Boatbuilding kit manufacturer honored

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John Harris knows exactly how quirky his company is. Businesses that sell boats are all over the place, especially around the Chesapeake Bay. But a business that sells build-your-own-boat kits to crafty people all over the world?

That's a bit harder to find.

"We are the nichiest of niche-y businesses," said Harris, the owner of Annapolis-based Chesapeake Light Craft since 1999.

State Comptroller Peter Franchot honored Chesapeake Light Craft this week with its Better with Less Award, which recognizes companies that have thrived during the economic downturn while streamlining resources.

The Annapolis company is the world's largest manufacturer of boatbuilding kits. It sells kits and plans for wooden kayaks, canoes, row boats and small sailboats. The smallest kit is an 8-foot, 22-pound children's kayak; the largest is an 850-pound sailboat.

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