Hydra-Sports will shift to factory-direct sales

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Hydra-Sports Custom Boats will continue to be built by MasterCraft in Vonore, Tenn., for at least the next five years, Hydra-Sports Custom Boats president Alex Leva said today.

The company announced Wednesday that the majority interest of the brand was bought by Florida-based Plantation Boat Mart & Marina from MasterCraft Boat Co. and the builder will have more flexibility for some customization.

“The boats come out of the factory turnkey, water-tested and ready to go,” Leva told Soundings Trade Only. “The major change is in distribution. Where we normally had a traditional dealer network, we’re now selling directly out of our two factory test centers.”

A selection of nearly all Hydra-Sports models will be available at Plantation’s waterfront factory test centers in Palm Beach and Islamorada, Fla.

“We have taken that [factory-direct model] to the next step, most importantly by having full-service factories and having boats in the water ready to test,” Leva said.

The previous dealer network, meaning Hydra-Sports dealers in 2012 and prior, will be Hydra-Sports service centers, Leva said. The company will continue to honor warranties, pay retail shop rates and sell parts to dealers so they can continue to service the thousands of boats in the field.

Additionally, the company has a working agreement with Yamaha. If someone who buys a boat lives in an area without a dealer, Yamaha will tell Hydra-Sports where the closest service center is.

“Any new-boat sale whatsoever has to go through those two locations,” Leva said. “It’s the only place you can buy them.”

MasterCraft will be manufacturing the boats for at least the next five years, Leva said.

“So we have a pretty unique agreement with them,” he said. “The engineering and sales will all report to me, and the manufacturing is run by Shane Chittum, the COO for MasterCraft. He will remain in charge of the day-to-day plant operations.”

Read more in the November issue of Soundings Trade Only.

— Reagan Haynes


6 comments on “Hydra-Sports will shift to factory-direct sales

  1. Capt. Chris

    I have serious concerns about how long former Hydra Sport dealers are going to be willing to hold the hands of boat owners who did not buy the boats from them. This arrangement is a long way from the factory showroom concept used by Regal where the dealer still participates in the profit from the sale. If these dealers carry other lines, I think Hydra Sport will quickly become the “red headed stepchild” Only time will tell..

  2. Capt'n Bald Bob

    Yeah right. This makes no sense what so ever. I want to run from lower FLA to E TN to purchase a boat? I hope Plantation can make a good go of throwing a pretty wide net out to capture sales. I’d have to really really want their brand of boat to jump through that many hoops. Also, price shopping is now impossible. NEXT!!!

  3. Mark Mowl

    Sorry guys,I would have to disagree. This model works quite well for many manufacturers. Bluewater and Intrepid come to mind. My understanding is that the small H-S models are gone. With their big boats they are dealing with an investment level where buyers traveling to purchase, and being factory directed through a local for service is common.

    Both Alex Leva and Elias DeLaTore are professionals not expected to make a move without a proven plan. Its all good.

  4. David Rodriguez

    i have a vector 2600 year 2004 center console and i need parts it has being very difficult to find in puerto rico do you have parts for sale maybe a catalog with part numbers to order them thank

  5. Willy Pitts

    I need a new canvas cover for my 16′ hydrosport fishing boat with a 70 HP Johnson outboard. Can I get one at vonore TN location?

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