Place Diverter & Controls, the La Habra, CA-based corporation famous for having developed the original up-down adjustable nozzle, has purchased the assets of Heritage Manufacturing from owner Jack Keaton, Performance Boats has learned. Keaton, who built the Keaton line of ski boats beginning in the 1960s, founded Heritage with a group of engineers from Berkeley Jet Drives. “It was a cool start for the company, and I’ve built a great relationship with Keaton over the last few years, buying jet boat parts and rebuilding pumps,” said Tim Place of the family-owned Place Diverter. “After acting as one of his dealers and distributing his parts for many years, I hit him a up a couple years ago knowing this would be a good fit for us—his little machine shop was basically a one-man operation.
”Keaton traveled from his Sacramento-based shop to visit Place Diverter and agreed that Heritage and Place Diverter was a good fit. “Not as many people are buying Place Diverters, because jetboat sales aren’t what they used to be” Place admitted. “So it’s all aftermarket stuff that’s keeping us alive.” The acquisition will allow Place Diverter to add to its product line by adding all of the internal components of the jet drive: rotating assembly, shafts, impellers, bearings, and all of the rebuild parts for the Berkeley, Dominator and Legend jets. “It was a simple transaction,” Place said. “Everything is now in my shop, and now we’ll be manufacturer of his product line.
”With Place Diverter smack in the middle of its busy season, Tim Place said it would take a bit of time to add the new products to his website. “It was kind of a bad time to make this transition, but Jack wanted out, and I wasn’t going to tell him to put it off,” he said. “So when things start to slow down, maybe by August, we’ll start to get more aggressive with the marketing side of it.”