Rig Rite Manufacturing"I saw niches where there was a certain job to do and there wasn't a product to do it. That got the ball rolling." -Steve Klarich, FOUNDER / OWNER
By: Jo Colvin, Alexandria Echo Press
Steve Klarich has come a long way since he started a business in his laundry room in Andover in 1992. First he had to expand into his garage.
Then in 1999, Rig Rite, his company that manufactures boat accessories, moved to a 5,000-square-foot building in Miltona, where it still is today.
A wholesale company that relies on shipping, Rig Rite could have been located anywhere. Klarich chose Miltona because he grew up in the Alexandria area and wanted to raise his daughters in a small town. He also appreciates the diverse economy that the area offers.
From manufacturing just two products at its inception, Rig Rite now offers nearly 100 boat accessories to boat manufacturers, distributors and large retail sporting goods stores. Its products are used in most 14- to 22-foot fishing boats.
Prior to starting Rig Rite, Klarich worked for a marine business, and he saw a void in certain products that his customers were requesting.
"I was doing customer service-type work and a customer would call and say, 'Hey, I need this, why doesn't anyone make it?' " he said. "I saw niches where there was a certain job to do and there wasn't a product to do it. That got the ball rolling. I went out and started formulating products and ideas and it went from there."
For the first few years, that niche product was two types of circuit breakers for trolling motors. Once the business got on its feet, Klarich began to sink everything he made back into it to do research and development to fill other voids.
"Some of the ideas I had from the beginning started coming," he said. "After about five years, I started making other products."
One of those ideas was cargo nets - now the company's "bread and butter" and number one selling item. Rig Rite custom manufactures any size net up to 66 inches long and 16 inches wide.
"We make them from scratch and they go right into the boat at the factory," Klarich explained. "There is only one other company I'm aware of that does cargo nets."
With the nets and trolling motor circuit breakers going strong, Rig Rite branched out into making other accessories for boats. Their varied product line also includes trolling motor plugs and other trolling motor accessories; Motor Mates, which allow for quick disconnect of a trolling motor; transducer mounting plates for depth finders; depth finder accessories; battery trays; electrical and rigging accessories; and several other miscellaneous items.
"It's the guts of a boat, the rigging," Klarich said. "If you have a boat and motor, everything else is considered rigging - wires, cables, depth finders. We're in the fishing boat accessory business."
Rig Rite has a staff of four full-time employees, including Klarich, who manufacture, assemble, pack and ship its products. The company is strictly wholesale and does not sell to the public. Rig Rite sells its products to most marine dealers across the country, such as Alumacraft, Lund and Larson, along with some distributors and retail outlets.
Boat builders, marine dealers and retailers across the United States, Canada and Europe sell Rig Rite products.
RIG RITE PRODUCTS
• Fishhouse single cargo net - 8 inches wide by 32 inches long; installs under cabinets, on ceilings; holds fishing equipment, hats, gloves, clothing.
• Pocket storage net - extra storage for boats, campers, RVs, fish houses; installs on any open space 16 inches wide by 30 inches long or longer.
• Pocket utility terrain vehicle (UTV) cargo net - convenient extra storage for UTVs; holds extra gear during travel; fits most UTV roll cage poles with widths 46 to 54 inches; 14 inches high.
• Stow-zall storage net - Creates a storage area under front of boat lifts and canopies; mesh allows wet items to dry; protects gear from sun, rain, wind and theft; 5 feet in length.
• Boatgo storage net - keeps items from blowing out of boat; width stretches from 10 to 1 inch; three sizes.
• Bimini top cargo net - Installs on inside upper frame of most Bimini, pontoon and t-tops; stores life jackets, clothing, other items; two sizes; straps adjust 2 to 9 inches on each side.
Trolling motor accessories
• Trolling motor transducer bracket; 12-volt marine circuit breaker with automatic reset; trolling motor quick disconnect; v-groove trolling motor plugs; v-groove trolling motor receptacles; OEM retrofit trolling motor plugs; large stainless steel clamp; OEM retrofit trolling motor receptacles; Motor Mate, the original quick release designed to fit Minnkota, Terrova and Powerdrive V2 motors; brass lock; 24-volt marine circuit breaker with manual reset; Motor Mate shims.
• Tournament rod holder; container caddy.
Electrical and rigging accessories
• Watertight marine fuse holders; assorted butt connectors; ring terminals; terminal covers; automatic livewell timer, variable livewell timer; OEM timer module; eight-gauge wire for installing trolling motors and electric winches; tiller boat console; quick connect black pins; rigging grommets; wire hole cover; thumb screws; locking super clips; four-wire quick connector; 50-amp marine battery clips; battery box tie down; battery trays.
Depth Finder Accessories
• Johnny Ray mounting hardware and wire hole covers; transducer mounting boards; horizontal transducer plates.