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E15 runs head-on into market reality

Issue booted back to Congress as EPA finds massive opposition and an unattainable standard The Environmental Protection Agency’s hands are tied when it comes to E15. So says the National Marine Manufacturers Association, arguing that the EPA has punted the issue back to Congress because it is incapable of meeting mandates outlined in the Renewable…more

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And then there’s Texas

Despite serious weather issues, the state’s oil-and-gas-driven economy has kept boat sales on track The oil and shale boom in Texas has brought millions of dollars and thousands of jobs to the Lone Star State so rapidly that in some areas, banks, schools and housing have struggled to keep up with the growing population and…more

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A ‘no man’s land’ in big-boat lending

Loans are available in the $50,000 range, but a credit blemish can torpedo the sale of a larger boat The marine retail lending market has certainly leveled out since the financial meltdown of 2008, when it seemed to change on a daily basis. That’s welcome news to dealers, lenders and manufacturers, who are, by and…more

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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