Features

What you can learn from …

The marine industry gets a bad rap – often from those who belong to it. Comparisons are made to industries that are more advanced, like automotive, or are gaining more market share, like RV. And the industry’s attention is often too focused on its shortcomings to celebrate its successes. When that focus is changed, however, a wealth of best practices ...

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Marina accessibility – What’s in it for you?

Last January the Marina Operators Association of America gathered boating industry representatives and associations, government officials and other interested parties for a two-day training session in Washington, D.C. The participants came to learn about the education program MOAA was planning, in partnership with the U.S. Access Board, to teach marina owners and operators across the country about new guidelines for ...

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6 strategies for success

As momentum gathers behind the Grow Boating campaign, the industry sees the possibility of a fresh chance to capture new boaters in its future. In response, it is ramping up attempts at self-improvement. Marina operators are in a unique position to help the industry better satisfy its customers because they spend the most time with boaters. Their success stories – ...

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Leading The Pack

For more than 35 years, Pack St. Clair has based the success of his company on one guiding principle: Treat people the way you would like to be treated. It’s a simple, age-old life strategy taught to nearly every child. But in the business world the quest for increasing revenue, enhanced profit margins and market share dominance oftentimes overpower it. ...

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Why it’s good to be Sea Ray

Cynthia Trudell says it’s good to be Sea Ray. Why? In part because Sea Ray is owned by boating behemoth Brunswick Corp. Two years ago, the former president of General Motors’ Saturn division left the automotive industry to join Brunswick as the president of the Sea Ray Group. "The industry was ripe for change," she says, commenting on her attraction ...

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Marinas maintain

For marina operators, 2003 was what many would call a stable year. Because marinas are “downstream from the buying decision,” they weren’t hit as hard by the recession as boat builders and dealers, according to Jim Frye, executive director of the Marina Operators Association of America. This stability is reflected in the results of the 2004 Boating Industry Marina Survey. ...

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Collective power

More than ever, the builders within each of the groups are sharing knowledge with each other – especially when it comes to new technology and manufacturing techniques. In addition, the buying groups actively encourage their members to form close relationships with their suppliers. The American Boatbuilders Association, for example, is pursuing two initiatives – one on the technology front and ...

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Independents’ Day

Consolidation. For years, industry pundits have warned of a dark day when this common business reality would rear its head in the boat building market. Rising consumer expectations, technological advancements, increasing regulations and stagnant capitalization would put myriad small boat builders out of business, leaving a handful of boat building behemoths, they predicted. So far, that just hasn’t happened. In ...

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You Gotta Believe

Jerry Coates beams with pride as he shows off his new facility. The 63-year-old RV dealer can’t help compare his new 25,000-square-foot facility, affectionately dubbed “Coates Country,” with his dilapidated old building. The Coates family invested more than $2.5 million on the 7.5-acre property, and its cabin-style appearance has already lured in many new customers. The result of all this ...

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Balancing Act

For more than 30 years now, brothers Ken and Jerry Larsen have been running their Waukegan, Ill.-based dealership and marina in a joint effort to continue the success their father established back in 1935. Milt Larsen passed the business on to them, and now the brothers are passing Larsen Marine onto their children. This road may not be as easy ...

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