MIAMI 2016: BRP expands market for Rotax technology

MIAMI — Canada-based BRP is in the process of making its Rotax jet propulsion technology available to additional U.S. boatbuilders.

MIAMI — Canada-based BRP is in the process of making its Rotax jet propulsion technology available to additional U.S. boatbuilders for the first time since 2013, though it hasn’t confirmed how many.

The company plans to enter agreements this year with “less than 10, but more than two” additional builders, Alain Villemure, vice president and general manager of BRP’s marine propulsion systems division, told Trade Only Today during the Progressive Miami International Boat Show Friday afternoon.

That is in addition to Glastron and Scarab, two brands in the lineup of Rec Boat Holdings (now owned by Beneteau Group) and Chaparral, which sells jet boats under the name Vortex. Those agreements were confirmed in May 2013.

Since then, the company has only given U.K.-based Williams Jet Tenders access to its propulsion system. “We’re seeing the segment is growing,” Villemure said.

BRP has moved carefully to ensure each company has time to develop a product and dealer network around the Rotax system, BRP CEO Jose Boisjoli told Trade Only.

That timing is different for each company. “We want to help make them as successful as possible,” Boisjoli said. “Scarab moved a bit faster because they signed dealers from Sea Doo.”

Until Friday, Glastron and Scarab were being led by Roch Lambert, who had years of jet boat dealer connections from his time as vice president and general manager of Sea-Doo, Ski-Doo and Evinrude for BRP US Inc.

On the other hand, “Chaparral had to go to existing dealers, and then explain and give training about the Vortex line,” Villemure said.

BRP will be sure that new companies that sign agreements for Rotax propulsion — and the dealer networks that come with them — complement each other instead of directly competing, Boisjoli said.

“Scarab and Chaparral are very complementary,” Boisjoli said.

Boisjoli also mentioned that PWC sales were up 25 percent and added that the company was always innovating, investing 4 percent of revenue in research and development — “If you come with the right thing, at the right time,” it works, he said.



Star brite introduces Marine Descaling Fluid—a powerful, easy way to descale raw water-cooled systems using recirculation. It saves time, energy, and a lot of headache, allowing for a faster, cost-effective return-to-service for equipment.

NAW Elects 2021 Officers

Michael Medart of Medart Engine and Marine takes the helm as chairman of the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors board.

Caterpillar Names Global Manager

Alex Berg will lead the manufacturer’s pleasure craft and yachting segment.

Nearly 320K Boats Sold in 2020

NMMA says new-boat sales are at their highest level in 12 years, with all powerboat segments up 8 to 22 percent.

‘Injection of Capital’ for Cox Powertrain

The British company said it will use the $16.7 million to expand operations and ramp up production of its CXO300 diesel outboard.

Groupe Beneteau Releases Preliminary 2020 Financials

Revenues were down 15.1 percent for the 16-month period that ended Dec. 31. A full report is due next month.

A Modern Twist on Word of Mouth

The supercharged power of user-generated content.