Bayliner Boats acquires Heyday Inboards

The HeyDay WT-1 was built using a simpler design to drive price points down for younger buyers, according to Ben Dorton, president of HeyDay Inboards. The WT-1 was named a Boating Industry Top Product in 2016.

Bayliner Boats announced Tuesday that it has immediately added Heyday’s Inboard boat models WT-1 and WT-2 to the Bayliner portfolio. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“The wake/surf category is an attractive and growing portion of the recreational day boat segment, and particularly for those seeking a more affordable way to enjoy these popular watersports,” said Bayliner President Keith Yunger. “This action affords Bayliner speed-to-market with wake/surf models that were specifically designed to meet the performance expectations of wake and surf enthusiasts, but will retail at a more affordable price point, further contributing to the growth of this boating category.”

Both the WT-1 and WT-2 models were designed by the father-son team of John and Ben Dorton at Bryant Boats.

Bayliner is “a value-specific brand and they bring affordability to the market, just like HeyDay Inboards has been doing in the inboard segment,” said Ben Dorton in an interview with Boating Industry. “It’s one of these great opportunities where we have a strong product and we have an original brand, but we didn’t have as strong of a distribution channel as Bayliner does. Being able to not only utilize our current dealer network but also use the Bayliner dealer network is I think a great step moving forward for the future of the brand.”

As part of this transaction, Ben Dorton will join the Bayliner team as manager of business development, while John Dorton will consult with the Bayliner team.

“John is among the pioneers in this category,” Yunger said, “and that experience resonates in these boats’ design and performance. Further, these boats were engineered – as with Bayliner – with value and performance in mind, and are a great fit for our Bayliner brand. We will work closely with the dealer network to integrate these models into our product offering.

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“By effectively combining John’s knowledge and these models’ innovation with the inherent strengths of Bayliner, we have the team, product, focus and energy to be very successful in this category,” Yunger added.

Ben Dorton said the acquisition will bring “sunlight and water’ to the HeyDay brand and allow it to grow.

“I think it’s the next big step and in the brand and in the wakeboard segment. There has not been a cost-effective boat to market other than HeyDay at this point. We’re still currently, with the HeyDay WT-1 model, roughly $15,000-20,000 less than any other model out on the market,” said Dorton. “We continue to focus on that water sports segment with the brand and focus on value products and creative ways to create a quality wave, whether that be wakeboarding, skiing or surfing.”

Bryant will continue to operate as it has been for the past 25 years. Bryant Boats will contract build HeyDay Inboards for the next few months as Bayliner integrates production into its facilities.Bayliner will introduce these models at Surf Expo in Orlando Sept. 8.

2 comments

  1. Go Bayliner!
    And thank you for keeping on building affordable boats that give lots of value for the dollar. We need more of this now in our industry. We are pricing too many families out of recreational boating.

  2. Wow what a perfect fit for Bayliner. Can't wait to get one in our showroom!!

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