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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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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

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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

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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

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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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Dustan McCoy: ‘The worst is over’

CEO says Brunswick is poised to outpace the recovery he believes is at hand “Oh, hey,” a New England Boat Show visitor called out when she saw the dealer who had sold her a Boston Whaler two years ago. “I love the boat you talked me into.” Brunswick Corp. CEO Dustan McCoy was walking with…more

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An energized Boston show

Enthusiasm and sales replace the funereal mood of the recent past at this year’s New England Boat Show Crowds at the New England Boat Show in Boston seemed genuinely upbeat and positive, and there were more than a few buyers among the throngs. “It’s definitely better this year, and people are definitely more positive,” says…more

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D-Day on emissions is drawing near

Boatbuilders must act quickly to mitigate the full impact of regulations that begin taking effect in July The Environmental Protection Agency wants to prevent hydrocarbons from getting into the atmosphere, and new regulations are prompting a radical overhaul of fuel systems for gasoline-  powered boats. Though the regulations were approved in 2008, some boatbuilders are…more

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Dealer’s choice

With nearly as many boat brands as prerecession but far fewer dealers, builders are going all out to recruit the crème de la crème No one knows how many boat dealers the industry has lost, but everyone knows the number is high. And roughly the same number of builders are vying for a share of…more

Engine builders team up for EPA tests

Effort among BRP, Mercury, Volvo and Yamaha, with the NMMA, makes process less costly Four engine manufacturers banded together this fall to pool data in an effort to avoid costly test expenses and meet environmental regulations. The joint effort among BRP, Mercury Marine, Volvo Penta and Yamaha – in tandem with the National Marine Manufacturers…more

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