Nautic Global Group's Polar Kraft employees reached a safety milestone in January, having worked for two years without a recordable safety incident resulting in an injury.
"We are very proud of team Polar Kraft for doing a marvelous job producing high-quality aluminum fishing boats, and especially for achieving this safety milestone," says Jim Orbik, Nautic Global Group's chief operating officer, in a statement. "Safety is a core value and our top priority each and every day, and this achievement is a result of uncompromising commitments to safety."
Investor buys minority share in Lazzara
Lazzara Yacht Corp. received a capital investment from The Crest Group LLC and the private-equity firm now has a minority ownership stake in the company, officials say.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Rich Lazzara, vice president of the privately held family company, says the move will allow the builder to increase its product offerings and distribution centers.
"We want to be able to build a greater variety of boats - from 50 to 130 feet," he says. "Some models that we'll be coming out [with] over the next 24 months, it will help fund those new developments. Secondly, it will help develop expansion not only from a facility standpoint, but an international and domestic distributor standpoint."
In addition to the newest Lazzara model - the 76-foot Breeze launched last fall - the company plans to launch five new models in the next 24 months. The models will help meet demand as Lazzara enters new markets around the world, he says.
A majority of the companies Lazzara competes against have more model offerings and more dealers and the capital investment will help Lazzara stay competitive, he says.
Lazzara says 2010 was a down year for the company, but it hopes that 2011 and beyond will be better because of the investment.
- Beth Rosenberg
Groups join in lawsuit opposing E15
The National Marine Manufacturers Association and several other groups filed suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in December, challenging an October decision by the Environmental Protection Agency to partially approve E15 for a subset of on-highway motor vehicles.
The NMMA joined the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers in a newly formed coalition called the Engine Products Group.
"NMMA regrets having to pursue litigation on this matter, but it is clear that EPA has not fulfilled its statutory obligations to ensure the safe introduction of E15," NMMA president Thom Dammrich says. "Consequently, we and our industry partners have determined that it is necessary to seek relief in the courts in order to protect our manufacturers and our consumers."
The EPA's Oct. 13 decision is based on a petition submitted by the pro-ethanol organization Growth Energy and 54 ethanol producers.
"The scientific evidence demonstrates clearly that E15 is safe not only for newer vehicles - the 2007 and newer approved already by EPA this year - but also for all passenger cars and trucks on the road today," Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis says in a statement released after the lawsuit was announced.
"We support the EPA decision to grant the waiver for 2007 and newer vehicles, and we look forward to EPA's action on 2001 to 2006 model year vehicles," he adds. "Concerns about misfueling are premature, as EPA is drafting a robust labeling rule and will conduct a vigorous public education campaign, and we are confident that the process will be successful."
- Beth Rosenberg
NMMA reports boost in show attendance
With five of its winter boat shows finished, the National Marine Manufacturers Association reported strong crowds at many of them and optimism among exhibitors.
The Atlanta Boat Show, which was a four-day event this year, down from five last year, saw a 1 percent increase in attendance from 2010 despite a late opening because of a snowstorm and an NFL playoff game involving the Atlanta Falcons that was played at the same time as the show. The NMMA says 24,122 people attended this year's show, which ran Jan. 13-16.
The Chicago Boat, RV and Outdoors Show, which ran Jan. 12-16, had a strong start and, at the show's Saturday close, attendance was up 12 percent. However, the Chicago Bears had a playoff game on Sunday, and total attendance was down 7 percent, with 32,069 people attending the event.
The Kansas City Boat and Sportshow, which took place Jan. 13-16, saw a 7 percent increase in attendance; 26,335 people visited the show.
The New York Boat Show, which ran Jan. 19-23, saw a small decrease in attendance. Crowds were down 6 percent from 2010, as 44,565 people attended this year's show; 47,443 were at the show in 2010.
