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Boat dealers make news when, for example, they add new lines of boats, relocate, get new owners or acquire other dealerships.

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Fighting the economy … and cabin fever

Vermont dealership uses in-house promotions, good service and an emphasis on family to stay busy The owners and employees of Vermont’s Woodard Marine put so much emphasis on pride in a job well done, it’s become the dealership’s motto: People Really Interested Deliver Excellence — or PRIDE. Signs proclaiming that motto hang throughout the dealership,…more

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It’s group therapy with a profit motive

If not for his participation in a 20 Group, Oak Hill Marina owner Phil Miklo says he would not be in business today. Miklo, whose Iowa dealership sells a variety of lines including Chaparral, Bayliner, Maxum and MasterCraft, says he joined a Spader 20 Group to survive in the boat business. The knowledge he’s gained…more

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Indiana dealership keeps things upbeat

B&E uses interest rates, fuel prices, solid service and the fun factor to sharpen its sales pitch Staying positive is a key to success for Michigan City, Ind.-based B&E Marine — a family-owned business that has been around since 1953. Although sales are down, comptroller Rosanne Dwyer says there are still people out there who…more

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There are buyers out there

Here’s a sampling of people who thought now is the time to purchase a boat There’s no doubt there are fewer boat buyers out there, but contracts nonetheless were being signed at several boats shows we attended this winter. One Connecticut dealer, who preferred to be “low-key” and unidentified, says the Harford (Conn.) Boat and…more

Analyst talks about the state of dealer health

Aging inventories are expected to peak in 2009, as are dealer bankruptcies, according to an analyst who spoke with marine industry leaders at the Miami International Boat Show this week. “Executives acknowledged that the current environment is the most difficult seen in their careers,” said Tim Conder, managing director of leisure equity research for Wachovia…more

Viking Life-Saving moves Seattle station

Viking Life-Saving Equipment of Miami is moving its Seattle service station to a 6,000-square-foot facility on the Duwamish Waterway. The new location will open March 1 and ensure better access to the ports of Tacoma and Seattle, according to the company. The new station is equipped to service Viking’s entire line of products, including the…more

Tech expo attracts wide array of attendees

More than 200 marine technicians from 28 states attended this year’s National Marine Service Expo hosted by the Association of Marine Technicians. The event, held Jan. 15-19 in Ormond Beach, Fla., featured technical training courses on a variety of subjects, from engines to electrical systems to fuels and fuel additives. This year, Amtech extended its…more

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A rapidly shrinking lending landscape

Dealer concern mounts as Textron’s pullout leaves only GE and Bank of America as floorplan players Still coping with the September loss of KeyBank as a retail and commercial marine lender, the industry was dealt another blow in December when Textron Financial Corp. said it is quitting marine floorplan financing. The pullouts leave boat dealers…more

Dealers applaud ‘50-50’ boat show mix

The NMMA eases limit on display of 2008 models in a bid to help clear inventories Industry leaders are hoping a policy change allowing for expanded display of older model-year boats at the winter shows will help dealers clear excess inventory from their showrooms. “The vast majority [of dealers] say, ‘This is really going to…more

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Snow, economy, timing all hurt N.Y. show

Turnout falls more than expected, as the NMMA awaits word on better dates for next year’s exhibition The economy, pre-Christmas dates and a snowstorm combined to hold down the turnout at the 104th New York National Boat Show Dec. 13-21 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. The show took place nearly two weeks earlier…more

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