Archive for » October, 2012 «

Boats compete in Italy's historic Barcolana regatta

(Republic of Italy, 18377-AFP) – Boats compete during the Barcolana regatta, an historical sailing race on October 14, 2012 in Trieste, northern Italy. More than 1700 boats took part in the 44th Barcolana, the largest single start sailing race in the world. Copyright (AFP RELAXNEWS/ AFPTV), 2012.


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MarineMax Expands with Azimut

MarineMax Expands with Azimut

~ Becomes Exclusive Dealer For The United States ~

CLEARWATER, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– MarineMax Inc. (NYS: HZO) , the world’s largest recreational boat and yacht retailer, today announced that it is has expanded its relationship with Italy-based Azimut Benetti Group. The expansion with Azimut encompasses areas such as the Midwest, including Ohio, Michigan and Illinois, Texas, the northern Gulf Coast, and the West Coast of the United States. With this geographic expansion, MarineMax is now the exclusive Azimut dealer for the entire United States.

Azimut Benetti Group is the largest mega yacht manufacturer in the world and the world’s leading private group in the luxury boating sector. Azimut manufactures luxury cruising models ranging from 40′ through 100′. A showcase of Italian luxurious design and powerful performance, Azimut yachts are known for their stunning lines, luxurious appointments, and dockside elegance. A leader in production, Azimut Benetti has the most extensive sales network in the boating industry worldwide.

William H. McGill, Jr., Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of MarineMax commented, “We are pleased to be able to expand our already strong Azimut relationship. Azimut is one of the premier manufacturers in the World with excellent support to dealers and customers. The markets we have expanded into have substantial long-term potential for MarineMax and Azimut. Historically, brand expansions such as this have proven to be very accretive. We look forward to bringing the MarineMax approach to these new markets for our Azimut customers.”

Paolo Vitelli, President of the Azimut Benetti Group said, “We are proud to expand our business relationship with MarineMax, the world’s largest and most professional organization in yacht distribution. The design, quality, and technology of our yachts are recognized in the States to the point that Azimut Yacht is the number one European brand in North America and, in certain segments, number one overall. This achievement is the result of the combined efforts of Azimut and MarineMax. Professionalism, commitment to customers, and the quality of service are the strength points of MarineMax, which will make this partnership even more successful.”

~ more ~


About MarineMax

Headquartered in Clearwater, Florida, MarineMax is the nation’s largest recreational boat and yacht retailer. Focused on premium brands, such as Sea Ray, Boston Whaler, Meridian, Cabo, Hatteras, Azimut Yachts, Grady-White, Bayliner, Harris FloteBote, Zeelander, Nautique and Malibu, MarineMax sells new and used recreational boats and related marine products and provides yacht brokerage and charter services. MarineMax currently has 53 retail locations in Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Texas and operates MarineMax Vacations in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. MarineMax is a New York Stock Exchange-listed company. For more information, please visit www.marinemax.com.

Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements including the availability of the Azimut product line in MarineMax’s stores; the Company’s assessment that Azimut is a premier manufacurer; the Company’s assessment that Azimut has long term potential in the new markets. These statements involve certain risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from expectations as of the date of this release. These risks include risks identified MarineMax’s Form 10-K and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

# # #

MarineMax, Inc.
Michael H. McLamb, Chief Financial Officer
Abbey Heimensen, Public Relations
727-531-1700
or
ICR, Inc.
Brad Cohen, 203-682-8211
bcohen@icrinc.com

KEYWORDS:   United States  Europe  North America  Florida  Italy

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:


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MarineMax Begins Partnership With Azimut

MarineMax (NYSE: HZO), the world’s largest recreational boat and yacht retailer, today announced that it is has expanded its relationship with Italy-based Azimut Benetti Group. The expansion with Azimut encompasses areas such as the Midwest, including Ohio, Michigan and Illinois, Texas, the northern Gulf Coast, and the West Coast of the United States. With this geographic expansion, MarineMax is now the exclusive Azimut dealer for the entire United States.

Azimut Benetti Group is the largest mega yacht manufacturer in the world and the world’s leading private group in the luxury boating sector. Azimut manufactures luxury cruising models ranging from 40′ through 100′. A showcase of Italian luxurious design and powerful performance, Azimut yachts are known for their stunning lines, luxurious appointments, and dockside elegance. A leader in production, Azimut Benetti has the most extensive sales network in the boating industry worldwide.

William H. McGill, Jr., Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of MarineMax commented, “We are pleased to be able to expand our already strong Azimut relationship. Azimut is one of the premier manufacturers in the World with excellent support to dealers and customers. The markets we have expanded into have substantial long-term potential for MarineMax and Azimut. Historically, brand expansions such as this have proven to be very accretive. We look forward to bringing the MarineMax approach to these new markets for our Azimut customers.”

Paolo Vitelli, President of the Azimut Benetti Group said, “We are proud to expand our business relationship with MarineMax, the world’s largest and most professional organization in yacht distribution. The design, quality, and technology of our yachts are recognized in the States to the point that Azimut Yacht is the number one European brand in North America and, in certain segments, number one overall. This achievement is the result of the combined efforts of Azimut and MarineMax. Professionalism, commitment to customers, and the quality of service are the strength points of MarineMax, which will make this partnership even more successful.”

