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A new era begins with a new President and a vaccine - North American MarineBusinessWorld newsletter

by Peter Rendle 11 Nov 11:00 PST
New powerboat retail sales up eight percent © NMMA

While we contemplate the inauguration of a new president and the announcement of a vaccine against Covid-19 the industry readies itself for the anticipated boat show season in the new year.

Industry Status

New data from the NMMA show August was another strong month for new powerboat retail sales, which were up 8% year to date on a seasonally-adjusted basis compared to a year ago.

And Brunswick Corporation (NYSE: BC) and its industry leading brands, Mercury Marine, Boston Whaler, Sea Ray and Freedom Boat Club, all had a very successful 2020 Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show. For the third consecutive year, Mercury Marine had the most outboard engines of any manufacturer at the show and increased its show market share for the fourth consecutive year, accounting for more than half of the total engines displayed at the 2020 show.

If you ask anyone about how the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show went, you'll hear a lot of the same story. Attendance was down, quality of traffic was up, extreme temperatures and masks made for a tiresome experience. Still, the show promoter did an excellent job providing a safe environment, and sales were comparable to last year. Chuck Cashman, MarineMax Chief Revenue Officer, comments, "We went into the show with realistic expectations and a plan that set us up for success."

New Boats

Following the world debut of the very first FD75 model in January 2020, a brand new FD75 has launched from the Horizon Vision Shipyard. Designed for the American market, Hull Two of this entry-level model has completed sea trials and will soon make its highly-anticipated U.S. debut. Taking its place at the entrance of the acclaimed Cor D. Rover-designed FD Series, the FD75 model is itself a remarkable achievement in terms of design and naval architecture. Designed to appeal to serious owner/operators, the FD75 features a raised pilothouse configuration that accommodates both an open bridge and a lower helm area within a 20' 4" (6.2m) beam.

Godfrey Marine, manufacturer of pontoons built with enduring quality and superior craftsmanship, has announced its new line of pontoon boats aimed at providing owners superior value and premium versatility - the 2021 Sweetwater Xperience. Constructed to the highest of standards, Sweetwater Xperience pontoons offer uncompromising value on a rock-solid pontoon platform for the smart shopper who knows exactly what they want. Providing everything needed for a fantastic day on the water, each vessel incorporates premium components and amenities; like Godfrey's meticulously built furniture, flooring and decking, that will serve for decades to come. Even the build of the pontoon contributes to the vessel's overall rugged construction and long life.

Hurricane, legendary innovator in versatile deck boat designs, announced recently the addition of a new 10 passenger, 20-foot stern drive vessel to its line-up - the SunDeck Sport 205 I/O. A distinctive offering in the market, the SunDeck Sport 205 I/O is designed to maximize on-the-water experiences from water sports to fishing to cruising with family and friends.

New Products

B&G®, the world's leading sailing navigation and instrument specialist, is excited to announce the launch of Nemesis™, a new generation of intelligent sailing data display offering unparalleled visibility, with complete customization or easy-to-use pre-set multi-function templates and automatic dashboards based on the point of sail. Whether racing or cruising, Nemesis offers sailors the power to see the sailing data they trust when and how they want to see it, no matter what the conditions, providing an intuitive link between their instrument network and the real world.

Vetus, one of the pioneers of electric propulsion, has confirmed its resurgence in the electric boating market with the launch of unique solutions for both the new build and refit sectors. Total systems supplier Vetus is initially introducing two complete electric propulsion systems - the E-POD package, designed for installation in the vessel's stern, and the E-LINE range, which is ideal as a standard in-board diesel engine replacement.

GOST® (Global Ocean Security Technologies), a world leader in marine security, tracking, monitoring and video surveillance systems, announced its next generation vessel tracking interface - the GOST Specter. The intuitive website easily works on mobile and desktop browsers on any device. The secure Specter interface is streamlined and user-friendly and allows geo-fence control and alerts, remote arm/disarm functionality, as well as real-time GPS tracking of a vessel anywhere in the world. Designed to take full advantage of Inmarsat's new constellation of satellites, which communicates with GOST's latest vessel tracking systems - the GOST IDP Series - the new interface offers users almost real-time satellite control.

People

Groupe Beneteau announced that Nick Harvey and Andy Lindsay have been appointed to take on new roles with the Group's US brands. In charge of Jeanneau and Prestige sales development in the Americas since 2014, Nick Harvey is appointed FOUR WINNS and WELLCRAFT Brand Director. After having started his career in the automotive industry, Nick Harvey joined Groupe Beneteau in 2003, and took up his position in North America that year to lead the development of Lagoon catamarans. With a 34-year experience in the marine industry, Andy Lindsay has managed all facets of OEM business in the US. In 1991 he joined Four Winns as Regional Sales Manager for Canada. In 2016, he was appointed VP of Sales for the brands Four Winns, Glastron, Wellcraft and Scarab. He has developed dealer networks of various brands over the course of his career.

Sailing Inc., a trusted provider of premium sailing and marine products, services and support, welcomes Greg Fisher as the Evolution Sails Loft Manager for the Sailing Inc. Charleston (SC) location. Fisher, a Collegiate All-American, has won 25 National, North American or World Championships in 7 different one design classes and is an acclaimed expert in the sailing community for over 40 years. Fisher will head up our Sailing Inc. / Evolution Sails team in Charleston (SC) while working closely with locations in Cleveland (OH), Sandusky (OH) and St. Petersburg (FL).

The NMMA announced recent elections to its Board of Directors as well as its three Divisional Boards. Steve Heese, President of Chris-Craft Corporation, has been elected Chairperson of the NMMA Board, which was previously held by Ben Speciale, President of Yamaha's U.S. Marine Business Unit. Officer elections on the NMMA Board of Directors include: Vice Chair: Ned Trigg, Executive VP of Dometic Marine. Treasurer: Ron Huibers, President and CEO (Retired) of Volvo Penta of the Americas. Secretary: Doug Smoker, President and CEO of Smoker Craft, Inc A full listing of NMMA's Board of Directors can be viewed at www.nmma.org/about-us/board

This is just a selection of the industry news over the past four weeks or so. For many more industry updates go to www.marinebusinessworld.com/NorthAmerica

And if you want to keep up with the very latest news in power boating and sailing, check out these two world-leading news sites: www.powerboat-world.com/NorthAmerica and www.sail-world.com/USA

Stay safe,
Peter Rendle - peter.rendle@marinebusinessworld.com

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