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MarineMax signs deal to carry Scarab jetboat line

MarineMax signed an agreement to carry the Scarab jetboat line built by Rec Boat Holdings LLC in an effort to fill a void left when Sea Ray opted not to enter the segment.

"Upon learning that one of our brand partners was not going to enter the jet segment, we knew we had a void to fill,” MarineMax president and CEO Bill McGill said in a statement.

Clearwater, Fla.-based MarineMax has signed on as a premiere retailer for the brand, offering Scarab boats in all 54 retail outlets across the United States.

"One of our key objectives when we built our business plan for Scarab boats was to develop a high-performing network of dealers," Rec Boat Holdings president Roch Lambert said in a statement. “It is obvious that MarineMax not only meets that objective, the well-established company also validates our goal to become a successful competitor in the segment.”

Lambert alluded to the upcoming announcement in an interview with Trade Only Today on Monday. “We have had a pretty impressive roster of [potential dealers] raise their hands,” Lambert said. “We have had far more demand for the line than we will have open points. When I say far more demand, I will tell you, the excitement has been overwhelming.”

Rec Boat Holdings announced their entry into the jetboat market last May, with the first production boat rolling off the line Sept. 12. The new line of Scarab jet-powered boats is powered by the Rotax 4-TEC 1503 jet propulsion system made by BRP.

Sea Ray, another MarineMax partner, announced earlier this month that it was abandoning plans to enter the jetboat market because of the unacceptable propulsion systems in prototypes.

“The primary and by far most significant reason Sea Ray decided not to enter the jetboat market was ... the unacceptable quality, reliability and durability of the propulsion systems in our prototype boats,” marketing vice president Matt Guilford told Trade Only Today at the time.

Lambert told Trade Only that the BRP propulsion system was “superior by a decent distance” to the Weber system that Sea Ray had planned to use, a decision made before BRP made its system available to Rec Boat Holdings as well as Chaparral.

“From our perspective, having one less competitor — and Sea Ray is a great brand — certainly reinforced our potential,” Lambert told Trade Only. “Certainly we have one less strong competitor to contend with, so we’re happy about that from a selfish standpoint.”

McGill says the Scarab boat line complements the MarineMax strategy and offerings.

“We are impressed by the well-defined commitment to quality, customer service and outstanding product design that Rec Boat Holdings offers with their new Scarab brand,” McGill said.

Rec Boat Holdings continues the dealer recruitment process for areas not covered by a MarineMax location and will conduct a global dealer meeting at the company's Cadillac, Mich., headquarters in mid-October.

Click here for the full release.

— Reagan Haynes

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