Could we be in the midst of the new “good old days” without fully recognizing them? Perhaps. Time will tell, but you could certainly make a case for it.
Letters from the Editor
As we move into the heart of boat show season, much of the focus is on new boats and the latest technology and features that builders have packed on board. So it seems counterintuitive to suggest that builders and dealers not concentrate their marketing efforts on the latest and greatest improvements in propulsion, performance, layouts…more
The post-recession mantra for success in new-boat sales has gone something like this: People want new, and they want innovation.
Boating and fishing draw participants with the same strong magnet. Both activities promise fun, relaxation, family time, the great outdoors, adventure and so on.
Boats don’t like to sit for extended periods of time on the hard or in their slips. Things deteriorate faster during prolonged idleness — systems and parts stiffen, freeze, gum up and so on. Boats like to be underway.
If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so, too, is affordability. After all, one person’s yacht is another’s runabout. It all depends on your perspective — and what you can afford.
Early this year, when the financial markets were plummeting and the “R” word was back in the headlines and in conversations, I spoke with a boatbuilder who referred to himself and his colleagues as “canaries in a coal mine.”
Success in our industry will continue to be determined by the economy and its allies, from consumer confidence and employment to the stability of financial markets. Growth in boating also will be influenced by demographics, from population shifts to generational trends, with their effects on everything from culture to the economy.
Going into the Miami boat shows, economic uncertainty was again in the air, ratcheted up this time by concerns about the degree to which global economic problems might weigh on U.S. growth.
So what are buyers looking for in a new boat today? Value? Innovation? Performance? All three and more, perhaps?