Premier Marine, Inc. is holding its annual dealer meeting in Wyoming and Forest Lake, Minn., Aug. 29 to Sept. 1., where the company has unveiled its 2017 models.
The meeting is smaller in scale than the 2016 dealer meeting, where Premier introduced five new models and several innovations. Dealers will have a chance to learn about the new models, test products on-water and talk one-on-one with Premier representatives about their concerns and ideas.
Premier’s goal in 2017 was to refine its products; the manufacturer released so many new products in 2016 that this year was focused on tweaks.
“We’re just continuing to move that story [from 2016] a little bit further down,” said Lori Melbostad, president of Premier Marine. “We always try to be a step ahead and be the premium product. Premier has always been known as the top of the line, and we need to just constantly be striving to always be that premium product.”
In surveying its dealers, Premier Marine found that ergonomics was at the top of consumer demand, as well as fit and feel and functionality, and Premier’s 2017 introductions were centered around meeting those needs.
One of the largest aesthetic changes for Premier in 2017 is the decision to no longer use carpeting in its pontoons. All models come with vinyl standard, with different flooring upgrades available. Melbostad said Premier was the first pontoon manufacturer to offer an all-vinyl pontoon interior and that trend has grown within the segment since. Flexsteel furniture and chairs are also no longer offered; for 2017, Premier has partnered with Lexington Seating.
Premier now offers a Chocolate rail option for its pontoons, which has been well received in the field, according to Melbostad. Other options added in 2017 include a dual helm chair, an ottoman cooler, and a new fold-down auto-style cup holder. For its upholstery line, Premier now offers a new Caramellow upholstery color for its Level 5 products and a new Amber duro rail light color is standard with the Caramellow option.
The Horizon is the newest model from Premier in 2017, a fish and cruise boat at the introductory level of products.
“In the introductory Premier level, we felt that we needed something that wasn’t just fish or just cruise,” said Melbostad. “We’ve been very successful on the level two with the Gemini, and so dealers [were] asking for something in the introductory level.”
Returning for 2017 is the company’s Grand Majestic model, now available in Grand Majestic RF or RE. The Grand Majestic models offer many standard premium amenities such as the Harbour Galley with wine refrigerator, Opulent Deluxe furniture, the new cup holder, a helm pad for comfortable lounging, and more.
Premier also manufactured a new large tow bar for 2017. The company spent three years developing and designing the bar to answer market needs and ensure the strength of the product. Melbostad said in a dealer presentation that dealers should expect the tow bar to take care of any and all towing needs of a family.
The tow bar adds value in one more way so buyers “don’t need a second boat,” said Melbostad. “A pontoon can do everything for you. And inflatables are so popular; people aren’t skiing or kneeboarding or doing those kinds of sports as much as they used to, and being able to pull a towable was critical. [So it was] something that could answer that and be Premier-specific and our design.”
The Beacon 2 system, new for 2017, was built in partnership with Medallion to create a touch screen option for customers. Critical engine information is available on screen at all times while also functioning as a histogram or media viewer, which allows customers to view a digital user guide, troubleshooting or display how-to photos and videos. The goal of Beacon 2 is to offer a user-friendly experience that provides basic necessary information.
New for 2017, all Premier models come with a new seven-year limited warranty, if registered within the first 10 days of purchase.
For more information about the 2017 model upgrades, visit www.pontoons.com.