Midwest marine dealer SkipperBud’s will start carrying the recently launched Barletta Pontoon Boat line.
“When we were approached by Barletta to discuss the possibility of carrying their line, we were immediately intrigued,” said SkipperBud’s President Mike Pretasky, Jr. “Everything about the company was a concept - they hadn’t even produced one pontoon boat - but there was a buzz in the air about their entry into the industry,” he said.
Barletta conducted its initial product launch in January. Led by Bill Fenech, a recreational vehicle industry veteran of 30 years, and supported by a team from around the marine industry, Barletta Pontoon Boats was awarded a National Marine Manufacturers Association Innovation Award at the Minneapolis Boat Show.
The annual award recognizes groundbreaking, new consumer marine products.
“SkipperBud’s is exactly the type of dealership we are committed to partnering with,” Fenech said. “They invest in their business, they invest in their people, and ultimately, they take care of the customer the way we would take care of the customer. We couldn’t be more excited to be partnered with the team at SkipperBud’s. We’re going to do great things together.”
During the development of Barletta’s initial floorplan offerings for the Barletta Luxury Class, the company was actively pursuing dealer representation in major markets around the United States.
Barletta is now receiving retail and stock orders that have accelerated the production ramp-up plan to meet demand.
“Retail and dealer response to the Barletta L-Class pontoon boats has simply been overwhelming,” said Jeff Haradine, Barletta’s vice president of sales. “As a start-up company, you expect to bring your product to market, and then come back to the drawing board on items where you may have fallen short of expectations.That list has been surprisingly, and pleasantly, short. We are full-steam ahead with our dealer fulfillment plans.”
Despite extremely low unemployment levels in the Elkhart and Bristol areas of Indiana, Barletta has enjoyed a steady in-flow of employment applications, where other manufacturers may be experiencing difficulty.
Fenech said Barletta has filled positions in the welding, fabrication and assembly departments to meet current demand, but expects to continue hiring to meet future demand.