Ritchie Navigation has launched a program called Ready to Boat. The program provides free safety and navigational education to new owners, according to a statement, while incentivizing OEMs to “right-size the compasses” they install.
"At its core, Ready to Boat was developed to make people safer on the water, with the educational tools to achieve this channeled down through boatbuilders and dealers," said Jonathan Sherman, Ritchie Navigation president, in the statement.
Ready to Boat was developed to reverse the trend of new boats shipping with undersized compasses—or none at all. The company noted that “this drift is due to an ever-growing reliance on electronic navigation by end-users and OEMs' reaction to increasingly narrow profit margins.”
Ready to Boat provides zippered wallets for new customer packages that contain educational tools, including access to its Ready to Boat safety and navigation online course.
To participate in the new program, OEMs need to become Ritchie Certified Installers. “This provides access to exclusive pricing, affiliation with a renowned 160-year old brand and the right to call a boat model ‘Ritchie Certified,’” said Sherman.
Ritchie said it is encouraging dealers to use Ready to Boat as a sales incentive. The company said free access to its online boating course will “diminish fears first-time boat owners may have in their own skill and confirm the commitment to safe boating.” Dealers can add their own coupons to the branded neoprene wallet to increase accessory purchases.
The Ready to Boat wallet contains cards with a float-plan checklist, US VHF channels and US Aids to Navigation, a WetNotes waterproof notebook, Made in the USA Ritchie decal, coupon for a free chart from Maptech as well as the access code for the Ready to Boat online course.
“Different from other marine education solutions, our course takes a commonsense and practical approach to learning,” said Sherman. “It prepares boaters to confidently respond to situations that can occur while on the water.
A video and introduction to the course is at bit.ly/ReadyToBoat.