KCS International, the parent company of Cruisers Yachts and Rampage Sport Fishing Yachts, is rebranding the recently acquired Azure Sport Boats line as the Cruisers Sport Series, making the company a “full-line manufacturer” of vessels from 22 feet up to 54 feet.
“Cruisers Yachts brings a lot better quality to the product than what was being built,” KCS president Mark Pedersen told Soundings Trade Only today. “It’s always been our philosophy to get input from dealers and consumers. I think Cruisers Yachts has built a great reputation for quality and performance and amenities. The consensus was we needed to have a name that fit the quality of the product.”
KCS acquired Azure and its tooling in February.
“Obviously that was a great asset from the standpoint that it was outside tooling made by a reputable manufacturer of tooling, and the brand had great styling and great boatsthat performed well,” Pedersen said.
After the acquisition, KCS began moving the product from its home in South Carolina to its base in Oconto, Wis. Between March and August, the company instituted upgrades, conferring with dealers and consumers, and then began manufacturing.
“I think through that due-diligence process we made the product consistent with what we do with Cruisers Yachts,” Pedersen said. “And there will continue to be innovations and improvements, as with Cruisers Yachts.”
The sportboat series has a shorter life cycle than the big cruiser yachts, so the builder will continually improve the products, Pedersen said.
“We do have a new boat under development, so yes, there are changes on the horizon for existing models and for additional models coming out,” Pedersen said. “We’re still working out the timing, but we’re in the tooling phases. Existing models have already received pages of enhancements.”
All 2013 models have new interiors, new dashes, upgraded gelcoats, auto lights, metal brackets — “just quality things you wouldn’t necessarily see in small boats that we’re bringing down to make Cruisers Yachts in a smaller package, but still making them competitively priced,” Pedersen said.
The new Cruisers Sport Series line will be showcased Oct. 25-29 at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.
Look for a full article in the November issue of Soundings Trade Only.
— Reagan Haynes