It was one of those moments that doesn’t happen every day in our industry. Two boatbuilders, a father and son, running two companies introduced significant new boats earlier this year at the same boat show. A 50-foot powerboat and a 55-foot sailing catamaran.
We’ve talked a lot about older boaters, younger boaters and a more diverse face for the next generation of boat buyers. What about young leaders? It’s not just the guy on the dock or launch ramp who is graying. It’s all of us.
It’s a challenge that all of us in the industry face. How do we take care of today’s customers while also trying to figure out how to capture the next big generation, gathering on the horizon as we speak?
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.
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.