Dorton has big plans for Bryant Boats

Bryant Boats chairman John Dorton wants to strengthen the brand’s distribution network by signing longer-term agreements and growing dealer margins. The former MasterCraft CEO, who recently acquired a majority interest in Tennessee-based Bryant, has plans for making that happen, with his sights set on markets that include the Deep South, South-Central states, the West Coast…more


New Hydra-Sports owners go factory-direct

The company’s leading dealer buys the brand and will sell the boats through two Florida outlets Hydra-Sports Custom Boats president Alex Leva, who has been with the brand for 28 years, says breaking the news to dealers that the company was shifting to a factory-direct model after being sold was painful. “Every single one had…more


A ‘new spirit’ at IBEX

Increased traffic, forecast of sales gains this year and next cheer participants at the big trade show Kate Bilbrey was happy when the International BoatBuilders’ Exposition & Conference moved from Florida to Louisville, Ky., two years ago. The co-owner of Lake Sara Marina in Effingham, Ill., says it wasn’t easy to attend shows when so…more


Bayliner cruisers are Brazil-bound

Brunswick will build and sell the boats only in South America, with changes planned for the U.S. lineup Brunswick Boat Group’s Bayliner Boats is halting production and sales of cruisers in the United States while ramping up production of that segment at its newly built plant in Brazil. “Brazil and its expanding boat market offer…more


Where dealers go to ‘get smarter’

Nov. 11-14 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo is a treasure trove of ideas, networking and new products What do you get when you put a Harley Davidson 20 Group moderator, a social media guru and an exhibit expert in a room? You get this year’s Marine Dealer Conference & Expo, which will blend new speakers…more


A centennial that almost wasn’t

With bankruptcy behind it and Jacobs again the owner, Larson Boats eagerly enters its second century Larson Boats has been in the same business for 100 years, and Al Kuebelbeck knows that’s exceptional. As the company celebrates its centennial, Kuebelbeck reflects on the challenges of recent years, from a bankruptcy restructuring to the Great Recession,…more


Industry goes politicking

Takes its message of economic clout — $72 billion — and jobs to the parties’ national conventions The National Marine Manufacturers Association took advantage of this summer’s national political conventions to make its case that the boat industry is an integral piece of the U.S. economy. Appeals for supportive policies that began at the Republican…more


The ‘villages’ of Lauderdale

The huge Oct. 25-29 show is streamlining itself into themed segments to ease access The term “theme park” might not spring to mind when reflecting on the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, but that’s a model producers are trying to emulate in their efforts to make the mammoth show more accessible: They’re creating “villages” themed…more

Staying big but not overwhelming

Size of largest boats, range of vessels, gear hallmarks of FLIBS, but organizers taking steps to simplify show When it comes to the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, it’s true: Size matters. Show organizers are quick to point out that the exhibits represent every facet of the marine industry — from runabouts to megayachts to…more


Baja edges back into boatbuilding

The company resumes work on four models after prolonged and complex bankruptcy proceedings Baja Marine has resumed boatbuilding operations at its Washington, N.C., plant after a complicated court battle and two Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings in three years. In mid-August, the company began building the 247 Islander, 26 Outlaw, 278 Performance and 30 Outlaw models,…more

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