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


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


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


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


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


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 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


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 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


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

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