Boating Industry magazine announced its 2018 Top 100 dealers Wednesday evening during an event at the Marine Dealer Conference and Expo in Orlando, Fla. BI said the Top 100 is the only independent ranking of boat dealers in North America. It recognizes dealerships that are strong in business operations, professionalism, marketing tactics, customer service and more. The rankings and awards were started in 2005.
“From the thousands of dealers in North America — and hundreds of nominations — these 100 dealers are the best of the best,” said Jonathan Sweet, Top 100 program director. “With growth of more than 16 percent, this elite group more than doubled the growth rate of the industry as a whole.”
Sweet said that the list of nominations continues to grow, “with dealers setting new records that outpace the market. The Top 100 and Hall of Fame achieved revenue of nearly $3.6 billion in 2017, half a billion more than 2016.”
The magazine named Sail & Ski Center of Austin, Texas, as its Dealer of the Year. “Sail & Ski Center continues to impress with its customer service, marketing, workforce development and industry advocacy," Sweet said. The dealership grew revenue to record highs in fiscal year 2017, up 8 percent from 2016. That was on top of more than a 30 percent increase in 2016.
Boating Industry also named six dealerships in its Top 100 Hall of Fame. They included Galati Yacht Sales, Gordy’s Lakefront Marine, Legendary Marine, MarineMax, Prince William Marine Sales and OneWater Marine Holdings.
The magazine also recognized eight companies with special Best in Class awards, for excellence in one area of their business. They include Best Industry Advocate — Irwin Marine, Laconia, N.H.; Best Customer Service — Buckeye Marine, Bobcaygeon, Ontario; Best Digital Strategy — Boulder Boats, Henderson, Nev.; Most Training & Benefits — Parks Marina, Okoboji, Iowa; Special Recognition — Vallely Sport & Marine, Bismarck, N.D.; Best Marketing — Russell Marine, Alexander City, Ala.; Best New Idea — Futrell Marine, Hot Springs, Ark.; Best Service Department — Regal & Nautique of Orlando, Orlando, Fla.
The top 20 members of the Top 100:
1. The Sail & Ski Center, Austin, Texas
2. Seattle Boat Company
3. Russell Marine, Alexander City, Ala.
4. M&P Mercury Sales Ltd., Burnaby, B.C.
5. Strong's Marine, Mattituck, N.Y.
6. Pride Marine Group, Bracebridge, Ontario
7. Parks Marina, Okoboji, Iowa
8. Quality Boats of Tampa Bay, Clearwater, Fla.
9. Marine Connection, West Palm Beach, Fla.
10. Action Water Sports, Hudsonville, Mich.
11. BMC Boats, Longwood, Fla.
12. Irwin Marine, Laconia, N.H.
13. Hagadone Marine Group, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
14. Regal & Nautique of Orlando, Fla.
15. Oak Hill Marina, Arnolds Park, Iowa
16. Buckeye Sports Center, Peninsula, Ohio
17. Marine Sales Group, Memphis, Tenn.
18. Futrell Marine, Hot Springs, Ark.
19. Austin Boats and Motors, Austin, Texas
20. The Boat Shop, Tafton, Penn.
A complete listing of the 100 dealers is here.