MarineMax CEO touts new Galeon line

Galeon is expected to compliment the MarineMax lineup rather than compete with brands like Sea Ray and Azimut.

Polish yacht builder Galeon is expected to complement the MarineMax lineup rather than compete with existing yacht brands like Sea Ray and Azimut.

“We’re very excited about that product, not that it’s going to compete against Sea Ray or Azimuts, it’s to fill a void,” CEO Bill McGill told investors and analysts during a call Thursday to discuss first-quarter results. “There are some value brands out there from Europe, and the United States, that have created us some angst from a pricing standpoint, and so here we have a quality product at a good price.”

The idea is that customers will start with a Galeon and move to a higher-end product later, McGill said, instead of turning to another dealership.

“Galeon has been manufacturing yachts for 30 years and is recognized around the world for its commitment to innovative design and craftsmanship,” he said. “It brings together old world craftsman ship combined with new world ingenuity and creativity. While staying focused on quality, Galeon’s value positioning in the marketplace makes it a complimentary addition to our brands, and it should be additive.”

McGill pointed out that the 50-foot Galeon model recently won as European Powerboat of the Year in its category at the Dusseldorf Boat Show.

The company will launch the brand to the public at Yachts Miami Beach, which is slated Feb. 11-15 along Collins Avenue in Miami Beach.

It will ultimately carry 10 Galeon models ranging from 38 to 66 feet.

Our sales of Galeon will be limited due to product availability in the short term,” McGill said.

The company was able to achieve its highest earnings before taxes in a December quarter in more than a decade, due in part to fresh new product from the investment manufacturers like Sea Ray, Azimut, as well as boat builders like Boston Whaler and Scout.

Several manufacturers had products that were “long in the tooth,” which hurt sales, McGill said.

“The big big difference today is that manufacturers have been investing in new models in a big, big way,” said CFO Mike McLamb. “Sea Ray’s been doing it a lot, but you can see it in the new products from Malibu or anyone who’s public, the new stuff is selling, and it’s selling well. There was such a void for so long in our industry.”


‘We’ve been working our butts off’

With his boatbuilding pedigree, 28-year-old Philip Faulkner launched Avid Boats in just six months. The startup has a facility, financial backing, boats on the line and big plans going forward.