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.
Letters from the Editor
So what are buyers looking for in a new boat today? Value? Innovation? Performance? All three and more, perhaps?
It’s prediction time once more.
Who isn’t rooting for a successful comeback from Bertram? The iconic brand was such a big part of this industry, starting in the early fiberglass years, that it seemed a shame to watch it wither away. And the deep-vee hull that Dick Bertram built his company’s smooth-riding reputation on (kudos to designer Ray Hunt) is…more
Boats are to our industry what elephants are to a circus. They’re the big draw, the main attraction.
The waters in the waning weeks of summer were brimming with boats. Warm, dry weather in the Northeast and elsewhere brought out boaters by the score. The fact that Labor Day weekend gasoline prices were as low as they’ve been in 11 years didn’t hurt, either.
The conversation took place maybe a dozen or more years ago at a Trade Only roundtable meeting at the Miami boat show. We were having a discussion with industry leaders on a wide range of issues, including the ascendancy of the baby-boom generation.
We casually toss around words like innovation, quality and adaptability today as if they were so much small change. But how many companies are really doing the hard work of innovation?
The question has been on the table for some time: What happens when the members of the large generation of baby-boom boaters swallow their collective anchors and exit stage left?
I was having dinner recently with an industry veteran when he shifted the trajectory of our conversation and said, “You know, Bill, you and I are stuck in this industry. We’re lifers. We’re not going anywhere.”