Quick Hits: March 26, 2020

NMMA outlines stimulus package; MasterCraft Holdings, Thor suspend production; Polaris still building boats; more boat ramp closures in Fla. and an amended Miami-Dade order; LCI, Patrick, Caterpillar announce some temporary closures.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association is taking a deep dive into the near $2 trillion economic relief package as it makes it way to the U.S. House of Representatives in an effort to clarify how it affects the recreational boating industry. They have complied the provisions in both comprehensive and topline overview formats.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, MasterCraft Boat Holdings, Inc, is suspending manufacturing operations for all of their brands — MasterCraft, NauticStar, Crest and Aviara — at close of business today, March 26. They have not set a date to resume operations. The statement also told investors that the company would withdraw Q1 and full year 2020 financial guidance. 

Polaris, Inc (NYSE: PII) announced one-week suspensions at powersports manufacturing facilities throughout the United States, Mexico and Poland. According to the statement, Polaris would “continue to manufacture and deliver boats to meet retail customer orders.” Polaris purchased Indiana-based Boat Holdings in 2018 and build boats under the Bennington, Godfrey, Hurricane and Rinker brands.

Thor Industries, the Elkhart, Ind.-based RV builder of brands including Airstream, Dutchmen, Jayco and more, announced a temporary suspension of all of its production in North America — following state government COVID-19 guidelines — and a substantial portion of their European-based production. No date was set for resuming production. 

The New Smyrna Beach city commission approved closing all boat ramps, effective Friday, March 27 through April 14. Commercial fisherman will still be granted access. In Miami-Dade County, an amendment was made to the existing emergency order to keep marinas, boat ramps, fuel shops and supply stores for liveaboards and for “emergency maintenance.” Full details here

LCI Industries, Patrick Industries and Caterpillar Inc. all announced at least partial production shutdowns this week. “We are monitoring the situation closely and are poised to promptly re-start production at closed facilities as soon as OEM and dealer partners see a less restricted consumer environment,” said LCI CEO Jason Lippert in a statement


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.