121031-G-ZZ999-001 MSU Cleveland Hurricane Sandy

Insurance costs likely to spiral

Big changes loom after a year of weather disasters; marina construction types might get closer scrutiny The insurance company is kinda like the house: It always wins. So what happens after a year that brought more severe weather than any in recent memory — from droughts to wildfires to record numbers of tornadoes to Hurricane…more

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Retail’s rising stature

Dealer conference’s success is called a reflection of the growing importance of quality dealer networks A record turnout, an all-time high in exhibit space and a stream of rave reviews for the 2012 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo all point to a growing recognition of the clout of the show and the quality of the…more

Boater passion — the trump card

Dealer conference panelists say consumer dedication to the lifestyle gives marine industry an edge over others The industry has been dealing with a lot of uncertainty while waiting for Washington to break through the tax/debt impasse, but it’s an industry that’s getting pretty good at dealing with uncertainty. That was the sentiment of Cobalt Boats…more

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Sandy whips up a ‘boat stew’

Hardest-hit areas face a long recovery from ‘incredible destruction’ Nearly two weeks after Hurricane Sandy slammed New Jersey and the Northeast on Oct. 29 there were still thousands without power, fuel shortages and sanctions, and mandatory evacuations. Sandy brought surges of nearly 20 feet in some areas on top of one of the highest tides…more

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Condo threat to marinas ebbs

Real estate bust has scared off developers, but money for boating improvements is still hard to come by From floating concrete docks to fluctuating power requirements, the marina segment of the industry is constantly evolving. And as everywhere else, the sluggish economy has dictated many of the current norms. In a development contrary to most…more

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Dorton has big plans for Bryant Boats

Bryant Boats chairman John Dorton wants to strengthen the brand’s distribution network by signing longer-term agreements and growing dealer margins. The former MasterCraft CEO, who recently acquired a majority interest in Tennessee-based Bryant, has plans for making that happen, with his sights set on markets that include the Deep South, South-Central states, the West Coast…more

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New Hydra-Sports owners go factory-direct

The company’s leading dealer buys the brand and will sell the boats through two Florida outlets Hydra-Sports Custom Boats president Alex Leva, who has been with the brand for 28 years, says breaking the news to dealers that the company was shifting to a factory-direct model after being sold was painful. “Every single one had…more

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A ‘new spirit’ at IBEX

Increased traffic, forecast of sales gains this year and next cheer participants at the big trade show Kate Bilbrey was happy when the International BoatBuilders’ Exposition & Conference moved from Florida to Louisville, Ky., two years ago. The co-owner of Lake Sara Marina in Effingham, Ill., says it wasn’t easy to attend shows when so…more

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Bayliner cruisers are Brazil-bound

Brunswick will build and sell the boats only in South America, with changes planned for the U.S. lineup Brunswick Boat Group’s Bayliner Boats is halting production and sales of cruisers in the United States while ramping up production of that segment at its newly built plant in Brazil. “Brazil and its expanding boat market offer…more

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A centennial that almost wasn’t

With bankruptcy behind it and Jacobs again the owner, Larson Boats eagerly enters its second century Larson Boats has been in the same business for 100 years, and Al Kuebelbeck knows that’s exceptional. As the company celebrates its centennial, Kuebelbeck reflects on the challenges of recent years, from a bankruptcy restructuring to the Great Recession,…more

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