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FLIBS 2014: MarineMax has big plans in improved economy

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FORT LAUDERDALE — With a steady influx of new boats from 11 to 100 feet from such brands as Sea Ray, Boston Whaler, Azimut and Scout, MarineMax executives painted a bright financial picture for the industry during a press event Wednesday on the eve of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.

“We’re really feeling good about the economy. … It has been a long time coming,” MarineMax president, CEO and chairman Bill McGill said at the W Hotel.

McGill, who recently received the C.N. Ray Lifetime Achievement Award from Sea Ray, cited the robust sales activity of Sea Ray’s new L-Class as a sign of better times. MarineMax has sold 13 of the new Sea Ray L650 Fly yachts and has already delivered four of them, he said.

“New product is selling and doing very well right now,” he added.

Besides assessing the industry’s temperature, McGill and others outlined new-boat offerings from several of the boat brands MarineMax sells during a presentation to about 75 journalists. MarineMax has 100 boats and 13 displays at the show, McGill said.

McGill’s son, Brett, vice president of the company’s West Operations, told the audience that the outboard boat market is thriving and that MarineMax is eagerly awaiting the addition of the new Boston Whaler 420 Outrage (a four-outboard center console to be unveiled at the show) to its offerings. Brett McGill also said Sea Ray’s express cruiser with a hidden outboard installation — the 370 Venture — “continues to do well for us, and we believe it will continue doing well.”

Chuck Cashman, vice president of the company’s East Operations, announced MarineMax Yachts, an enhanced customer service program for owners of MarineMax boats 50 feet and larger.

“Their commitment to [MarineMax] goes above and beyond and we need to reciprocate in the same manner,” he said. “We are taking [customer service] to a level that’s in line with their commitment.”

The program will feature dedicated yacht sales centers, certified yacht service locations, VIP factory access and exclusive yacht owner rendezvous, trips and parties.

Cashman also said MarineMax will announce at the show that it is the exclusive dealer for Ocean Alexander yachts from Texas to the East Coast. MarineMax will display the new Ocean Alexander 100 at the show.

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