Skip to main content

The dog ate my homework

Last Thursday my Blog may have seemed confusing. It certainly was to Anonymous Bob who commented with the question: “How does the title of your post relate to your actual post?”

Well, Anonymous Bob, thanks for reading and you got me! The title didn’t relate to the post. I’d like to blame it all on the old dog, but in this day of writing on a laptop and e-mailing via an air-card from anywhere, my computer “ate” one title with another blog subject.

So, going back to last Thursday’s title, OUTBOARD MODEL YEAR ELIMINATION STILL UNCOMFORTABLE, you should have been reading my observation that concern about the change by some engine builders isn’t going away with time. Most dealers continue to say they believe it serves the manufacturer’s interests to the possible detriment of dealers and their customers. There has been at least one published report of a consumer, upon learning his new outboard was actually a year old engine, refused the boat and demanded a refund. Moreover, in states where outboards are titled, there may be direct conflict with existing state law (Ohio, for example.)

Equally serious is the concern being expressed in the financial community. The National Marine Bankers Association (NMBA) has given the change a less-than-warm reception. “We have concerns,” says Flagstar Bank’s Jim Coburn who is also president of the National Marine Bankers Association. “I think it can be kind of disruptive to consumers’ easy access to F & I product. We finance units, boats, motors, trailers, based on what the birthdate of the product is. So, particularly on used [product] if we wanted to finance a boat, motor, trailer, and - say it’s three years from now - and they abolished the model year, we’re not going to really know what to value that outboard at. And when it becomes the biggest part of the financing package, it’s going to make it pretty tough,” he explained.

Specifically, Coburn predicts lenders will struggle with setting collateral values in such cases. He also acknowledges dealers are concerned about what lenders are going to do when all this actually hits. “The lenders,” says Coburn, “haven’t gotten a lot of feedback from the manufacturers, yet, as to why they are doing this. The best answer we got is they were doing it to clear out some inventory.”

The subject is on the agenda and will be discussed at the upcoming NMBA Conference slated for September 30. It is also on the agenda at the MRAA National Convention in Las Vegas, November 26-28. One thing is certain: the change will not only effect lenders and dealers, but insurers, price guides, consumers and even some state agencies. And, as NMBA and MRAA have indicated, the manufacturers that have eliminated the model year have been laying conspicuously low when it comes to any explanations or feedback!


Year-End Tax Planning Guidance

These tips can help employers maximize cash savings, minimize tax exposure and more

Mercury Marine to Open Ind. Distribution Center

The new 512,000-square-foot facility will help the manufacturer meet record consumer demand for parts and accessories. The company is also expanding production at its main campus in Wisconsin.

GM Invests $150 Million in Pure Watercraft

An interview with Pure founder and CEO Andy Rebele.

Sea Tow, Southport Boats Form “Peace of Mind” Partnership

Sea Tow’s Gold Card, which includes two years of coverage, will now come standard with new Southport models.

Yamaha Rightwaters Goes International

The conservation initiative becomes an international effort as Yamaha Motor Australia joins a cleaner-ocean campaign.

Perfect Timing

With all the new boats sold recently, it’s inevitable that a good percentage will wind up on the used market. MRAA has launched a Certified Pre-Owned Boat Program to help dealers strengthen this profit center.

A Boatbuilder in Congress?

Robert Healey Jr., of Viking Yacht Co., is running for a U.S. House of Representatives seat in New Jersey.

Monterey and Blackfin to Expand Operations

The company will add 50,000 square feet of manufacturing space to meet increased demand, creating 150 job opportunities.