MIAMI — MasterCraft has enjoyed a long history since 1968, but 2015 was a noteworthy year.
Jay Povlin, vice president of global sales and marketing for the company, outlined some of the highlights at the Miami International Boat Show, starting with the Innovation Award the company won there last year for the X23.
“It has a completely customizable surf,” Povlin said during a press event on Thursday. “There’s a lot of innovation in that boat, and most of it was done for friendly usability for the consumer.”
Last July, MasterCraft went public, ringing the opening bell at the Nasdaq — “clearly a big event for us,” Povlin said.
The company also launched the MasterCraft Throwdown, presenting at Grand Rapids, Mich., on Aug. 8. A partnership with national television created the World of X Games, MasterCraft Throwdown, which went to 62 countries around the world, Povlin said.
“That enabled us to get our sport back into the public eye,” he said. “Not only wakeboarding, ski-fly jumping, but several other sports.”
During the event, Freddy Krueger broke the world ski-fly record, soaring 312 feet behind a MasterCraft ProStar boat. “On camera he went 304 feet, so he still broke the 299-foot record,” Povlin said.
MasterCraft also was awarded the 2015 IndustryWeek Best Plant, beating out companies such as Lockheed Martin, Harley-Davidson, and Toyota, companies that have won the designation in the past, Povlin said.
“It’s pretty stiff competition, and we were able to earn it primarily because of our companywide culture — just the level of engagement we have to make sure we built the best boats for our consumers at all times,” Povlin said.
Lastly, the company brought its NXT 20 Global outboard to the Miami show, continuing its “cadence of introducing three products a year,” Povlin said.
“The unusual part of this boat is, with the interior redesign we had a fair amount of space with the big U-shaped seating space,” he said. “That gives flexibility of how you can use the boat.”
“This is a bit of a variation from the core,” he said after the event, “but we’ve sold several boats to a large resort company that operates in the Caribbean. They like the NXT20 Global edition because you can do most everything behind that boat except surfing. Now with the outboard, it gives them some flexibility to give them something appropriate for saltwater use.”