Builders report strong sales at Miami Boat Show

WASHINGTON, N.C.; FT. PIERCE, Fla.; LITTLE FALLS, Minn. – Two boat manufacturers are reporting record sales from last week’s Miami International Boat Show and another called the show “a huge success” in press releases issued from the companies this week.

Fountain Powerboat Industries, Inc. said it recorded sales of approximately $20 million during the show, up about 17 percent from last year.

“This has been a tremendous show for Fountain and the most successful boat show in our history,” said Chief Executive Officer Reggie Fountain, Jr. “Show attendance was down from last year, but traffic to our booth was spectacular with this year’s sales increasing approximately 17 percent over last year. Not only did the new 35′ Lightning and 38′ Sportfish Cruiser ramp up our sales during the show, but we sold six 48′ Express Cruisers — our top-of-the-line boat.”

Fountain’s booth featured its two new offshore boats, the Fountain 35′ Lightning Sport Boat and the 38′ Sportfish Cruiser with triple Mercury Verado outboards. Fountain showed 10 of its boat models in the Miami Beach Convention Center and three more outside. Five models were in the water at the Biscayne Bay Marriott.

“The doom and gloom projections for the marine industry affected our sales for the first two quarters of fiscal 2007,” Fountain said. “However, the stabilization of interest rates, lower gasoline prices, and other favorable economic trends have increased dealer and consumer confidence, which we believe will increase sales as we move forward.”

“Our aggressive marketing programs, brand recognition and factory support have been instrumental in producing record orders from the Miami show and other regional boat shows,” said Fountain President David Knight. “During the past two months we have participated in over 14 boat shows. The success of our participation in these shows will allow Fountain to get back into full production and, coupled with the benefits of the Lean Manufacturing program we are implementing, will allow us to significantly improve our operating income as we move forward.”

Pursuit sets sales record

Pursuit Boats said it also set sales records at the 2007 Miami International Boat Show.

According to Ron Burkdoll, Pursuit’s director of Domestic Sales, “The product that we displayed in Miami this year was the very best ever. Our newest models included the C230 Center Console, the C310 Center Console, the OS 285 Offshore, and the new Tournament Edition SF 345 Sportfish.”

The company said a large percentage of sales resulted from a very strong showing by Pursuit’s international dealer network. The manufacturer was represented by dealers from the state of Florida, as well as South and Central America, the Caribbean, and dealers from Kuwait, Greece, Spain and Italy.

Pursuit also announced plans for introducing its new OS 365 Offshore, which will be premiering in the fall of 2007. The model will be featured with the new twin F350 Yamaha V8 outboards or triple F250’s. First retail deliveries will occur in early 2008.

Larson sells nearly 60 boats

Larson Boats reported sales of over 60 sport cruisers with a retail value of almost $10 million at the show. The company said its cruisers, ranging in size from 22’ to 37’ were a popular draw. The most popular model was the Cabrio 274 sport cruiser with over 20 unit sales, followed by 14 units of the largest model available, the Cabrio 370, Larson said.

The 370 was displayed both in the Convention Center and in the Volvo Penta water display in Biscayne Bay. Larson said that customers having an opportunity to test drive the boat at the show helped in getting deals closed on the spot.

“Our South Florida dealer, Freedom Marine, came prepared and ready to sell boats,” said Jeff Kruschek, Larson’s general manager, “Preparation started months before the show with our company and the dealer researching special interest rates, discounts and after-the-sale customer care programs. We were also pleased to sign dealers from Chile, Brazil and South Korea to represent the Larson line in their countries.”

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