Dealer digest

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Pursuit Boats of Fort Pierce, Fla., will host a marine industry dealership certification launch workshop Aug. 27, following its 2009 dealer conference at the South Seas Island Resort in Captiva Island, Fla.

Non-Pursuit dealers also are welcome to participate.

“We know that in today’s demanding marketplace, customer expectations have never been higher,” said Pursuit’s Ron Burkdoll, in a statement. “The Marine Industry Dealership Certification program will allow our dealers to build further operational enhancements into their dealerships that will improve their customer satisfaction and profitability.”

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Grand Banks Yachts last week welcomed dealers from around the world to its 2008 dealer meeting.

The two-day event, held near the Grand Banks factory headquarters in Singapore, was an opportunity to highlight new products and accomplishments by the company, and to recognize the achievements of its top dealers.

"Despite conditions in the economy and the industry, Grand Banks and our dealers have continued to drive demand for our boats," said Rob Livingston, president of Grand Banks Yachts, in a statement. ”As a result, our production backlog is even better now than it was last year, with much of the order book for 2009 filled up.”

One highlight of the event was the introduction of the first Grand Banks 41 Heritage EU, which will make its public debut in the United States during boat shows this fall. Featuring the joystick-controlled Zeus propulsion system from Cummins MerCruiser, Grand Banks says the 41EU is a bold new take on the boatbuilder’s iconic trawler design.

“We’ve sold out our production schedule on this model well into the foreseeable future, with every dealer taking at least one and many with several on order,” said Livingston.

The meeting also included a tour of the company's 21-acre plant along the southern tip of Malaysia. Dealers were treated to a factory tour that included a demonstration of new resin-infusion techniques, along with a look at other production advancements at Grand Banks.

The dealer meeting was hosted by Rob Livingston and company chairman and CEO Bob Livingston, who announced his forthcoming retirement during the meeting. The senior Livingston has stood at the helm of Grand Banks Yachts for 34 years. He will continue to serve as chairman of the board.

“The list of my father’s accomplishments on behalf of the company and its shareholders is too long to list,” said Rob Livingston. “There is tremendous gratitude among employees, friends and every dealer here for all he has done. He set the bar very high for me and our entire management team.”

Those accomplishments include overseeing a major global expansion of the Grand Banks dealer network. Attendance at the dealer meeting included new dealers from Australia, Russia, Turkey, and Croatia.

Boatworks Yacht Sales, with offices in Connecticut, New Jersey and Rhode Island, received the 2007 Dealer of the Year Award by leading all others in total Grand Banks sales. Regional dealer awards went to Passage Maker Yachts in Seattle for Top U.S. West Coast dealer; Grand Banks Italia for Top European dealer; and recently appointed R Marine for top dealer in Asia and Australia. The overall best individual sales award went to Paolo Murzi of GB Italia.

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