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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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Marine finance upheaval squeezes dealers

Editor’s note: This is where things stood in marine finance in early October. The banking environment, however, was changing on almost a daily basis, and the situation may have changed in the interim. As financial institutions drop out of marine industry finance, dealers say credit has tightened and they worry not only that interest rates…more

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Analysis: Will the ‘bailout’ have buoyancy?

Industry veterans eager for an end to downturn they call the worst ever It has been a tumultuous late summer and fall in the both the marine industry and the economy as a whole. Volatility best describes a time when the largest one-week drop in the history of the stock market was followed on Oct.…more

PWC braking system patent for sale

PWC Industries Inc., a part of Watercraft Innovations, is offering its personal watercraft braking system patent for sale. Fort Myers, Fla.-based PWC Industries developed the system in 2004. U.S. patent No. 7,007,621 was granted in 2006 and also filed in Canada. The company holds rights for a hand-controlled actuator assembly requiring the use of at…more

Dealer Digest

Formula Boats, of Decatur, Ind., recently recognized dealers with Best Practice awards and customer satisfaction achievements. Five dealerships received Best Practice awards at Formula’s dealer meeting at the Sanibel Harbor Resort and Spa in Fort Myers, Fla. Recipients were determined from a review of dealership applications, customer nominations and Formula on-site visits. Another 21 Formula…more

Nautic Global to use Boats.com ad service

Boats.com was awarded a contract to supply the Nautic Global Group (Godfrey Marine and Rinker Boat Company) with its OEM-focused BoatsResults advertising service. The BoatsResults program is designed to enhance existing sales channels by matching shoppers with an OEM’s brands and their dealers. Features include a Real-Time Dealer Locator that returns the closest authorized dealer…more

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A passing storm

In rough-and-tumble market, Grand Pointe Marina increased its service business 20 percent since 2007 When general manager Chris Stevens examined his staffing situation this summer at Grand Pointe Marina, a family-owned boat dealership, he knew he faced some wrenching decisions. Sales were down 15 percent by midyear, and he anticipated a continuation of the drop-off.…more

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For selling, it sure beats a 10-by-10 booth

About seven years ago, Jock West, a marine marketing consultant based in Portsmouth, R.I., hatched an idea to put a new twist on traditional boat show booths. He reasoned that if buyers could see products installed and working on a boat, the real-life presentation would serve as a much better showcase than a static display…more

NMRA chooses new officers, board members

The National Marine Representatives Association announced its 2008-2009 officers and board members during the association’s annual meeting at the recent Marine Aftermarket Accessories Trade Show in mid-July in Las Vegas. The new president of the organization is Tim Luehmann of SM Osgood Co. in Eden Prairie, Minn. Norm MacLeod of ComMar Sales, Tiverton, R.I., steps…more

Analysts: KeyBank’s move could create imbalance

KeyBank’s departure from the marine and RV lending business is raising concerns from analysts about the supply/demand imbalance in the industry. “Shrinking credit availability has the potential to further destabilize these industries,” said Edward Aaron in a report for RBC Capital Markets issued Thursday after the KeyBank announcement. Key’s exposure is more concentrated in the…more

FCC marine head to speak at NMEA convention

Ghassen Khalek, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission’s Marine Division, will speak at the National Marine Electronics Association convention, scheduled for Oct. 1-4 at the Town and Country Resort Hotel in San Diego. Khalek’s presentation will begin at 3:45 p.m. Oct. 3. “The session will cover the AIS and DSC rules from both the U.S.…more

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