Bayliner Boats will offer PCM engines, as well as Mercury V-Drives, on Heyday Inboard boats, recently acquired from the father-son team of John and Ben Dorton.
Brunswick Corp.-owned Bayliner purchased the assets — the trademarks of Heyday Inboards and Wake Tractor, the intellectual tooling, the designs and the tooling for the products.
“As far as purchasing the facility, or bringing employees on board, that was not part of the acquisition,” Bayliner president Keith Yunger told Trade Only Today.
Heyday has been running with a Challenger engine from PCM, which Correct Craft owns. Mercury, which is owned by Brunswick, also offers a V-drive.
It’s the first Brunswick-owned boat brand to come with the option of an engine from a company other than Mercury.
“As we go forward we will have some Mercury V-drive product in there,” Yunger says. “John [Dorton] and I just came back from meeting with [Correct Craft CEO] Bill Yeargin and his crew over at PCM. We want to continue that relationship, as well, because we’ve got some dealers out in the marketplace already set up with PCM. They enjoy the product, their techs are set up to work on it and have parts. In the end, we’re in the boat business on our side.”
Heyday’s value approach to the wakesurf and wakeboard industry was attractive for Bayliner, which also has positioned itself in the value segment, Yunger said.
It will be marketed as its own brand, not under the Bayliner name, he said, because the brand carries “authenticity” with the younger millennial wake crowd, even though it’s less than a year old.
Heyday introduced its WT-1 — which starts at $39,999 with a boat, motor and trailer — last year at Surf Expo. Bayliner will bring the WT-2 to this year’s Sept. 8-10 event in Orlando, Fla.
Sweetwater, Tenn.-based Bryant Boats, a company in which John Dorton bought a majority stake in 2012, had been manufacturing the boats as a separate brand. Bayliner contracted with Bryant to continue building, gearing up for Surf Expo and a dealer meeting in September, until it could get its manufacturing squared away in its own Knoxville-based facility.
Ben Dorton, who spearheaded the Heyday project while working with his father at the Bryant facility, will join the Bayliner team, reporting directly to Yunger as business development manager, and initially will work with the sales team on the Bayliner side.
Read more about the new relationship in the October issue of Soundings Trade Only.