For the Record: ARI completes deal for Channel Blade assets

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ARI acquired the assets of Channel Blade Technologies Corp. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The acquisition gives Channel Blade customers access to ARI's e-commerce and Web site marketing capabilities to drive increased dealership revenues and profitability. The acquisition is expected to add more than $3.5 million in revenue to ARI.

"Channel Blade's marine and RV market expertise, its lead generation platform and Footsteps marketing automation solution are great strengths," said Roy W. Olivier, ARI president and CEO, in a statement. "When combined with ARI's proven solutions in the outdoor power, powersports and appliance markets including our WebsiteSmart Pro    e-commerce platform, PartSmart electronic parts catalogs and other marketing services we create a win-win for both companies' customers and employees."

Jon Lintvet, Channel Blade CEO, and Chuck Lewis, Channel Blade founder and president, will both be a part of ARI's management team.

Viking sets its sights on the end of the tunnel

Viking Yachts officials say they believe they are done with layoffs and can soon start bringing people back to work.

Since last year, the New Gretna, N.J., builder has laid off about 550 people, bringing its work force down to about 800, spokesman Peter Frederiksen told Soundings Trade Only.

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Layoffs were done in "dribs and drabs," he says. As boats were finished, a certain number of people would be let go. Workers will be brought back into the company in the same way, as the work allows for it, he says.

"You don't want to bring back more people than there is work for them to do," Frederiksen says.

"There are things happening," Frederiksen says. "There are people out there that want to buy."

Norwood Marine founder Roach is remembered

Stewart W. Roach, founder of Massachusetts-based Norwood Marine and a fixture in the recreational marine industry, died April 10. He was 88.

"He will be remembered as a legend among the Massachusetts recreational marine trades, a true pioneer and a champion of the industry," the Massachusetts Marine Trades Association said in a statement.

In the 1930s, pursuing his passion for competitive hydroplane racing and an aptitude for marine mechanics, Roach graduated from Boston's Wentworth Institute of Technology, instructed the military in marine-engine troubleshooting during World War II and went on to found the yacht dealership Norwood Marine.

During the next 50 years, the business expanded and relocated to the Boston waterfront, becoming one of the nation's leading boat dealers and full service boatyards. Roach also was very active in the MMTA.

Both of Roach's children remain active in the recreational marine industry. Leona Roach, former executive director of MMTA, now runs Marine Consulting Services in Pembroke. Stewart J. Roach operates Norwood Yacht Sales in Boston.

Web site helps dealers respond to online leads

BoatTrader.com, the Web site of Boat Trader magazine, launched a lead management system for its dealer advertisers.

Included as an additional feature in the Inventory Management Tool provided to all dealer advertisers, Boat Trader's Lead Manager offers dealers a central location to manage their leads.

The new feature automatically collects and reports all inbound e-mails from any source, including the dealer's Web site and any third-party Web sites where the dealer's inventory can be displayed. Boat Trader's Lead Manager also reports on all unanswered online leads to help dealers better manage their response time.

"According to AMR Research, 70 percent of all online leads go unanswered. In 2008, BoatTrader.com provided over 740,000 online leads - which means that more than 500,000 potential boat purchases were not made, and millions of dollars were missed," said David Bingham, Boat Trader general manager, in a statement.

Boat Trader and Soundings Publications are divisions of Dominion Enterprises of Norfolk, Va.

ABYC elects officers and board directors

The American Boat and Yacht Council elected new officers and incoming board directors. Election results were approved at ABYC's annual meeting at Broward College in Miramar, Fla.

Gerry Douglas, vice president and a principal of Catalina Yachts, was named chairman of the board and George Bellwoar, vice president of sales and marketing for Perko, was named vice chair.

Dave Marlow, director of product integrity for the Brunswick Boat Group, was named technical chair of the board and Jack Horner, president of Marine Survey and Design Company, is the new treasurer.

Incoming board directors include George Gallup, owner/operator of Gallup Yacht Surveying; Jorge Guerra, dean, Broward College's Aviation Institute, Automotive Training Center and the Marine Engineering Management program; Jonathan Jones, general manager, Haven Harbor Resort Marina; Ken Kershaw, technical director, Royal Yachting Association and European Boating Association; and Bill Munger, owner and general manager of Conanicut Marine Services Inc.

New York show dates returning to January

After seven years, the New York Boat Show is moving out of its holiday dates and back to its traditional timeframe, the National Marine Manufacturers Association announced.

The 105th annual show, which is changing from nine days to five, will take place Jan. 20-24, 2010, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.

"The New York show date change is a major victory for our industry," said Ben Wold, NMMA executive vice president, in a statement. "We couldn't be happier about securing the desired dates for our exhibitors who have continually supported us over these past few years of date challenges. The new time frame will allow us to create and market a much stronger show than in recent years."

From 2003-09, residents throughout the greater New York City region have often missed the show because of the holidays. Attendance at the most recent show, held Dec. 13-21, was down 49 percent, according to the NMMA.

With the January date change, local and regional boating enthusiasts will have a better opportunity to attend the show, creating a stronger selling environment for exhibitors.

"Hopefully, for our dealers, this is good news. This January date is what we've been asking for," Christopher Squeri, executive director of the New York Marine Trades Association, told Soundings Trade Only.

Young industry leaders wanted for MRAA board

The Marine Retailers Association of America is setting up a new Young Leaders Advisory Board to represent the next generation of marine retailers.

The mission of the new group is to "contribute a fresh, unique resource of thoughts and ideas to the MRAA board for the continued efforts to improve and grow the association and the boating industry for the next generations."

MRAA is looking for nominees for the advisory board, which will meet as an individual group twice a year and present ideas and findings to the MRAA board of directors.

Nominees can be up to 40 years old, must hold a position of significance in a dealership, and must have a minimum of five years of marine experience.

Nominations will be accepted through June 20. For information, contact Paul Nickel at Pride Marine Group, pnickel@pridemarinegroup.com, or visit www.mraa.com.

ABBRA marina tour follows IBEX in October

The American Boat Builders & Repairers Association will host a study tour of southeast Florida marinas and boatyards in October immediately following the International BoatBuilders' Exhibition & Conference.

The agenda begins Oct. 14 - the final day of IBEX - with an opening dinner reception and concludes Oct. 16 with a closing dinner. In between, attendees will tour eight facilities in the region, including Merrill Stevens, Harbour Towne, Miami Dade and Lauderdale Marine Center.

Each day, the tour will close with a roundtable discussion facilitated by Jim Bronstien of Marine Business Advisors to analyze the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to each facility on that day's agenda.

Space is limited. E-mail Jessica Slemons at jslemons@abbra.org or call (401) 247-0318.

Museum celebrates 100 years of Evinrude

The Eisner Museum in Milwaukee is featuring a display in honor of Evinrude's 100th anniversary, with engines dating back to 1909.

The exhibit was designed to showcase the history of Evinrude outboard engines and return to its roots in Milwaukee, where Ole Evinrude built the first production outboard.

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"Evinrude outboards have always been at the forefront of the marine industry, introducing many of the standards that you see today," Roch Lambert, vice president/general manager of the Ski-Doo, Sea-Doo and Evinrude division for BRP, said in a statement.

The exhibit will be on display until Oct. 16.

This article originally appeared in the June 2009 issue.

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