Industry mourns South Florida boatbuilding pioneer

George M. Irvine Jr., a pioneer in fiberglass hull construction and a leader in the fabrication of hardtops and tuna and marlin towers for sportfishing boats, died Nov. 13 of a heart attack at his home in Fort Lauderdale. He was 89.

Turnaround strategy shows Sunseeker making progress

Sunseeker International, the U.K.’s largest boatbuilder, has turned the corner and is showing a 44 percent increase in orders for its yachts this year and saw sales double in the United States last year, CEO Phil Popham says.

Bob Johnstone (left) gets his certificate from National Sailing Hall of Fame vice president Jim Muldoon.

They ‘changed the face’ of sailing

Rod and Bob Johnstone independently arrived at the same conclusion 39 years ago before launching the perennially popular J/24: The wave of baby boomers who were having so much fun sailing Hobie, Sunfish and other beach boats were marrying and having children and were primed for owning a performance family keelboat.

Consumer confidence is up — and so was attendance, by 5 percent.

A FLIBS driven by innovation

“Bonkers.” That’s how one exhibitor at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show described the pace of sales at this year’s show to Efrem “Skip” Zimbalist III.

FLIBS 2016 VIDEO: NMMA president urges minority outreach

FORT LAUDERDALE — The demographic projections tell the story, National Marine Manufacturers Association president Thom Dammrich said at a meeting Thursday of the Marine Marketers of America to talk about reaching out to new markets.

FLIBS 2016: MarineMax CEO says to tackle problems directly

FORT LAUDERDALE — A word to the wise: Run at customers’ problems, not away from them, and don’t try to shift blame, said Bill McGill, CEO and president of MarineMax, the largest U.S. recreational boat and yacht retailer, Thursday morning at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show media breakfast at the Bahia Mar Yachting Center.

FLIBS 2016: Miami show details 2017 transportation plans

FORT LAUDERDALE — The Progressive Miami International Boat Show faced “some challenges” in 2016 at its new venue at the Miami Marine Stadium Park and Basin on Virginia Key, but “we’ve learned a lot,” National Marine Manufacturers Association president Thom Dammrich said.

FLIBS 2016: Sunseeker International reports sales growth

FORT LAUDERDALE — Sunseeker International, the UK’s largest boatbuilder, has turned the corner and is showing a 44 percent increase in orders for its yachts this year and saw sales double in the United States last year, CEO Phil Popham says.

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