Letters from the Editor

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TradeOnlyToday’s team of reporters and editors have been bringing you daily industry news stories for almost 15 years, through the boom years, the lean times and this latest period of recovery. Like you, we have been there to witness the changes first hand and to try and provide perspective on our evolving industry.

Bring them into the fold with a ‘low-cost boat’

I first heard industry veteran Augusto “Kiko” Villalon speak more than five years ago at an IBEX panel discussion in Miami Beach titled “Surviving the Storm.” Kiko, as he is widely known, outlined his idea for an affordable, fuel-efficient, single-engine, semidisplacement cruising boat that he believed would retain or bring new people into the sport.

Mood over Miami shows was clear and bright

I left New England in a predawn snow squall and returned six days later with heavy afternoon snow falling. In between, Miami had what should easily prove to be the strongest shows since the recession.

Quality must match our customers’ expectations

I’ve always held a “glass is half full” attitude when it comes to our industry, in large part because of the resilience of small, smart business operators and the enduring attraction we have to the water.

Here’s my 2 cents on the next 12 months

It feels at long last as if we’ve turned a corner, as if we’re on a train that has left the station and is not going to come off the tracks or be towed back to the maintenance yard for lengthy repairs.

FLIBS proved it’s time to start dreaming again

I met a guy on the bus running between venues at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show who wants to become part of the industry. Tim Wilhelm, 47, is a Florida boat nut with a good job that pays the bills, but the day job doesn’t speak to his passion.

Over the shoulder, American builders can see China

Consider this the first of several “meditations” on boatbuilding, the U.S. consumer, China and trends both domestic and global. Post-recession, the U.S. boatbuilding industry remains a unique mix of mostly small businesses — from tiny one- to three-person shops turning out a handful of boats a year to larger operations employing hundreds and producing hundreds…more

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