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Jonathan Sweet

How middle class is doing all depends on definition

Those of us who work in the boating industry know that, despite what many politicians in Washington, state capitals and city halls across the country think, boating is a middle class activity. So a recovery for the middle class is imperative for a continued rebound for boating. What has been disconcerting about that has been a disconnect between the experts ...

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Keep it clean

I recently took a trip to Long Island to visit some of our Top 100 dealers. Besides the rainy weather (you can see some of my photos on our Facebook page), it was a great trip, with a chance to see the operations of some of the top dealers in action. There were several great takeaways, but one of the ...

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BRP’s Spark deserves some credit for PWC growth

For our upcoming cover story in the April issue on reaching younger buyers, we asked the fine folks at Info-Link to share the latest data on boat buyer age. The good news was that, for the first time in a long time, the buyer age stayed relatively flat for most categories in 2014, and even declined in some. For the ...

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Share your expertise at MDCE

Want to help set the agenda for the industry? Got great information to share with some of the best boat dealers in the United States & Canada? Then we want to hear from you. We're taking proposals for sessions at this year's Marine Dealer Conference & Expo -- the premier dealer education conference in the industry. But you better hurry: ...

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Take a page from Ford’s playbook

You can run from change or run with it. Like the boating industry, the auto industry has been dealing with demographic changes, although it has weathered the storm better than boating. One of the biggest challenges has been that, thus far, Millennials are much less inclined to buy cars than earlier generations. They've been choosing to live in more urban ...

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Optimistic Miami show sets tone for the year

If boat show season is any indication, we're in for a heck of a year in the boating industry. The recent Miami International Boat Show is just the latest to have dealers and manufacturers reporting great activity and sales. I lost count of the number of people who told me on the show floor that it was their "best Miami ...

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Does Facebook still work for marketing?

Can you still generate organic reach for your company on Facebook? That's the big question lately as the social media giant once again tweaked its algorithms, which has resulted in a precipitous drop in reach for most companies. This is a big deal for the marine industry as more and more companies are relying on Facebook as a key part ...

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Here’s how you really know things are getting better

I like numbers, statistics, all the information that allows us to track the health of an industry and the general economy. And as I wrote in our outlook article in the January issue, those numbers all show 2014 was a pretty good year for the boating industry (and Boating Industry, for that matter!) and the economy in general. But looking ...

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Innovation sells

It's one of those questions you get asked a lot covering this industry: What kind of boat do you have? And when I answer, you can almost see the physical pain in the questioner's eyes, especially if they're a boat manufacturer. Why? Because my answer is always the same: We've got two boats (not counting sail, canoes, etc.) -- a ...

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New study highlights long-term income challenges for boating

Elsewhere on the site today, you'll see a preview of the 2015 industry outlook, which points to a pretty positive outlook for next year. Despite that, most realize there are also plenty of challenges for the long-term health of the industry, which we cover more in-depth in the January issue. Most notably, we have significant demographic challenges as it relates ...

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