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Bold claims regarding future propulsion options - MarineBusinessWorld North America newsletter

by Peter Rendle 26 Jul 2023 14:00 PDT
Vision Marine Technologies sets sail on a revolutionary world record journey © Vision Marine Technologies

Apologies about the last two weeks, I had a break from editing the weekly marine industry newsletter. Two breaks in fact - ribs - and two weeks in hospital! Now back on the mend and bringing you a snapshot of this week's business activity.

An interesting new article from Vision Marine (NASDAQ: VMAR): this global leader and innovator within the performance electric recreational boating industry, proudly announces an exhilarating and game-changing project that is set to revolutionize the boating industry. Brace yourselves for an extraordinary showcase of sustainable energy as we embark on an awe-inspiring journey to champion electric power and herald a new era of eco-friendly marine travel.

From Europe, the globally renowned DAME Design Awards at METSTRADE has opened for entries with new reimagined categories that reflect the rapidly changing nature of marine technology and the industry's future customers. The DAME is a truly unique competition that highlights the merits of excellent design in all its many facets. Everything is assessed, from functionality, and innovation, through to integration, practicality of use, price to performance ratio and presentation. Entrants must also explain how environmental impact reduction has been considered across the whole product design.

DAME entries in 2023 will be judged against eight completely new categories, redesigned in response to the evolving world around us. They reflect how end users are likely to interact with marine equipment in the future. They also accommodate major shifts of industry focus, such as moves towards interoperability, automation and alternative energy and propulsion.

Whilst in Europe, J Craft Boats AB, Europe's premier luxury yacht builder reports new business developments and growth alongside a packed summer programme. 2023 marks a year of growth and a year of firsts for J Craft, with the delivery of three Torpedoes, the launch of the company's US operations and a commitment to sustainability, across materials, production, energy and the facility in Gotland, Sweden.

J Craft materials are sourced with a very strict criteria, with a deliberate emphasis on environmental impact and biodegradability, as well as ensuring that over 95% of production is sourced and produced in Sweden. Furthermore, J Craft's entire energy needs will soon be fully covered by renewable sources.

Back in the USA, the winds of change are blowing, and each passing day sees women increasingly making their mark in the world of boating. From fearless sailors embarking on daring solo voyages to passionate marine enthusiasts navigating the waters with confidence, women are reshaping the maritime landscape with their resilience, determination, and unwavering love for the sea. Clearly, women are much better represented in the world of boats and boating than they were in the past. But how much positive growth have women made in what historically has been a man's world?

To find out, Rightboat has analyzed its internal data to uncover the increasing interest from women in boating: Women shopping for boats grows by 246% in the U.S.

Since the dawn of boating, the marine industry has been dominated by men, and unfortunately, this stereotype has persisted. However, efforts have been made at the retail level in recent years to include women in the pitch to shop for and acquire boats of all shapes and sizes, and it's paying off. In the U.S., the number of women browsing boats online at Rightboat has seen a huge increase of 246% in the last 7 years.

While the number of men searching for a new boat increased by 138%, the growth in searches by women was notably higher. There were 5,318 female boat browsers in 2017, and in 2023, after only six months, the number was up to 18,414. But which US states have the highest share of female browsers?

The Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (MRAA) announced this week that dealer registration is now open for the 2023 MRAA Dealer Week Conference & Expo, to be held December 4-7 in Tampa. Under the theme of "RECALIBRATE: Learn. Adapt. Transform.", Dealer Week 2023 will feature educational programs, training from industry experts, as well an expansive expo hall with boating's leading manufacturers, suppliers and service providers.

People on the move includes Lenn Scholz. Brunswick Corporation (NYSE: BC) named Lenn Scholz president, Boston Whaler and Jeromie Johnston president of Lund Boats. Both announcements are effective immediately. Scholz, who has been the president of Lund Boats for the past two years, is a marine industry veteran with nearly three decades of experience in various roles across the Brunswick organization.

Prior to leading Lund, Scholz managed the Brunswick Boat Group Technology Center in Edgewater, Florida, and served as Vice President of Product Development and Engineering for Boston Whaler. Johnston joins Brunswick with more than 25 years of experience overseeing strategy, business development and growth initiatives at manufacturing companies with operations globally. Most recently, Johnston served as the Director of Engineering and Strategic Development for United Plastic Fabricating and Tideman Marine.

Offshore Sailing School's current Controller, Dana Matthews, assumed the role and responsibilities of Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

"We are pleased to announce this executive move as part of our on-going development of new leadership roles as we head into Offshore Sailing School's 60th year," announced Offshore Sailing's President and CEO, Doris Colgate. "With 30 years of experience in financial management, business leadership, and corporate strategy and growth, Dana has already made a lasting impact in helping us develop our team for substantial growth in the future."

Sail America Executive Team Member, past Sail America Board President, and Vice President of Sales and Marketing at The Moorings, Josie Tucci, has been appointed to the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) Board of Directors as a representative for Sail America. NMMA is the nation's leading trade association representing boat, marine engine, and accessory manufacturers.

"We are excited to see Josie represent Sail America and the sailing industry on the NMMA board. With her decades of experience in the recreational marine industry, we feel that she will be an excellent advocate for Sail America and its members," said Kevin Carlan, current Sail America board president.

Lots more North America marine industry news at www.marinebusinessworld.com/NorthAmerica

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

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