MasterCraft Boat Holdings will debut a new brand of large day boats

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MasterCraft Boat Holdings LLC will debut the first model under a new brand called Aviara at the Miami International Boat Show in February, the first in a series of large day boats in the 32- to 40-foot range.

The 32-foot model will be available for customer delivery starting in July 2019, said MCBH president and CEO Terry McNew during a conference call to discuss first quarter earnings.

“To be very clear, Aviara is not a performance sport boat, nor is it an offshore fishing boat,” said McNew. “Aviara will be positioned as the preeminent brand serving the large recreational day boat segment, combining European styling with American layout and engineering. This combination of modern luxury with progressive styling will establish Aviara as the new standard for quality, precision and design in the large recreational boat day category.”

The Aviara line will be distributed through a new network of dealers separate from core MasterCraft sales outlets, “with the capability of supporting and selling larger and more complex models,” said McNew, adding that dealers are already signed on to carry the boats.

“The concept of the Aviara brand was born from a carefully-crafted strategy to fill the white space in the MasterCraft Boat Holdings portfolio, with the goal of retaining existing customers and capturing new customers as their boating preferences evolve over time,” said McNew.

The company doesn’t expect to start booking earnings on Aviara until July of fiscal year 2020.

McNew touched on the acquisition of Crest pontoons — the sale closed Oct. 1 — as well as NauticStar, which MCBH bought a year ago.

“With Crest, we also further expanded into the large and growing outboard propulsion category, which we first entered with the acquisition of NauticStar in October 2017,” said McNew.

Fiscal 2019 will mark a large product development investment development of four new NauticStar models, three of which will be larger than the 195 Bay Boat and 251 Center Console introduced in the last month, said McNew.

“Introducing larger models into the NauticStar lineup allows NauticStar to expand its addressable market in the fastest-growing saltwater outboard fishing segment while benefiting from higher average selling prices and gross margins,” said McNew.

NauticStar has historically had a range between 18 and 28 feet, and 70 percent of its volume takes place 24 feet and below, said McNew.

“But the larger saltwater fish, center consoles are really where the growth is in the overall market,” said McNew. “We’ve laid out the facility and are continuing to lay the facility out with new processes and changes in ventilation and so forth, but they will have the capacity to someday build up to 39 feet. Now the two models that we’ll release in the second half of the year, they won’t be that large, but they will be larger than 28 feet.”

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