CADILLAC — The craftsmen in their families spend every day around boats. But on Saturday, the spouses and children of Groupe Beneteau employees didn’t just hang out around the boats — they took rides on them, too.

Bumpy ones, thanks to the windy day.

“You get a lot of giggles and you got to kind of judge people on how they like to ride, and so you drive accordingly,‘ said Harold Brunk, a warranty department employee who drove the HD270 around Lake Cadillac for Groupe Beneteau employees during the company’s picnic at its testing facility on the lake.

The HD270, a FourWinns branded boat, is designed for waterways like Lake Cadillac — smaller inland lakes.

“But it’s big enough to where you could go out on the big water — you could go out on Lake Michigan if you wanted to, if the waves were down,‘ Brunk explained.

Groupe Beneteau families also got the chance to ride on boats designed for even bigger waterways; the GT 36, the company’s new yacht (under the Beneteau name) that’s being built in town, had a long line. So did the Wellcraft, the brand aimed at fisherman.

The company picnic isn’t the only time Groupe Beneteau families can take a spin on the boats they build; the company also has an employee boat program so families can enjoy a day out on the water.

Still, some folks would prefer that somebody else do the driving, and that’s one of the benefits to taking a ride during the company picnic, explained Kelly Cater, the company’s director of human resources in North America.

And, the employees can share with their families “what they do every day at work,‘ explained Christophe Lavigne, the company’s president of US brands, in a text message to the Cadillac News.

That doesn’t mean the craftsmen stuck to the boats they work the most on — Joel Cook, who works on the cabinets you find in the company’s yachts, took his family for a spin on the Wellcraft.

“(It’s a) nice boat. Real nice ride,‘ he said.

Cadillac News