Pacific Northwest brokerage announces expansion plans

BananaBelt Boats & Yachts announced a major expansion and a name change.

BananaBelt Boats & Yachts announced a major expansion and a name change.

The Anacortes, Wash.-based brokerage said it will expand its dry-land facility to 6 acres from 1.5, allowing it to accommodate 140 motoryachts for sale in one location.

Groundbreaking on the new facility is scheduled to start Sept. 15, and the company said the work should be completed by early October.

BananaBelt said it is adding staff in line with the expansion — four new brokers and two service staff to serve the new customer base. It also recently changed its name to BananaBelt Boats & Yachts from BananaBelt Boats to better reflect and emphasize the company’s target market of motoryachts from 28 to 70 feet.

“It’s a market-driven expansion,” company owner Amy Ripley Thornton said in a statement. “Currently we can accommodate only 40 yachts, and on a weekly basis we have to turn away four to five vessels.

“This expansion will allow us to change that and serve those boat owners who understand the value and benefits of showing their yachts in our dry-land facility. Because when your boat is out of the water you no longer need to worry about losing bottom paint or zincs, this means lower costs while your vessel is up for sale. It’s also much less expensive to store a boat out of the water than in water, and more environmentally friendly, too.”

Like the current sales facility, the expansion will have stairs and a walkway around all of the boats that allows buyers easy access on and around them. Additionally, from this perspective, buyers can see the top side and bottom of each boat, something that is not possible when the boats are in the water.

“Being able to show buyers the hull shape and condition of a vessel’s bottom allows us to instill more confidence in prospective buyers,” Thornton said.


ABYC Foundation Seeks Nominations for Educator Award

The award recognizes “an outstanding instructor who is shaping future marine service technicians.”

P.R. Firm Rushton Gregory Signs ePropulsion

The Chinese manufacturer of electric propulsion products introduced a standardized lineup earlier this year.

Dometic Updates Pro-Trim System

The new design allows boaters to trim the outboard and adjust the jack plate without removing their hands from the wheel.

Brunswick Partners with Carnegie Robotics

Through the alliance, Brunswick aims to enhance its autonomous technology offerings.

Nicole Vasilaros to Depart NMMA

The group credits the senior vice president of government and legal affairs for “countless contributions to the protection and expansion of the recreational boating industry.”

Site Unseen

A website is often the first interaction a customer will have with a dealership, but it must provide more than an online brochure or they will click elsewhere.

C.G. Amends Documentation Rules

Federally documenting a boat now must be done every five years, rather than annually.

The 2021 Top 10 Most Innovative Marine Companies Awards

The marine industry consistently honors products and people. The industry, however, has not recognized forward-thinking companies that are moving the industry in new directions. Soundings Trade Only’s mission is to reflect, inform and inspire.