Cape Yachts, based in South Dartmouth, Mass., and founded in 1986 by Dave Nolan, opened a new location on Long Island in Port Washington, N.Y., at Brewer Capri Marine.
Cape Yachts, an authorized Beneteau dealer for 25 years, recently expanded its presence in Essex, Conn., as well.
The dealership stocks both sail and motor yachts from 20 to 55 feet.
Recently, Cape Yachts was selected to also represent Sanlorenzo “Made to Measure”custom yachts from 62 to 126 feet.
Beneteau’s recent acquisition of Rec Boat Holdings means that product lineup could expand again.
Nolan’s vision for Cape Yachts hadn’t yet taken shape when he bought the company in 1989.
“We used to try to be a company that was everything to everybody,” Nolan told Trade Only Today, recalling the first 10 years. “It was frustrating because we would have huge successes and huge failures. What we learned was that if we just chose to be excellent at three or four things and never, ever compromised on those things, we could be OK at the rest. And those three or four things are the things our particular customers care about.”
The company refocused again after the financial crisis in 2008.
“People around you show their true colors when the going gets challenging,” he said. “We severed all relationships except for the ones that showed integrity. We represented a whole slew of brands when it happened.”
“Representing Beneteau on the power and sail side is like having five different boat lines. A lot of that decision, too, is our sales team. We have a lot invested in them. We want their mental capital extended in a specific way. Shops that bring on every single brand, for whatever reason, they’re diluting that mental capital.”
Beneteau, which is celebrating its 140th anniversary this year, has always involved dealers in product development, and the excitement at Cape Yachts makes it a valuable partner, Beneteau USA president Laurent Fabre told Trade Only.
“The fact that they have 300 percent market share on sailboats in their area is living proof of their enthusiasm,” Fabre said. “Now they are even more excited because they had a very good year in the powerboat business. I feel there is the same dynamic. Not only are they good products and good-working products, they are a little bit different, so it makes them easy to sell. That’s what makes dealers really enthusiastic —when products are selling themselves. They don’t have to so much negotiate or justify.”