Affordability tops BWI panel agenda in Miami

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Boating Writers International will host a panel discussion on Feb. 14 at the Miami International Boat Show to ask industry leaders to share their thoughts about how to make recreational boating more affordable and attractive.

The participants will be Brunswick Corp. CEO Dustan McCoy, who has been outspoken about Brunswick’s goal to make boats more affordable; SunTrust Bank’s senior vice president of marine lending, Don Parkhurst; Legendary Marine managing partner Fred Pace; and Freedom Boat Club CEO John Giglio.

The discussion will be moderated by Soundings and Soundings Trade Only editor-in-chief William Sisson and BWI board member and Trade Only columnist Michael Sciulla, who is producing the program.

“While there has been much talk within the industry about what needs to be done to grow boating, this event should enable us to drill down and get some answers,” Sciulla said in a statement.

Johnny Lindstrom, the newly elected chairman of the National Marine Electronics Association and a design engineer at Westport Shipyard, will introduce his group’s new portal, which is designed to help consumers choose the right electronic equipment and offer guidance on installation.

BWI’s annual Writing Awards will be presented to writers of more than 50 boating- and fishing-focused stories, reports, how-tos, travelogues and blogs in print and online in 2013.

The panel discussion will be held during the second half of BWI’s annual meeting in rooms B 118-119 at the Miami Beach Convention Center. The event will run from 8-10 a.m.


2 comments on “Affordability tops BWI panel agenda in Miami

  1. Bob

    If boating can’t be made more affordable and, at the same time, attract younger people and minorities, the recreational boating industry will suffer a long and painful death. As it is, recreational boating is an older, rich white man’s pastime.

  2. Ed McKnew

    In my view, the path toward growth in the marine industry is marketing, pure and simple. Obsessing about “affordability” leads nowhere. If manufacturers could make boats cheaper, they would. Marina costs aren’t going down anytime soon, and maintenance and repair expenses are not declining, either. All this hand-wringing over affordability is, I believe, a huge distraction. If we want to do more than just survive we have to get organized and invest in an effective, long-term national marketing effort to get our message in front of those who can afford the boating lifestyle. The focus should be on marketing; there’s nothing we can do about affordability. Just my 2 cents.

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