"The confidence is back, and the dealers were generally happy with the show and the type of buyers who came out," show manager Jon Pritko says, adding that a late-week snowstorm and the AFC championship game, which featured the New York Jets, were detriments to attendance.
"It's not just the heads; it's the boat buyers - and we had those people here," he says, offering reports of sales of a $320,000 boat and one at $1 million. "But there was also a good mix of boats sold in the 30-foot range."
At the Minneapolis Boat Show, which ran Jan. 19-23, organizers reported a 26 percent increase in attendance from 2010. The event drew 31,054.
Fiesta Marine inks financing deal
Pontoon boat manufacturer Fiesta Marine Products and investor MK Anchor Financial LLC announced a long-term partnership that will bring new inventory financing to the Fiesta saltwater pontoon dealer network and help expand the Fiesta dealer network.
"We are pleased that this new arrangement with MK Anchor will allow our existing dealers the ability to show and sell from an in-stock position, as well as allow us to reach out to those new dealers who require inventory financing," says Carl Morahan, president of Fiesta Marine.
Privately held Fiesta's saltwater pontoon boats have been built in the Tampa Bay area since 1978.
BlueWater Marine Transport buys company
Fort Lauderdale-based BlueWater Marine Transport recently acquired Morgan Marine Transportation of Atlanta in a move that will expand the company's customer service capabilities. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
With a larger fleet and the addition of more specialized equipment, the company says it will increase the number and size of the vessels it can ship.
"[Morgan Marine's] transportation service offerings complement BlueWater's, and we look forward to continuing to offer the highest-quality vessel transportation domestically and internationally," BlueWater president Matt Amata says in a statement.
Amata will be the president of BlueWater, and Lisa Bauer will continue as general manager of the expanded company.
Perko opens training center in Florida
Perko has opened its new Diurnal Emission System Design Training Facility, part of Perko's 450,000-square-foot Miami manufacturing plant.
The display room is equipped with audio-visual aids for seminars for as many as 25 people. Tours are available to all Perko fuel system customers and prospects for education and training or just to walk through, view options and handle products.
The training center, which opened in January, contains examples of nearly a dozen tank/canister/fuel system configurations, samples of fuel fills, P-traps, vents, ullage tanks, canisters, vapor/fuel separators and fuel system valves.
Garmin signs OEM deal with Bavaria Yachts
Garmin International announced that Bavaria Yachts selected it to be the exclusive electronics supplier for its line of sailing and cruising yachts.
The OEM partnership was announced in conjunction with the Düsseldorf International Boat Show, where the first Bavaria boat with a Garmin electronics package was exhibited.
"We are very pleased to be selected by Bavaria and are confident that our range of innovative and award-winning electronics will meet and exceed the needs of the Bavaria customer," says Engelhard Sundoro, Garmin's director of marine OEM sales and marketing, in a statement. "This announcement demonstrates that Garmin is making great strides in the marine OEM market by becoming the preferred electronics supplier for one of the world's top yacht manufacturers."
Bavaria is among several new OEM contracts Garmin has recently won. Garmin also has added Ranger Tugs, Cutwater Boats and Broom Boats to its roster of marine OEMs.
Distributor expands into Northeast
Allied Marine, the primary distributor for the Ferretti Group brands in North America, recently expanded its operations in the Northeast with the opening of an office in Newport, R.I.
The Allied Marine office in Newport will represent a selection of the group's most exclusive brands, including Ferretti, Pershing, Riva, Mochi Craft and CRN, throughout Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut, in addition to offering brokerage vessels.
The Newport office will operate in concert with the Allied Marine office in Sag Harbor, N.Y., which primarily supports New York and Long Island. The new location will operate year-round; the Sag Harbor office will be open seasonally from May through September.
"The Newport location was a strong strategic choice for us, as we have a significant number of clients with homes in both the Northeast and Florida," Allied Marine president Robert McDougal says in a statement.
This article originally appeared in the March 2011 issue.