The next 75 years

As Boating Industry moves into its 75th year of publishing, we are re-establishing ourselves as the brand you, the boating community’s most influential citizens, respect and rely upon to help you run your business.
The marine industry is so robust with many distinctly different segments and sectors, even more companies and organizations, and an even greater number of views and viewpoints. And as quickly as business moves today, who has time to sift through all sides of the story, let alone analyze them to understand how they impact you?
So we’ll do that for you. We’ll provide you with well-thought-through, insightful and helpful analysis of issues that impact your business. We’ll offer interviews, opinions and profiles of industry leaders so you know who’s moving which needle and how that will affect you. And we’ll provide you with more special reports, original research and thought-provoking analysis of trends than has ever before been available.
There’s no doubt we have some challenges as an industry. Overall, the trendline for boat sales and participation is flat. And though there was optimism coming out of some of the early boat shows, we think it may be still a bit premature, and statistically unsubstantiated, to celebrate. Of course, like everyone else, we hope 2004 will be the turn-around year for the industry. But even as frontline salespeople must focus on this sale and this year, you as a business leader, must balance this year with looking beyond 2004 in order to influence your continued success.
We see at least one long-term concern that the industry will need to overcome; namely an upcoming generation of “couch potatoes.” A recent report by RoperASW, prepared for The Recreation Roundtable in Washington, D.C., suggests that 18-29 year olds are now less likely to be frequent recreation participants than Americans 30-44 years old or those 45-59. The September ’03 report further states that 4 in 10 young adults are likely to engage in recreation either less than monthly or never.
We don’t share this to dampen any enthusiasm for a successful year, but as an example of the weightier issues we’ll explore, challenge, and offer meaningful insight into over the next 12 months. And we’ll have some fun, too. Because at the end of the day, that’s really what everyone in the boat business is selling … fun. And because when you have the tools and knowledge you need to win, business is fun.
Lastly, we’ve received so many Letters to the Editor in recent months that we thought you might enjoy reading them. So this month we’ve added a Letters to the Editor department, which you can expect to see in each issue. After you’ve read this issue we hope to hear from you too.

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