Early data show surge in June sales

Loan volume suggests buyers did, in fact, defer purchases because of early-spring weather problems Marine lenders get a sneak peek into boat-buying trends because they see the loan applications before sales are made, and well before the registrations are counted into boat sales data. They felt the slow start to the season, but predict that…more

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The rationale behind rotating venues

After the announcement that the International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition & Conference will alternate between venues in Louisville, Ky., and Tampa, Fla., beginning in 2014, Soundings Trade Only caught up with show manager Anne Dunbar and Thom Dammrich, president of show co-producer National Marine Manufacturers Association, as well as some IBEX mainstays, to discuss the plan. “Our…more

B0008P 0189

An ominous age gap

Twice as many new-boat buyers are over 65 as are under 40 and that gives forecasters gray hairs No matter how you dice it, the data is clear: Boat buyers are getting older at a rate that’s outpacing overall aging in America. And that’s not just new-boat buyers. Used-boat buyers also are aging, albeit not…more

millenial

Motivating millennials to become boat buyers

Bryant Boats chairman John Dorton is focusing on the upcoming generation of boaters, and he’s taking an aggressive approach to reach that segment. “I call them the millennials, and they’re really the group that we’re after,” Dorton says. “We’re going after the baby boomers, like everybody else is, but we wanted to target that generation,…more

sterndrive

Don’t write off sterndrives

They’ve trailed outboards in recovery, but much quieter, more efficient models are on the horizon The industry has experienced modest gains since the recession, but the recovery hasn’t been consistent across segments. Sales of outboard-powered aluminum boats have rebounded well, and the sport jetboat market saw a resurgence last year. But sales of sterndrive boats…more

jetboat

Two new faces in jetboat field

Chaparral and Rec Boat Holdings will join Yamaha and Sea Ray in the fast-growing market segment Chaparral Boats and Rec Boat Holdings announced within days of one another in April that they’re jumping into the sport jetboat market. But the two companies have generally different approaches — and reasons — for breaking into the segment.…more

debris

Debris or not debris?

That is the question that sent N.J. dealers onto the icy water to test the safety of post-Sandy boating Months after Hurricane Sandy struck, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — still trying to secure federal aid — continued to warn of debris languishing in the state’s waterways. As recently as February the Republican governor said…more

earning

Chilly spring dampens earnings

Poor weather delays season in some states, slowing sales and limiting profits for the quarter Publicly held marine companies posted mixed results for the January-March quarter, attributing losses or reduced profits to cooler-than-average weather, measured against unseasonably warm conditions during the same period in 2012. During conference calls with analysts, chief executives Dustan McCoy of…more

jacobs

Irwin Jacobs’ pontoon alternative

Aluminum/fiberglass Escape will be a ‘game-changer,’ he says, grabbing market share from the tube boats Irwin Jacobs has opened up about a new line Larson Boats plans to unveil this spring — one he hopes will take market share away from pontoons. In fact, the line was kept so hush-hush that before Soundings Trade Only…more

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