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Fresh ideas at a seasoned dealership

A boat club is among the ‘cool’ things happening at the oldest Grady-White outlet in the U.S. In tough economic times, some businesses dig in and hunker down. One New York dealer, however, is choosing to push forward and explore the opportunities still out there. “We’re trying to get more value out of our location.…more

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A focus on the personal touch

E-mails, newsletters and social media are all in the mix for Mount Dora Boating Center & Marina Treat every customer like they’re the only customer. That philosophy is ingrained in the culture at Mount Dora Boating Center & Marina, says general manager Joe Lewis. Whether it’s immediately addressing a problem or just helping a customer…more

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Rebuilding the industry one job at a time

Career Day at the International Yacht Restoration School brings together employers and potential workers   As a measure of the industry’s health and future, the sixth annual Marine Industry Career Day at the International Yacht Restoration School was another sign that prospects are improving. “I’ve attended every one of these career days and this one…more

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Yacht & Brokerage Show numbers on the rise

Exhibitors, attendance, boats and revenue all showed increases over last year on Collins Avenue The scene at this year’s Yacht & Brokerage Show, staged along Miami’s Collins Avenue, showed a continuing uptick in optimism among exhibitors. There were more boats, exhibitors and visitors at this year’s Yacht & Brokerage Show, further brightening the mood of…more

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Down the driveway and into the water

Builder of an amphibious RIB with motorized wheels aims to expand its North American market Amid a down market of epic proportions, the manufacturer of one of the most unusual vessels around is rumbling into the North American recreational market. Sealegs is an amphibious RIB with three motorized, retractable hydraulic wheels that allow the owner…more

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Sensing a wind shift in the Northeast

Dealers at Rhode Island, Connecticut shows saw enough serious buyers to hope for brighter days While much of the industry was focused on how this year’s Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show will be received, a cautious uptick in optimism marked two major Northeast shows in September. Although inventories of new and used boats are down,…more

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Outside-the-box idea puts boat into one

Peter Cook and Karen Morris import, pack and ship British sailboats themselves to keep costs down Last fall, a new boat importer/dealer was launched at the annual sailboat show in Annapolis, Md., with modest expectations and a sound business plan suited for the economic conditions. Ultimately, Topaz Sailing Systems – and its two employee/owners –…more

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The power of a positive customer approach

With sales down, Florida’s Thunder Marine connects with clientele through raft-ups, service and more The “saving grace” that is helping Steve Wacker’s Thunder Marine dealership survive the recession is customer service and care. “We’re a relationship dealership,” says Wacker, co-owner and sales manager of the business he owns and runs with his wife, Tracy LaPrade-Wacker.…more

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A 179-year-old marine paint newcomer

Italy-based Boero, a big name in Europe, taps Interlux veteran to build a foothold in U.S. market The name may be unfamiliar on this side of the Atlantic, but Boero Yacht Coatings has been a major player in Europe for more than a century. Now, the 179-year-old marine paint company is entering the North American…more

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Electronics 2010: The state of the industry

Refits and upgrades, along with new technology, are helping keep this segment afloat The trend of consumers holding on to their existing boats and opting to refit them and upgrade electronics and systems instead of buying new appears to be holding fast for at least another year, according to several key electronics industry players. “We…more

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