Skip to main content

Annapolis show keynote urges industry: ‘Sell the fun’

Sail America held its general members meeting this morning at a new location, the Marriott Hotel, during the U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Md.

1008annapolis

With about 100 in attendance, executive director Jonathan Banks expressed confidence that the boat show will serve as the beginning of a stronger U.S sailboat industry and marine industry as a whole.

"Attendance is strong at the show. People are more serious about buying and exhibitors are reporting it is a qualified audience," Banks says.

The focus of the meeting, however, was a presentation by keynote speaker Neil Schwartz, director of business development for the research division of the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association.

Schwartz had a simple message for the industry: "Don't sell just boats. Sell the fun and sizzle" - and capitalize on ways to get people onto the water.

"Get butts in boats and make it fun," he said. "If it's not fun, it's work and nobody wants to work."

Schwartz said research clearly indicates that the more often people sail, the less likely they are to leave the sport. "Eight is the magic number," he said. "People who sail more than eight times a year have a much higher likelihood to stay in the sport."

On the business side, Schwartz cited a study conducted with 29 respondents from across the industry.

Seventy-four percent were optimistic about the future, he said. Although respondents see a brighter future, 70 percent think the industry is in a weak state.

His advice to the industry: Expand successful programs and increase access to the water.

- Dieter Loibner

Related

CRUISERS

Industry Mourns Cruisers Yachts Owner

K.C. Stock, who was 84, was known for his “commitment to the employees at Cruisers Yachts.”

GRANDBANKS

Grand Banks Purchases Florida Property

The parcel, which is opposite the company’s Stuart yard, has berths for up to nine boats and will increase service capabilities.

LIMESTONE-Q3

Limestone Boat Co. Posts Q3 Results

Unit production was down compared with the second quarter, and revenues decreased 33%.

SIREN-YAMAHA

Yamaha Dealers Now Carry Siren Systems

Siren Marine’s “Connected Boat” technology can be purchased and installed at more than 2,100 Yamaha outboard dealers.

Northpoint

Northpoint Expands Marine Presence

Northpoint Commercial Finance has partnered with Elite Recreational Finance to offer retail financing.

BRP

BRP Reports 71% Increase in Q3 Revenues

The Sea-Doo manufacturer had total revenue of $2.7 billion, but North American marine retail sales were down 47%.

Airmar

Airmar Announces Training Dates

Certified Installer and SmartBoat system classes are being held this month in New Jersey and next year in New Hampshire.

Norm

The Survey Says …

Surveying customers to find out what they think about your business has never been more important.

1_MDI

Marine Development Inc. Changes Hands

Mick Webber, the former president/CEO and owner of HydroHoist, has purchased the company from its founders.