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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Brunswick buries an old business model

Bayliners, Sea Rays share showroom space in the streamlined company’s dealer-driven strategy Brunswick Corp. has long touted itself as a manufacturer that listens to its dealers. Now, with the Great Recession clinging stubbornly to life, the company seems even more intent on strengthening its retail network and paying close attention to what dealers have to…more

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Past survival, now it’s about winning

President of the new, right-sized Brunswick says no more brands will vanish Andrew Graves, the president of Brunswick Corp. and second in command to CEO Dustan McCoy, leaves little room for interpretation when asked whether the boatbuilding giant will be shedding more brands. “People keep waiting for another shoe to drop, and the answer is…more

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Eager crowds buoy Boston Fall Boat Show

Signs of pent-up demand are evident as the scaled-back event returns after a one-year hiatus After a year on hiatus, the Boston Fall Boat Show drew in a steady flow of serious buyers. “It was critical not to postpone it for two years in a row,” says Larry Russo, owner of Russo Marine and a…more

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Are we pricing out the middle class?

Builders turn to ‘value’ lines, fewer frills, lower hp to make boats affordable They were sometimes called aspirational buyers. They were the people who coveted – and bought – toys they could not afford, using easily available credit, iffy FICO scores, no money down and long loan terms. The generation of consumers that was conditioned…more

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Is this the bottom? Many believe it is

Industry pros, outside analysts expect boat sales to pick up steam in 2011 Disappointing new-boat sales this spring and summer have prompted dealers and manufacturers to get creative in their efforts to outlast one of the nation’s most stubborn recessions. Some dealers have made drastic moves – partnering with former competitors or shelling out cash…more

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MarineMax eyes light at the tunnel’s end

The dealer seeks more value-oriented boat lines and a way to educate consumers on financing MarineMax is taking creative measures to deal with the downturn. The franchise dealership is looking to take on new brands at some locations and acquire properties and dealerships, president and CEO William McGill says. Additionally, MarineMax is looking for more…more

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Southern California feeling the pain

The state’s high unemployment rate and housing market collapse are cutting deeply into boat sales Throughout the recession, South Florida has been the poster child for boating industry hardship, but lately, it seems, that role might rightfully belong to Southern California. Like their counterparts in other regions, dealers in the Los Angeles area were hoping…more

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A rebirth for Triton and Earl Bentz

‘Re-energized’ founder looks forward to a new era of entrepreneurship The new start that Triton Boats will have under private-equity ownership has reignited founder Earl Bentz’s entrepreneurial enthusiasm. “I’m as excited and re-energized as I was when I first started this company,” says Bentz, 58, who will remain at the helm as Brunswick Corp. transfers…more

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Floorplan volume on the rise, GE says

Company estimates approvals are up 10 percent, as boat businesses adapt to new market realities Getting wholesale financing is more likely today than it was a year ago, thanks in part to a “fundamental reset” in the marine industry – adjustments that have positioned companies to make money at lower sales volumes. That’s the conclusion…more

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