Features

The Ultimate Hassle

No water access, no boating. It’s a simple equation, yet a fundamental fact for the marine industry. Unfortunately, it frequently gets lost in the shuffle of seemingly larger, more measurable issues — and that’s something the industry cannot afford. A simultaneous drop in government funding, increased development of waterfront property and a growing number of roadblocks to the creation of ...

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Bad Attitude

ll Steve Edwards wanted was a boat seat. In the world of boats, one wouldn’t expect a seat to be difficult to come by. One wouldn’t think it would take two months for a boat manufacturer to deliver it. Edwards surely wasn’t happy that it did. Edwards, though, isn’t your typical consumer. He knows first-hand that the dealer he ordered ...

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Stretching for Solutions

No one can explain the development of the water gene. Boaters either have it, or they don’t. Those who do are the boating industry’s most loyal customers, returning to the water year after year despite the hassles Download Stretching for Solutions they’re likely to encounter. In fact, boat dealers and manufacturers have come to rely on this mysterious gene to ...

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Dealership Consolidation Likely to Continue

It’s not too often that boat dealers are confronted with a new way to conduct business. So it really came as no surprise that, when three dealership “roll-up” firms burst onto the scene in the late 1990s, many retailers prepared to jump on the consolidation bandwagon. Years later, however, that bold and potentially profitable dream hasn’t become a reality for ...

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The X Factor

Mercury Marine is about to give birth to the long-awaited “Project X” line of four strokes. And no one is as proud as the engine family’s father — George W. Buckley. It isn’t just because the company is set to begin making money on its largest investment ever in one product family. Nor is it because of his belief that ...

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Standing Together

"There are too many people who would just as soon never see another boat on the water. they don't understand them, and they don't like them, and we've got to work together." Monita Fontaine Monita Fontaine takes boating personally. She should. She’s not just a government relations expert; she’s a boating enthusiast. She bought her 34-foot mahogany sloop in England. ...

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Help Wanted

Mike Pretasky, chairman and CEO of Skipper Bud’s, a multi-location boat dealership and marina management company, sometimes must feel as though his dealership is a revolving door for service technicians. With locations in Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Mississippi and Florida, Pretasky says his company is constantly recruiting qualified technicians because, he believes, adequately trained people are in such short supply. And ...

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From Deal Breaker to Deal Maker

Three boats of women pulled up to a hot fishing spot in southwest Florida, cast their lines and caught more than a dozen redfish in the first 15 minutes. This drew some curious glances from the men gathered there. What they didn’t know, however, is that the event was even more unlikely than it appeared. The women were all boating ...

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Marketing Initiative Gains Momentum

The talk about launching an industry-financed advertising campaign to encourage more people to take up boating has been around for more than 20 years. But the talk has equated to little action. The idea is gaining momentum, however, because many in the boating industry have been spurred on by the success of the recreational vehicle industry’s Go RVing manufacturer-financed advertising ...

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Boatings Dirty Secret

Boaters have a dirty secret. Many of them are breaking the law by dumping their raw waste into the water. This includes dumping in No Discharge Zones, areas that the government has said should be free of any waste — even treated waste. But because it’s difficult to enforce, let alone quantify how big the problem really is, the risk ...

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