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Estacada company sails to innovation

ESTACADA NEWS PHOTO: EMILY LINDSTRAND - 2015 Estacada High School graduate Bryce Hegar has worked at Reconcraft full time since graduation.

An Estacada company wants to help the armed forces by land and by sea.

Formed in 2008, Reconcraft primarily builds vehicles for the military, although some of their products are available for private purchase.

Recently, they partnered with the New Zealand company called Sea Legs to build the world’s first large format high-speed amphibious craft that can reach up to 40 mph on water and 10 mph on land.

The company's RC36 has a driver, navigator, vehicle commander and can carry up to 10 troops. Additional features include an enclosed cabin capable of being removed in less than an hour to transition from one use to the next, adding to the crafts versatility and rugged, ready for anything appeal.

The craft will be unveiled at the International Workboat Show on Dec. 1-3 in New Orleans.

Reconcraft is also working on a fleet for the United States Border Patrol that would replace some of their current airboats. The majority of these models will be shipped to Texas.

Company co-founder Joe Silkowski noted that these craft can operate longer, are able to carry more people and are easier to service and maintain.

“They’re built to take a beating,” Silkowski said. “We work to ensure everything is done right the first time.”

He noted that many members of the production team were previously in the Coast Guard, which influences the attention to detail and work ethic.

“We can all recall instances of being in the middle of the ocean and the equipment failing,” he said. “There are few worse feelings.”

The company also values the business relationships that it has formed.

“We’re proud to play a part in homeland security, and to be an example of a contract between government and industry that’s worked well, when you hear about so many that haven’t,” Silkowski said. “There’s trust and cooperation – we have the same goal. We have an amazing relationship.”

At the local level, the company frequently works with the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office to arrange testing of their boats on Estacada Lake.

The company further strengthened its ties to the local community with one of its recent hires.

Bryce Hegar graduated from Estacada High School in June. He began working for Reconcraft part-time in March and has been employed full-time since graduation.

Hegar took shop class all four years of high school, which familiarized him with the tools he now uses every day on the job.

“I was there (in shop) all the time,” he recalled.

Hegar credits his job with helping him become more detail-oriented.

“I’m getting better and better with details,” he said. “We’re always trying to be one step better.”