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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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Signs of movement on the lending front

Two banks may enter floorplan field; dealer poll finds some relaxation of retail financing criteria Some shifts in marine lending may be on the horizon — welcome and unwelcome — in an industry that has seen little change since the early days of the recession. Some new players might enter floorplan lending on a regional…more

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Raw facts: Material costs drive up prices

Builders and accessory makers find themselves squeezed while trying to keep prices low for consumers Builders are struggling to keep boat prices stable in the face of a bruised economy and past increases that some believe have outpaced inflation. But fluctuating raw material and commodity prices are making that challenge a tough one. “One place…more

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Waking up to apps

The industry is beginning to recognize big sales potential in the public’s embrace of mobile devices Timothy Kleihege was searching for an app that would help him compare fuel prices along Lake Michigan, where he operates his yacht brokerage, The Mariner Network Yacht Sales. But when Kleihege began searching nautical apps on iTunes, he realized…more

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Exporting to a changing world

Western European markets sag, but U.S. builders see potential riches in Russia, Brazil and Asia Many U.S. boatbuilders have been working to ramp up export sales and are breaking into new territories all the time. Their ventures are not without challenge, but even in these economically difficult times they are also loaded with potential. The…more

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Young Turks making waves

With service as a common theme, a new breed challenges the industry’s status quo When Greg Glogow was given free rein to change the way Southern California-based Sun Country Marine did business, he dove in headfirst. In 2009, at the age of 26, Glogow became vice president of sales and marketing for Sun Country’s three…more

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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

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