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Car loans easier to get — boats next?

Credit loosening helps boost auto sales; signs of a marine thaw emerge   The auto industry is crowing over an 11 percent uptick in 2010 sales that has been driven in large measure by aggressive, even subprime lending to car buyers, but that dramatic easing of retail credit has yet to reach the boat market.…more

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Opportunities instead of obstacles

Blind dealer Vincent Morvillo has a unique perspective as he conquers challenges beyond the economy   Vincent Morvillo learned early on to “see” differently because the 65-year-old yacht dealer, consultant and motivational speaker has been blind since birth. “I had to think differently because I always had to learn to do things differently,” says Morvillo,…more

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Marinas on shores of opportunity

International Marina and Boatyard Conference attendees are told their sector will lead the recovery The prognosis for marina operators is good, although the economy probably will drag along at a 3 to 3-1/2 percent annual growth rate for the next two to three years, according to economist J. Antonio Villamil and marina guru Neil Ross,…more

Marina survey finds a changing climate

The news from the field was mixed – some marinas doing better, some worse – in an Association of Marina Industries survey of 124 marina professionals. “Not everyone is on the way down. Some are on the way up,” association president Jim Frye said as he and Kirby Scheimann, an International Marina Institute instructor, released…more

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Competing visions cloud marina makeover

Activists in Riviera Beach, Fla., oppose proposal for superyacht yard, force a November referendum The waterfront in Riviera Beach, Fla., is a diamond in the rough, but oh how rough it is and how tough it has been to turn that asset into the gem many think it could be. A divided city council in…more

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Gulf spill leads builder back to his roots

New Orleans native designs ‘Piranha’ skimmers to aid cleanup effort in estuaries, offshore Megayacht designer Jon Overing grew up sailing on the Gulf of Mexico and has lived most of his life along the Gulf. So it’s natural that when the clarion call went out for ideas and technology to save this resource from the…more

Sailing icon recovering after boat crash

Yacht designer and builder Ted Irwin is recovering from injuries sustained during a nighttime run-in with a powerboat off Key West as he dinghied to shore from Distant Drummer, his 68-foot Irwin yacht, which was anchored. Irwin, 70, who was in the Florida Keys with his family for the two-day spiny lobster mini-season, was headed…more

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For owner, it’s about diversification

Paul Engle knows boatyards from both sides of the transom. The 52-year-old president of Bradford Marine, one of Fort Lauderdale’s premier boat and yacht yards, captained Malcolm Forbes’ 151-foot yacht Highlander for four years. He cruised the Pacific. He visited St. Petersburg, Russia. On one memorable occasion, he picked up actress Elizabeth Taylor in Singapore…more

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Bradford Marine bets big on the Bahamas

The boatyard’s 47-acre facility in Freeport on Grand Bahama Island is a long-term investment The yard is humming despite all the bad economic news. A fast ferry is in dry dock. Nearby, a steel tug lies on the hard for hull repairs. In the water, a luxury sailboat is prepped for painting. Meanwhile, workers in…more

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Lawyer: ‘Err on the side of disclosure’

“The times are changing,” said Miami attorney Michael Pennekamp, during a seminar to help yacht brokers stay out of legal trouble. Specifically, he was talking about how to avoid misrepresenting pertinent facts to buyers and sellers during yacht sales transactions – and stay out of court. “The numbers [in court awards] are bigger now and…more

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