Skip to main content

Smoker Craft mourns international sales manager

John Babbitt, the international sales manager for Smoker Craft, died earlier this month at his home in Indianapolis. He was 69.

John Babbitt, the international sales manager for Smoker Craft, died earlier this month at his home in Indianapolis. He was 69.

A graduate of the University of Maine and the Thunderbird International School of Management in Glendale, Ariz., Babbitt handled international sales for Smoker Craft for the past 14 years and was a well-known and highly respected member of the company’s global sales team.

Born in Austria, Babbitt initially followed in his father’s footsteps and answered the call to military service, serving as a tank commander in the U.S. Army. Afterward he began a lifelong career in the recreational boating industry, starting with Starcraft in the early 1970s as the company’s export manager.

Babbitt’s international experience led him to form his own company with partner Ed Cheikh in the early 1980s, representing Jeanneau in the United States while also promoting a number of American boat brands in overseas markets.

After further experience with Mariah, he returned to the Smoker Craft family for good in 2002, assuming responsibility for international sales.

Although he was married three times, Babbitt did not leave any children.

“John will always be remembered for his warmth and generosity,” the company said in a statement. “He was truly a larger-than-life personality who took no greater delight than sharing his intense love of travel, fine dining and French wines at every opportunity. He will be sorely missed.”



NMMA: Proposed Speed Rule an ‘Existential Threat’ to Industry

The association is calling on every marine brand, employee and boat owner to file public comment by Oct. 31 over a sweeping regulation to protect North Atlantic right whales.


Axopar and Nimbus Renew Agreement

The boatbuilders have entered an agreement whereby Nimbus Group will retain exclusive rights to sell Axopar boats on the Swedish market.


Hurricane Ian Leaves Devastation in Florida

The storm left a wide swath of destruction, heavily impacting marine interests from Tampa Bay to Marco Island.


Email Is Your Ticket to Holiday Sales

Developing an effective email campaign can bolster sales and help fill winter coffers at your dealership.


NMRA Presents Annual Awards

Edson CEO Will Keene and ComMar Sales president Tim Conroy were recognized for their contributions to the marine industry.


DEALERS: Are Interest Rates Impacting Demand?

This month’s Pulse Report survey asks dealers whether interest rate increases are causing a downturn in boat sales. Take the survey here.


EPropulsion, Mack Boring Partner with Crest

Pontoon builder Crest will use an ePropulsion Navy 3.0 Evo electric outboard motor and an E175 battery for its 2023 Current model.


Beneteau Reports Significant H122 Growth

The company reported that its revenue grew 8.6 percent and income increased by 30 percent during the first half of 2022.