More than 350 industry stakeholders representing 180 dealerships from around the world gathered in New Paris, Indiana, this month for Smoker Craft, Inc.’s annual dealer meeting, as the parent manufacturer of the Starcraft, Smoker Craft, Sylvan, SunChaser and Starweld boat brands celebrated the introduction of several new models.
Dealers attending the event enjoyed the opportunity to examine 160 different boat models displayed on dry land at the company’s manufacturing facility, and to sea trial a total of 16 new 2015 models at nearby Lake Wawasee. While the majority of dealers in attendance were based in the US and Canada, a growing number of boat dealers from Russia, Sweden, Japan, Spain, the Netherlands and Australia were also on hand to view the product line and learn of the company’s business objectives for the 2015 model year.
“In addition to the introduction of several new models, almost every boat in our lineup has some sort of change or upgrade for the 2015 model year,” said Smoker Craft SVP of marketing and corporate development Peter Barrett. “We concentrated on aesthetics, creating a new look for our products and focusing on details that are important to today’s boater. Many of these changes came directly from our customers at boat shows, our dealer council, and our dealer network. Our focus has been on onboard technology, colour and material trends, and improving user utility.”
One of the highlights of the dealer meeting was the recognition of Smoker Craft Inc.’s Top 20 Corporate Dealers. The honor roll for 2014 includes: Skipper Buds, with 21 locations; 61 Marine and Sports, Hastings, MN; Marine Management, Edmonton, AB; Link Recreational, Minong, WI; Spicer’s Boat City, Houghton Lake, MI; Buzz’s Marine Supply, Kearney, NE; Miller Marine, St. Cloud, MN; Keith’s Marina, West Bend, WI; 66 Marine North, Crosslake, MN; Boat-n-RV Warehouse, with 5 locations; Marsh’s Waubushene Marine, Waubushene, ON; Steven’s Marine, Milwaukie , OR; Lincolnton Marine, Lincolnton, GA; Enn’s Brothers, with 5 locations; Premier Motor Sports, Wayland, MI; Towne Marine, Bloomsburg, PA; River City Sports, Bismarck ND; Long Island Marina, Catawba, NC; Tensen Marine Sales and Service, Raymond, MN; and Tru-North RV, Auto and Marine, Prince Albert, SK.
Premiere Motor Sports, Wayland, MI, was recognized with a special achievement award, while Grand Bay Marine, with two Michigan locations, was honoured for exceptional performance. Jim Quinn, Quinn’s Marine, Pefferlaw, ON, was presented with a lifetime achievement award while Borgs Motor, Kumia, Sweden, was recognized as Smoker Craft Inc.’s top international dealer.
The Harold A. Schrock Award, presented to the dealer who best exemplifies integrity, commitment and loyalty to the Starcraft brand, was presented to Paul, Marsha, and Chris Ovekamp from Bow and Stern Marine, North Tonawanda, NY in recognition of their 50th year with Starcraft. The Byron Smoker Excellence Award was presented to Mick, Sue and Ryan Wise of Buzz’s Marine, Kearney, NE, in recognition of their more than three decades of commitment as a Smoker Craft and Starcraft dealer.