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

West Marine releases 1Q results

West Marine today reported a 10.9 percent drop in revenue for the first quarter, which ended April 4. “Our first quarter sales were right about where we expected,” CEO Geoff Eisenberg said in a statement. “The boating equipment market continued to be challenged, and all of the well-documented macroeconomic impacts on our industry negatively affected…more

Study lauds Sea-Doo performance

BRP Sea-Doo PWC beat out its competition in acceleration, handling and fuel consumption, according to a recent study by the Florida Institute of Technology. The study tested the newest PWC “musclecraft,” including BRP Sea-Doo RXP-X, RXP 215, RXT-X, and RXT iS 255; the Yamaha FZR; and the Kawasaki Ultra 260X watercraft. The Florida Institute of…more


New faces cheer exhibitors at Boston show

Overall turnout was up, and dealers were encouraged by the higher percentage of entry-level prospects Paul Hegarty of Hyannis Marina echoes the sentiments of many Northeastern dealers when he calls the New England Boat Show “critical.” “We’re prepared to be as aggressive as we need to be,” Hegarty said after the first of the show’s…more


Focus on selling up in this down market

Customers putting off new-boat purchases are good prospects for an electronics upgrade Down markets that inhibit the sale of new boats, cars or planes can create sales opportunities for those whose products and services provide owners with increased real value. This is true for independent automobile service shops like the one that cares for my…more

Consumer spending could be stabilizing

U.S. retail sales, excluding automobiles, rose in the first two months of 2009. According to the Financial Post, the increase suggests U. S. consumer spending — the main driver of the economy for years — may be stabilizing. “The latest retail sales report is an important one, for it increases the probability that this recession…more


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


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


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


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

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