Letters from the Editor

Builders who walk the walk know their boats best

Samuel Zemurray was known as “Sam the Banana Man,” and one of the business tenets of this Russian immigrant who would become a mogul in that tropical fruit trade was: “Go see for yourself.” In other words, nothing beats boots on the ground and assessing a situation with your own two eyes, which in Zemurray’s…more

ABC: Boating’s seat at the helm of government

Want to help move the dial? A good place to start is at the American Boating Congress May 8-9 in Washington, D.C. Come to the Capitol and make your voice heard. We’ve got a good story to tell about the economic impact of recreational boating and the jobs our industry creates. And there are a…more

Coastal property worth $17 trillion awaits next Sandy

On the 70th anniversary of the 1938 hurricane, catastrophe risk modeling firm Risk Management Solutions produced a comprehensive analysis and report of that seminal storm titled: “The 1938 Great New England Hurricane: Looking to the Past to Understand Today’s Risk.” The 2008 report is available online and is well worth reading. In the analysis, the…more

The adjustment to a shrinking boating universe

The downward trajectory in boat registrations comes as no surprise to people such as Info-Link’s Jack Ellis, who makes his living working with numbers and spotting trends and patterns. Registrations fell for the second consecutive year in 2011, to about 12.17 million boats. That represents a decrease of about 265,000 from 2010, when the numbers…more

The silver lining’s coming into focus, but oh so slowly

There was a weekend last summer when the harbor and bay and anchorage where I do a good bit of my boating was just about filled to the gills with boats. It was one of the first times since the economy went downhill that the tribe seemed to be back in full force. It had…more

It’s payoff time for recession’s R&D disciples

The headline surprised me: “U.S. to be World’s Top Oil Producer in 5 Years.” Just a few years ago, who’da thunk it? Recently I was studying a series of photos showing a triple-outboard-powered boat crabbing into a slip with the outboards positioned at different angles? Just a few years ago, who’da thunk that? Innovation and…more

The boat isn’t the only thing you’re delivering

There was a lot of experience on the small stage in the IBEX seminar room, which meant that a lot of real-world advice was dispensed. Speakers Bing Fishman and Don MacKenzie are not, after all, pie-in-the-sky guys. They’ve been on the front lines of sales and customer service for their entire careers and have a…more

Serious, savvy buyers returning to docks as new boats arrive

About the same time that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke was announcing an aggressive program to buy mortgage-backed securities to boost the economy, a middle-aged couple stepped aboard a new Cutwater powerboat and began a close inspection. It was the opening day of the Newport International Boat Show and I was on the boat talking…more

An efficient way to chart your boat’s health

Let’s face it. Boats are only going to get more complex and content-rich. More and more, they resemble our cars and our homes in terms of features, comforts and systems. All good, right? Well, yes and no. For an industry where poor service and reliability are sometimes cited as reasons newcomers leave the ranks, how…more

When economy collapsed, he ‘built the reputation’

In another lifetime, when Scott Hanson was in corporate advertising and communications, he did an analysis for a bank comparing the post-recession performance of companies that dramatically cut their marketing during downturns with those that didn’t. Not surprisingly, businesses that stayed in the market and continued to toot their horn did significantly better when things…more

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