Ukraine RIB manufacturer Brig Boats announced its entry into the U.S. market with a commitment to have “a large presence” at the 2016 Miami International Boat Show.
Brig recently opened dealerships in Annapolis, Md., and Fort Lauderdale.
Brig Boats comprise 70 percent of the RIB market in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region, the company said.
The public will have the opportunity to become acquainted with Brig USA at the 75th annual Miami show, which is scheduled for Feb. 11-15 on Virginia Key. The Annapolis-based distributor will host the show’s fifth-largest display; located in Hall C, the 4,000-square-foot booth will feature more than 25 boats.
Kharkov-based Brig Boats said it is Europe’s largest manufacturer of recreational RIBs and is the world’s largest manufacturer of RIBs longer than 10 feet. Founded by aeronautical engineer Slava Rodionov nearly 25 years ago, Brig Boats are sold in more than 60 countries through an exclusive distributor network.
“We participate in more than 100 boat shows a year internationally,” Neil Webster, CEO of Brig USA and co-owner of award-winning Australia-based distributor Sirocco Marine, said in a statement. “We’re excited to introduce our boats at this year’s Miami show, and at several other shows around the country in 2016.”
Brig USA announced the grand opening of its two founding U.S. dealerships: Sirocco Marine Fort Lauderdale, owned by Boyd Tomkies, opened this month; Sirocco Marine Annapolis, owned by Vince Palmeri, is scheduled to open in February.
Both men are marine industry veterans and RIB specialists, and their stores will carry a full inventory — the full lineup of Brig Boats, and Sealegs amphibious boats from New Zealand.
“These Sirocco dealerships are essentially Brig USA franchisees, which makes our relationship with them different from that of a typical wholesaler and retailer,” Webster explained. “They work closely with us to ensure that customers receive a first-class experience and have the opportunity to build a rewarding, long-term relationship.”
Honda Marine is providing outboards and valuable ongoing support, and Webster said he envisions that Brig USA will have a total of five Sirocco Marine dealerships within the next 12 months.
“We’re not after 100 dealers around the United States,” Webster said. “Our hope is to have five to 10, each of which will have a close relationship with Brig USA.”
Brig owners who participate in the “Borrow a Brig” program can add Fort Lauderdale and Annapolis to their itineraries. The program allows owners to use other Brig models when they visit locations supported by a dealership.