In a letter to dealers, Irwin Jacobs, chairman of J&D Acquisitions, says he is "totally convinced and pleased to say that we believe the worst is behind us in the retail recreational boating market."
The letter details the company's Larson, Triumph, FinCraft and Seaswirl brands, which are produced in Little Falls, Minn. The company also owns the Marquis and Carver lines.
"I'm happy to tell you that I couldn't be more pleased with the progress we've made since my partner, John Paul DeJoria, and I purchased the company just one year ago," Jacobs said. "I don't believe there's ever been another recreational boating company that has been able to successfully retool as many new products in the short period of time such as we've been able to accomplish in just this last year, including three completely brand-new cruisers at Larson ... along with 10 additional new models."
Also, Jacobs noted, 104 new dealers have been signed to represent the brands, adding to the company's 227 existing dealers.
"Although it is still early into the 2011 boat show selling season throughout the U.S. and Canada, there's already been some very positive signs that the boat-buying consumer is once again getting interested in recreational boating," Jacobs said. "Traffic and sales at the early boat shows are substantially better than they have been over the past year or two."
Also, he noted, car and RV sales are picking up and recreational boats should be right behind them.
Jacobs promised to be "aggressive and forward-thinking" in developing new products as the industry recovers from the recession.
"Although the past few years have been the most difficult and challenging years our industry has ever experienced, I'm convinced the future looks very bright for those of us who are committed to the future of the recreational boating industry," he said.