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.”
Letters from the Editor
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?
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?