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New Hands on Deck

Cole Merritt appointed as Mack Boring’s Southeastern Marine Sales Representative


Cole Merritt will be responsible for building the Scania, ePropulsion and Mack Boring brands and support networks throughout Georgia and Florida. According to a statement, Merritt comes to Mack Boring with a career that started in the Marine Corps, where he was a Staff Sergeant. Merritt then spent nine years as a Course Manager and instructor to the Navy at the Navy Riverine Warfare School. Soon after his departure from DOD training, Merritt was the training manager for SAFE Boats International and worked to support vessel deliveries and operator training across the globe. Merritt holds a USCG 200-Ton Master License. Most recently, Merritt was the Customer Support Manager for Iconic Marine Group which manufactures Fountain, Donzi, and Baja in Washington, N.C. 

Groupe Wichard announces three U.S. appointments

The French company Groupe Wichard has announced three executive appointments in its U.S. division. Darryl Spurling was appointed general manager of the Wichard Group USA and Sparcraft America. Spurling has been a CFO in several U.K. and U.S. companies. He also has extensive business experience in France, so will provide an effective bridge between his team in the U.S. and the Wichard Group in France. Mark Van Note has joined Wichard Group USA as sales manager. He will represent the Wichard, Profurl, Facnor and Peguet brands. Van Note has worked for Southern Spars, Hall Inc. and Gunboat. Henry Maxwell joins the Sparcraft America team in the role of Technical Sales support. An avid sailor, Maxwell has raced numerous offshore competitions, including the Bermuda Race, Transatlantic Race and others. He has worked a sailmaker, boatyard manager and as Hall Spars Project Manager. 

HydroHoist names Western Sales Manager

New Hands Sanford, Rob

HydroHoist Marine Group has named Rob Sanford as its western states sales manager. The announcement was made by HydroHoist CEO Mick Webber. “We are pleased to be expanding our sales team in an effort to keep up with increased demand for our product, particularly in California and in the Mountain Time zone area. I am confident that Sanford is the right person to grow our western region presence,” said Webber in a statement. Sanford’s immediate focus will be on building the California market to create new partnerships and opportunities for all HydroHoist boat lift and HyPower power pedestal products. Sanford brings to HydroHoist more than 20 years of experience in the marine industry, including roles in sales management and training, general management, boat dealership and marina operations. During his marine dealer career, he experienced selling and servicing HydroHoist products.

Osculati appoints Pietro Schiaffonati as OEM sales manager

New Hands pietro.schiaffonati

Osculati, a leading European company in the marine accessories market, has appointed Pietro Schiaffonati as OEM Sales Manager. The Milan-based company said that Schiaffonati will be responsible for growing sales among OEM clients. Schiaffonati has worked in the boating industry in sales and technical service. He has a mechanical engineering degree and a design & engineering Master’s degree. “I am excited to be a part of a such well-respected company and I look forward to further developing their market share,” said Schiaffonati.

Southern Boating promotes Steve Davis to editor in chief

Steve Davis has been named editor in chief of Southern Boating. He joined Southern Boating in January 2018 as managing editor. He started as a writer and editor in educational publishing and was managing editor for Dockwalk, a Boat International Media publication, for seven years prior to his role with Southern Boating. Davis is a U.S.C.G-licensed captain and has been boating since the age of seven. “Steve is the logical choice to step into the editor-in-chief role,” said Publisher Skip Allen in a statement. “He has excelled in the managing editor position, and his experience as a captain gives him valuable insight into the boating lifestyle. Additionally, he understands the varied content Southern Boating readers crave. Southern Boating continues to grow and evolve its offerings and services for readers and advertisers, and Steve will have a hand in assisting with that growth.”



ASA Announces Inaugural Tournament

The Keep America Fishing Tournament will run Sept. 1 through Sept. 30.


Expanded Norwalk Show Returns

Organizers are providing additional dock space and boater education programs for the Sept. 22-25 show.


Ribcraft Building RIBS for U.S. Navy

The company said the 278-boat contract is likely the largest ever awarded by the Navy.


Yamaha Expands Technical Training

The company signed an agreement with the Alaska Maritime Education Consortium to bolster training in the state’s remote regions.


OneWater to Distribute Forza X1 Boats

The companies said customers may use the website, an app or kiosk at OneWater locations, as well as in-person with a salesperson.


Boat Prices Plateau, and Some Weaken

A quarterly J.D. Power survey found that prices for all segments remain at near historic highs.


The Customer Isn’t Always Right

Keeping customers happy is a necessary part of relationship-building, but there are situations when the prudent business decision is to cut ties and walk away.


Front Runner Boatworks Hires Director

Jimmy Thompson, whose experience includes dealership sales and management, will oversee the center console builder’s national sales efforts.


Glendinning Marks 50th Anniversary

The South Carolina family business started with automatic synchronizers and today offers a variety of automation solutions.