On January 25, 2012, a 26-foot sportfishing boat washed up on the coast of Spain.
It was found by the Spanish Coast Guard with its two engines intact, its hull still seaworthy, and its radio and other key components still in place.
Amazed, the Spanish Coast Guard looked into the backstory of this boat, dubbed the “Queen Bee,” and found a truly amazing testimony to the excellence of American manufacturing.
Three-and-a-half years prior, in August of 2008, the “Queen Bee” encountered a rogue wave off the coast of Nantucket. The two fishermen on board were thrown overboard and swam more than two miles to safety, but the boat was thought to be gone forever.
In fact, the 26-foot center console made its own 3,500-mile transatlantic journey – and survived.
In July 2012, Regulator Marine, the American company responsible for building this seaworthy craft, brought the Queen Bee back to the U.S. and reunited it with her owner.
What’s even more amazing is that all of Regulator Marine’s boats are built to this standard of excellence.
Located in Edenton, North Carolina, Regulator Marine is known for building the “Rolls Royce” of center-console boats, known not only for their attention to detail but also for their exceptional durability.
The story of the Queen Bee is a testament to their exceptional durability, and their attention to detail goes above and beyond what you’d expect from any manufacturing plant.
All the screws are turned the same way.
Every square inch of every boat, whether it is the console or the space behind the speakers, is treated with the same care and attention.
You won’t find a single spot on a Regulator that hasn’t been inspected again and again.
Why this level of excellence?
And how do they possibly achieve this level of precise and rigorous quality for every single boat that leaves the factory floor?
First, it starts at the top.
Founders Joan and Owen Maxwell started Regulator in 1988 to build a legacy of not only manufacturing the best possible boats but also investing in the local community of Edenton.
This legacy extends beyond the boats that leave their factory; you’ll find it lived out in the community through clothing and food drives, investments in education, and a cultural belief that “we build for a higher purpose.”
Regulator enjoys a top-of-the-line reputation within the community and prioritizes providing job opportunities for those living in Chowan County and the surrounding area.
Multigenerational families work at Regulator and appreciate the family-like atmosphere.
They’ve also made sure that every employee who works at Regulator understands this culture of excellence and giving back to the community.
The “Regulator Way” means employees not only know how to build the best boats but they also understand why they build the best boats.
Walk the floor and ask any employee what the four core values of Regular are, and each one can tell you: safety, integrity, personal accountability, and stewardship.
This isn’t just lip-service. All decisions at the company are based on these four values, and every employee is reminded daily to work with them in mind.
The culture at Regular is one of continuous improvement. “Good enough is not good enough here,” explains Keith Ammons, VP of Sales and Marketing.
Complacency is not a part of the vocabulary at Regulator. They know that, though rare, episodes like what happened to the Queen Bee are very real.
They believe that boats can always be improved so that every customer can expect the utmost in safety and quality.
That’s why Regulator’s engineers thoroughly inspected the Queen Bee once they got her safely back to North Carolina.
In order to implement this process of continuous improvement, accountability, and high quality, Regulator is committed to using only the best equipment and materials.
Every boat comes fully stocked with the best equipment for the class, from the best engines, to the best speakers, to the best parts.
That’s why the Queen Bee was built to last, partly owing to the use of composite core instead of wood.
Furthermore, each boat is built under extensive process management.
Every boat that comes off the line has been touched by hundreds of hands, and each employee has a personal investment in the design and build of each boat.
Every employee can be proud of the quality of excellence that has become Regulator’s reputation.
This extensive process management, culture of continuous improvement, and belief in building a legacy made a difference in the story of the Queen Bee.
And this level of excellence at Regulator makes a difference in American manufacturing and throughout the community of Chowan County.
We’re proud of Regulator, largely because it is one of the many companies that make Edenton and Chowan County synonymous with quality, expertise, and excellence.