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Intrepid Boats says its sales, backlog are steady

Largo, Fla.-based Intrepid Boats reports steady sales and a backlog of $40 million in signed contracts and deposits, which will keep its 250-member work force on the job.

Several factors contribute to the company's stability, according to company president Ken Clinton. Intrepid has no debt, carries no inventory, and is committed to quality, innovation and customer satisfaction.

Also, Intrepid owns its properties and facilities outright. And by building one customer's boat at a time, it avoids having inventory, a trend that the industry is likely to follow, the company said.

"Sales have been down in 2009, as expected," Clinton said in an e-mail to Soundings Trade Only. "As the company watched the uncertainty of the economy in 2008, Intrepid reorganized several business practices to be ready for slower sales in 2009. This strategy has proven to help the company remain strong during this current down cycle in the economy."

Clinton did not offer specific sales figures.

Intrepid only sells direct, though it does have broker partners in Italy and Greece, Clinton says. All North American sales are done directly with its Dania, Fla.-based sales team.

This summer, the company launched a certified preowned program to assist customers who want to step up to the next level Intrepid. The trade-in boat is then restored, and virtually all of these trade-ins have been sold before they arrived at the sales center, the company said.

While Intrepid's focus is recreational boats - with 95 percent of its sales coming from consumers - it does have government contracts.

The company has a five-year order it will be completing for more than 40 30-foot center consoles for the U.S. government to be used for homeland security, customs, and police and fireboats.

Founded in 1983, Intrepid produces 14 outboard powerboats from 25 to 47 feet, in center console, walkaround, cuddy and sport yacht configurations.

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