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‘Not your grandpa’s IBEX show’

Annual conference offers social media tools, networking opportunities and new-product innovation Organizers of the International Boatbuilders’ Exhibition & Conference have expanded the scope of the upcoming show and added new software and a social media lounge to its offerings. “IBEX continues to evolve throughout its 22 years,” says Carl Cramer, IBEX co-director and the publisher…more

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Leaving troubled times behind

Dealers start to see improved sales as customers decide to hit the water despite uncertain economy Boaters have had enough bad news, and that’s a perfect reason to get out on the water. That seems to be the conclusion of some of the big names in the industry, who say that despite lingering economic uncertainty…more

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Total immersion in the boating experience

Discover Boating is using social media to put the “ing” back in boating. That’s what the program’s marketing manager, Carl Blackwell, told more than 300 people who joined a webinar in May that demonstrated how the national campaign is using social media to spread its message. “Boating, sailing, wakeboarding — we’re promoting the experience,” he…more

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Selling a lifestyle via online video

Social media platforms perfectly showcase boating’s ‘eye-candy’ appeal, say marketing pros Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Flickr, Google+. It’s hard to keep all of the social media platforms straight, let alone turn them into effective marketing tools. But YouTube is the third-most-searched site on the Internet. And with Facebook’s reach expected to climb to a…more

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Luhrs goal: save all brands

Boatbuilding for each would be moved into the Hunter plant if bankruptcy process goes favorably Ask John Peterson what it’s been like to handle bankruptcy proceedings as both president of one of the companies filing and chief restructuring officer and he doesn’t hesitate. He calls it the “most challenging endeavor anybody could ever undertake.” “It’s…more

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Exports remain a bright spot

Despite the eurozone instability, overseas markets are rich in potential for U.S. boatbuilders In recent years, many U.S. boatbuilders have focused on ramping up exports, a trend driven in part by watching competitors offset sagging domestic sales in 2007 and 2008 with robust overseas volume. But just as these companies were poised to explode into…more

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Sail industry charts a growth course

As conference nears, experts share ideas for attacking barriers to wider participation Analysts continue to debate whether Americans will remain in a frugal mindset as the economy plods toward recovery or whether pent-up demand will propel the pendulum back toward more self-indulgence. The sailing industry isn’t waiting for a clear answer. It’s focusing on ways…more

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Clicked, sealed, delivered

YachtCloser offers an automated — and simpler — way to close and execute boat deals online Automating everything involved in a yacht brokerage transaction seems like an obvious concept, but until recently no one in the business had done it. The idea occurred a few years ago to YachtCloser LLC president Brad Parker. He was…more

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Don’t write off U.S. manufacturing

Amid rising labor, shipping costs, some companies bring production back from overseas There are two sides to every coin. Television pundits fret about rising oil prices and the weakening of the dollar against other currencies, but those are two of the factors giving U.S. companies second thoughts about the advantages of manufacturing abroad. Just when…more

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A rebound in ‘retention’

Exhibitors at New England show say fewer deals are being lost to buyer misgivings, loan denials Attendance was relatively flat at February’s Progressive Insurance New England Boat Show in Boston, but some exhibitors say the number of deals that were closed at various price points signals the return of the long-sidelined qualified buyer. “My sense…more

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