Millennials have been making headlines recently and not necessarily for the right reasons.
Letters from the Editor
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.
A recent headline in The New York Times gave me a brief moment of déjà vu: “Saving Striped Bass.”
A boatyard is a good place to be in April, with the whine of a buffer, the smell of bottom paint and the rhythmic report of a pile driver echoing in the distance.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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