplied every single piece of electrical material for the Caymas Boats build. Though Searcy is an industry veteran with years of experience, he deferred to Crow for help parting out the build; Crow was an especially big help with lighting.
He aided Searcy in finding proper lighting that was easy to install, had a great warranty, and required little to no maintenance. As stated, the lights Troy suggested were SLG 2×2 LED high-bays. By going with Troy’s choice, Caymas Boats will save roughly 30 to 35 percent on electrical costs annually.
“For lighting, I told him how many lumens I needed, and he helped me find the proper light. I needed a light that’s easy to install and also holds a good warranty. Originally, the building had about one hundred 400W metal-halide fixtures. With the halides, you’d have to change lamps and ballasts, and that requires a lot of extra time, labor, and material costs. Maintenance on LED lighting is pretty much slim to none.”
Sticking with this cost-saving philosophy, Topaz LED flat panels were used for the office and breakroom lighting.
All of the selected materials come from various brands they both trust. Among those brands were:
- Eaton Cutler-Hammer
- Spring Lighting Group (SLG lighting)
- Topaz Lighting
- CME Wire and Cable
- Pass & Seymour
- Allied Electrical Equipment
Beyond Customer Service
CES helped Electrical Concepts take on a massive job with a tremendous workload. With constant adjustments and changes to plans, it was up to CES to adapt to fit the needs of the customer and make expert suggestions.
When asked what brought Searcy to CES, he said he would have never gone to any other place. “It never even crossed my mind to go anywhere else.