Quick Hits: December 1, 2020


Freedom Boat Club has named its 250th location in Delran, N.J., slated to open next spring as the first Freedom franchise in the Philadelphia metro area. Its owners — Bev, Josh and Tom Rosella — run and manage eight other Freedom Boat Club spots in Delaware, southern New Jersey and New York’s Hudson River Valley. “We are thrilled to be part of such an important milestone for Freedom Boat Club,” said Bev Rosella in a statement. “When we opened our first location, we hoped that we could create an experience for our members that would allow them to have lifelong memories on the water… [and] we look forward to meeting new boaters in the Philadelphia area.” According to parent company Brunswick Corp., Freedom’s franchises have grown substantially since May of 2019 from 170 to 250 locations across 31 states, Canada and Europe. “Freedom continues to exceed our growth expectations and reach new heights. I remain encouraged and excited about our continued momentum as we head into 2021,” said Freedom Boat Club network president Cecil Cohn. 

ShoreMaster LLC, which merged with HydroHoist LLC last year, has acquired Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Neptune Boat Lifts Inc., giving the company a presence in saltwater marine markets and the ability to accommodate all boat types, sizes and applications. “Neptune is a leading brand in the saltwater lift market, one of the most important and fastest-growing markets in the industry,” said ShoreMaster CEO Don Hurley in a statement. The addition of Neptune, and the company’s dealer network, allows ShoreMaster to expand in Florida and other U.S. markets, as well as provide new product offerings to its existing dealers, said Hurley. 

Julie Balzano has joined MarineMax as brand marketing manager. Balzano has held marketing roles with Young & Rubicam, Enterprise Florida and was senior director of the National Marine Manufacturers Association’s export and workforce program development for the last eight years. She will be tasked with directing marketing for Aquila, Azimut, Galeon as well as MarineMax Vacations. "I look forward to continuing my career in recreational boating here at MarineMax," said Balzano in a statement. "Boating is a beautiful outdoor pastime for our country and an important economic driver, employing many Americans. I'm thankful to be a part of this dynamic company and to contribute in my small way of supporting the boating lifestyle." "We are thrilled to welcome Julie to our team,” said director of marketing Abbey Heimensen. “Her depth of experience makes her the perfect candidate. We look forward to learning a lot from Julie as she thrives in her new role." 

More people bought fishing licenses in Arkansas last summer than in the past, and even repeat license holders fished more often than usual, according to a study that polled 1,600 license holders. Results indicated that 98 percent of respondents said fishing was at least a somewhat safe activity during the activity, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s Fisheries Division biologist Jessica Feltz told the Hot Springs Village Voice. “We are just moving forward with discussions on how we can retain these new anglers and anglers who have rediscovered fishing,” Feltz told the newspaper. The study was part of a larger national study by Louisiana State University on the pandemic’s effects on fishing licenses.


How to Go Strong For 75 Years!

The 4th generation, family-run Strong’s Marine has put client service at the top of its agenda for over 75 years.

NMLA Releases Annual Statistical Report

The National Marine Lenders Association’s annual report shows that marine loans increased significantly in the past two years, primarily among boat owners aged 45-54.

IBEX Education Conference Schedule Announced

The International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition & Conference will host 2021 pre-conference sessions, tech talks, online workshops and more.

World Cat Acquires New Facility

The catamaran builder adds a 265,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in N.C.

Executive Appointments at Numarine

The Turkish builder names head of international sales and assigns a domestic sales manager.

Click&Boat Accelerates Global Growth

A significant investment from private equity firm Permira is supported by a partnership with Boats Group.

Workforce Solutions Amendment Approved in Mass.

The Bay State’s 2022 budget includes $150,000 in workforce-development funding to support the efforts of the Massachusetts Marine Trades Association.

Palm Beach Readies Revamped Marina

The South Florida town is nearing completion of a $40 million renovation of its public marina.