MIAMI 2014: Larson maps its strategy with new rollouts

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MIAMI — Larson Boat Group debuted a 20-foot Striper center console at the Miami International Boat Show Thursday and showed its Escape 25 luxury pontoon boat, introduced just two weeks earlier at the Minneapolis Boat Show.

“What we’re doing is concentrating on what’s selling,” Larson president and CEO Rob Parmentier said. That’s saltwater fishing boats (the Striper line), freshwater fishing boats (the FX series) and pontoons (the Escape).

The only hot segment Larson is not into is ski boats. Parmentier said Larson owner Irwin Jacobs has given him the resources and go-ahead to proceed full-bore and introduce eight new models during the next 12 months.

A former Sea Ray Boat Group president, Parmentier has been at the helm of Larson since last October. “I’ve made five years’ worth of changes in three months,” he said. “There’s a lot happening here.”

Larson director of engineering Ron Sahr said the new Striper is a small boat, but it has a big entry and hull flare that give it a big-boat look. “It’s got a proud stance. It’s where we’re headed in the Striper models,” he said. With its many fishing features, it should also fish like a much bigger boat, he said.

That boat will be available in center console, walkaround and dual console configurations, and it rides a deep-vee hull that delivers a soft, dry ride, he said.

The Escape pontoon, which will come in 22-, 23 and 25-foot models, has a fiberglass deck, aluminum vee-bottom hulls, LED lighting along the bow and a full stand-up cabana at the stern with a head.

“This isn’t grandpa’s pontoon,” Parmentier said.

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