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At the Helm: Products, products and more products

By Jonathan Sweet

New product is what makes our industry go. Whether it’s new boats, new engine technology or new accessories, innovative products drives boat sales.

It’s also one of the areas that, in our annual reader surveys, you tell us you want to see more of.

That’s why we’ve made the commitment to increase our product coverage here in the magazine and online, and why we launched the Boating Industry Top Products competition in 2014.

We considered hundreds of products for this year’s list before settling on these 50. Companies could nominate their own products, but we also received nominations from dealers and others of great products they had seen over the last year. Finally, we picked some that stood out to us from the past year that we had seen at events like the Miami International Boat Show or IBEX.

Products were selected for a number of reasons, but the biggest question for the judging process was, “Is this going to help sell more boats or drive more revenue?” That could mean it is an innovative product that will appeal to the consumer and get them to buy a new boat, something that will help the dealer become more efficient, or just a product that will get more people to fall in love with boating.

Because in the end that’s what it is all about – getting more people on the water and new, innovative products are the way to do it. So turn to p. 20 to see some of the best the industry has to offer.

I’m also happy to take this opportunity to recognize our Top 100 Leadership Alliance. These are the companies that make the Top 100 possible through their generous support.

This year’s Leadership Alliance includes Wells Fargo Commercial Distribution Finance, Manheim Specialty Auctions, Volvo Penta, Sunbrella Marine, Brunswick Dealer Advantage and the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas.

 

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