MIAMI — New Hatteras Yachts president Kelly Grindle says his timing is good.
Hatteras grew 37 percent in dollars and grew its backlog by 49 percent last year, Grindle said, addressing a group at Yachts Miami Beach Thursday afternoon.
“We have a great foundation to build on here,” Grindle said. “We’re going to continue to grow and lead this industry.”
He spoke next to a 70 Motor Yacht, the company’s newest model with an enclosed bridge, a newer version of the open bridge model.
“I enjoy rolling up my sleeves and being involved with customers,” Grindle told Trade Only Today.
Grindle previously was president of outdoor products at Vista Outdoor in Overland Park, Kansas. Vista Outdoor is a $2.3 billion designer, manufacturer and marketer of consumer products in the outdoor sports and recreation markets.
Before Vista Outdoor, Grindle spent 15 years as senior group vice president of marine electronics, watercraft and diving at Johnson Outdoors in Racine, Wis. He was credited with turning around the company’s watercraft division and quadrupling the size of the marine electronics group through strategic acquisitions and organic growth spurred by innovation.
The boatbuilder has launched HattCON, a ship management system that integrates a yacht’s navigation and the vessel’s monitoring and automation systems, increasing ease of use. It will make its debut on the Hatteras 90 Motor Yacht, slated to launch this summer, but available for virtual reality tours.
“It integrates all the systems on a boat,” Grindle said, from lights to blinds and everything else controlled on the boat. “People expect things to be easy and interconnected, and enjoyable to interact with. It runs on multiple PCs, so there is always backup for safety reasons. There are lots of redundancies built in.”
The company will continue its balance of sportfishing boats and motoryachts, Grindle said.
“There’s a good company culture coming in,” he said. “There can be improvements, particularly in customer experience, but it’s a high-quality boat and people are proud of that. I came in with high expectations … and everything I thought has been confirmed. It’s in good shape.”