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Hydra-Sports will shift to factory-direct sales

Hydra-Sports Custom Boats will continue to be built by MasterCraft in Vonore, Tenn., for at least the next five years, Hydra-Sports Custom Boats president Alex Leva said today.

The company announced Wednesday that the majority interest of the brand was bought by Florida-based Plantation Boat Mart & Marina from MasterCraft Boat Co. and the builder will have more flexibility for some customization.

“The boats come out of the factory turnkey, water-tested and ready to go,” Leva told Soundings Trade Only. “The major change is in distribution. Where we normally had a traditional dealer network, we’re now selling directly out of our two factory test centers.”

A selection of nearly all Hydra-Sports models will be available at Plantation’s waterfront factory test centers in Palm Beach and Islamorada, Fla.

“We have taken that [factory-direct model] to the next step, most importantly by having full-service factories and having boats in the water ready to test,” Leva said.

The previous dealer network, meaning Hydra-Sports dealers in 2012 and prior, will be Hydra-Sports service centers, Leva said. The company will continue to honor warranties, pay retail shop rates and sell parts to dealers so they can continue to service the thousands of boats in the field.

Additionally, the company has a working agreement with Yamaha. If someone who buys a boat lives in an area without a dealer, Yamaha will tell Hydra-Sports where the closest service center is.

“Any new-boat sale whatsoever has to go through those two locations,” Leva said. “It’s the only place you can buy them.”

MasterCraft will be manufacturing the boats for at least the next five years, Leva said.

“So we have a pretty unique agreement with them,” he said. “The engineering and sales will all report to me, and the manufacturing is run by Shane Chittum, the COO for MasterCraft. He will remain in charge of the day-to-day plant operations.”

Read more in the November issue of Soundings Trade Only.

— Reagan Haynes

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