Navionics ‘crowd sources’ with new app

NewsStand allows boaters to read articles that are geo-referenced to popular cruising areas Like the Internet in the 1990s, smart phone applications are quickly changing the way we interact with the world. Urbanspoon, for example, asks users of its app to let it track their locations through the GPS on their phones. Then, with a…more


The economy: What’s next?

Industry began 2011 with optimism, but high unemployment, debt-ceiling battle soured consumers In the fall of 2008, the confidence most Americans felt in the U.S. economy fell right out from under them. News stories were peppered with frightening terms —“toxic assets,” “bank bailouts,” “global recession.” Three years later, the headlines are less apocalyptic. But starting…more


The vanishing ‘late-model-used’ fleet

Unable to meet demand, dealers improvise to push new boats even harder When the recession first reared its ugly head, dealers were caught sitting on way too many boats. As a glut of repossessed vessels entered the marketplace, dealers and builders slashed prices on new boats, trying to lure “bottom feeder” customers intent on buying…more


An unsinkable partnership

Industry stalwarts Nauset Marine and Boston Whaler launch the Cape Cod dealership’s second half-century Dealer celebrations are fairly common. They bring customers together, make them feel pampered and get people excited about boats. However, they don’t usually include Coast Guard helicopters performing rescue demonstrations. But not all dealerships are Nauset Marine, which celebrates its 50th…more

The challenge: Keep prices low as costs rise

Fiberglass sales may not have reached their bottom yet, but Boston Whaler president Tim Schiek feels “comfortable.” “It certainly feels much better than it has in the past,” Schiek said in late July at Nauset Marine’s 50th anniversary celebration. “The season has been good. We believe we’re picking up market share.” The New York, Miami…more


A flashier breed of pontoons

They’ve shed some of the boxy look and are winning converts with their speed and versatility Pat Estep was looking to buy a boat, a fast boat. He’d been using a three-seat Sea-Doo that runs at 65 mph, so he was used to speed. But speed wasn’t the only requirement. Estep and his wife, Christa,…more


Spring 2011: One up in a sea of downs

Despite all the bad news, dealers see a decided uptick in customer attitude The question isn’t so much what went wrong this spring. The question is: Did anything go right? Between the weather, natural disasters, political turmoil abroad, record or near-record fuel prices, a 2-1/2-year economic downturn and gridlock in Washington, D.C., fewer people than…more


Weather didn’t cooperate for dealers

Tornadoes. Epic flooding. Drought. Wildfires. Across the nation, spring brought extreme — in some cases, catastrophic — weather. A reporter’s Facebook inquiry brought 42 comments from people around the country who were directly affected by extreme weather or natural disasters. From unseasonably cool and overcast conditions across huge swaths of the country to tornadoes and…more


A business model with Wall Street roots

Commodities trader-turned-dealer says inventory risk sharing would give builders more ‘skin in the game’ These days, managing millions of dollars of boat inventory carries as much risk as a Wall Street options portfolio. Getting it right can make you money; getting it wrong can cost you everything. That’s how Tim Keane, sales manager at Stone…more


Japan focus is on supply chain

Manufacturers have been running with stock supplies, but they worry about future availability of components Editor’s note: This is a look at where some manufacturers stood in April – about a month after the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami on March 11 that devastated a large area of Japan. With thousands dead, 14,000 missing and a…more

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