Lake Erie Ship Repair & Fabrication opens new tank fabrication facility in Ashtabula

Lake Erie Ship Repair & Fabrication is gearing up to produce large tanks at a new Ashtabula, Ohio location.

Lake Erie Ship Repair & Fabrication is gearing up to produce large tanks at a new Ashtabula, Ohio location.

Lake Erie Ship Repair & Fabrication (LESR), a family owned and operated small business located in Jefferson and Ashtabula, Ohio, has recently acquired a new 105,000-square-foot facility located on Benefit Avenue in Ashtabula. Approximately 80,000 square feet of the new facility will be utilized to support a large tank fabrication manufacturing agreement. An example of the fabrication being done by Lake Erie Ship Repair & Fabrication.

As part of this agreement, LESR will build approximately 400 steel tanks annually, ranging from 500-gallon capacity up to 30,000-gallon capacity. The remaining space will be utilized to support LESR’s ship repair and industrial maintenance customers.

The new fabrication facility will be in full operation by June 2016. As part of the manufacturing agreement, LESR will acquire over $1 million in steel processing, welding and material handling equipment.

LESR President & Owner, Joseph Craine stated: “This venture is monumental for our business and we are very proud to say that we will employ an additional 25-30 individuals in the Ashtabula area this year. I want to thank everyone that has made this possible and for all of the hard work that has been put into making our business a success.”

LESR performs repairs and modifications on the Great Lakes freighters and completes large fabrication projects, but also provides services such as commercial diving, industrial maintenance, diesel engine sales and service and government contracting. LESR was founded in 2012 by the father-son team of Joseph Craine, President and Justin Gee, Vice-President.

“We have grown rapidly during our first five years,” Gee said. “We started as a small crew performing repairs onboard vessels and working on small fabrication projects and grew into an organization that will employ nearly 50 people. We have evolved and diversified into various markets, which has contributed to our exponential growth that has been beyond our expectations.”

In addition to the new fabrication facility, LESR is working to bring the freighters back to Ashtabula County during the winter months. Each year, the vessels dock to perform major repairs between late December and early April.

“At one point, Ashtabula was a major shipping port and there was even a shipyard here,” Craine said. “I want to bring the marine industry back to Ashtabula and provide careers to our local labor force.”

Currently, LESR performs all of their winter ship work in Cleveland and Detroit.

LESR plans to hire welders, painters, fiberglassers and project managers with CWI certifications. If you are interested in submitting your resume, please email it to or call (440) 624-0025 to set up an appointment.

Maritime Editorial