Posted in: News, Contracts




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Brunswick reports slight increase in revenue

Brunswick Corp., parent company of Knoxville-based Sea Ray Boats, released its third-quarter financial report Thursday, reporting revenue up slightly despite a 19 percent drop in sales from Europe.

Marine engine sales were healthy, with an 11 percent increase over the previous year, but boat sales were down 7 percent as demand for certain models lagged. The company is doing a restructuring of its boat division including the closure of its Sea Ray plant in Knoxville by the end of the year.

“We believe these changes will allow us to save $10-$12 million a year once they are fully implemented,” Brunswick chairman and CEO Dustan E. McCoy, told investors and analysts, referring to the decision to close the Knoxville plant at Forks of the River Industrial Park and move cruiser production to plants in Vonore, Tenn., and Palm Coast, Fla.

The company reported net earnings of $2 million, or $0.02 per diluted share for the third quarter, compared with $4.7 million, or $0.05 per diluted share for the third quarter of 2011.

Brunswick reported net sales of $884.8 million for the third quarter compared to $876.7 million a year earlier. The company had operating earnings of $37.5 million, including $28.2 million of restructuring, exit and impairment charges. In 2011, Brunswick had operating earnings of $35.6 million, including $13.2 million in restructuring, exit and impairment charges.

Peter B. Hamilton, Brunswick’s chief financial officer, said closing the Knoxville plant and relocating its production involved about $8 million in restructuring and related charges.

Of Brunswick’s divisions, marine engine sales were up 11 percent, fitness equipment sales were down 3 percent, bowling and billiards were down 6 percent and boat sales were down 7 percent with $205.8 million in net sales.

Demand for aluminum and outboard-powered fiberglass boats has grown, but has remained weak for cruisers, McCoy said. But he expects the cruiser market will recover.

“We are in the cruiser business, and one of the centerpieces in that is our Sea Ray brand. We’ve been gaining share even though the market has declined. We are comfortable and feel secure that the cruiser business will return,” he said.


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trn/irs sailing pbperfor

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Brunswick’s 3Q net down 57 pct amid restructuring

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Boat and sporting-goods maker Brunswick Corp. posted a 57 percent drop in third-quarter earnings Thursday as large restructuring and other charges limited its gain.

The company said net earnings for the July-through-September period were $2 million, or 2 cents per share. That was down from $4.7 million, or 5 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue edged up 1 percent to $884.8 million from $876.7 million despite a 19 percent drop in sales in Europe.

Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting earnings of 2 cents per share on revenue of $936.7 million.

The results included $28.2 million of restructuring, exit and impairment charges, just over double the amount from a year ago, as the Lake Forest, Ill.-based continues to reshape itself to reflect weakened demand. Boat and boat part makers were hit particularly hard during the recession, when people cut back on big-ticket purchases.

The bright spot in the third quarter was the division containing its marine parts and accessories businesses, which posted an 11 percent increase in sales to $503.5 million.

The company’s 18-brand boat group saw sales decline 7 percent to $205.8 million in the quarter.

Also reporting lower sales were its fitness equipment unit, down 3 percent, and bowling and billiards unit, down 6 percent.

“As we continue to execute our strategic growth initiatives, as well as focus on cost reductions and operating efficiencies throughout our organization, we expect to be able to demonstrate improved sales and operating earnings during the final quarter of the year as compared to 2011, resulting in strong full-year earnings growth,” CEO Dustan McCoy said in a statement.

Brunswick shares increased $1.99, or 9.4 percent, to $23.23 in afternoon trading.


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Disabled sailing championships a big step for Kowalesky

Judy Kowalesky struggled for six years after becoming paralyzed from the waist down in 2004.

“I had always been active in athletics,” said Kowalesky. “Being in a wheelchair was difficult. I was depressed for six years as I tried to find a physical challenge that fulfilled me.”

Then she went sailing.

“I was in the boat for 10 minutes when I thought, ‘I’ve found it,’” she said. “Sailing turned it around for me. There was so much to learn and so much I could do on the boat despite my disability. As strange as it might sound, sailing is a great calling for a lot of people with physical limitations.

“That’s the message I’d like to get out to other people who might have been in my situation and felt the way I did. Try sailing.”

Kowalesky is teaming with two other San Diegans with disabilities this weekend in the U.S. Disabled Sailing Championships out of Southwestern Yacht Club.

Starting today, 53 sailors with disabilities will be racing on north San Diego Bay in single-, double- and triple-handed boats in five classes.

The event is open to any sailor with a physical disability. Participants have included quadriplegics, paraplegics and amputees, as well as individuals with multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, polio and ALS.

Kowalesky, 59, was an ICU nurse at UCSD Hospital in 2004 when she was diagnosed with uterine cancer.

“After having a total hysterectomy, they discovered the cancer spread to my lymph nodes, which required six months of radiation treatments,” said Kowalesky. “The radiation damaged my spinal cord. It happens in three of every 10,000 cases.”

Kowalesky has spent most of her time since in a wheelchair, although she can stand.

“On land, I’m pretty much confined to the wheelchair,” she said. “On the boat, I can move around using handrails.”

Kowalesky will be sailing with San Diegans Steve Edenson (who needs leg braces to walk) and Mitsuhiro Iwamoto (who is blind) on a 22-foot sloop in the triple-handed class. They do not expect to win. “I’d be happy with a strong last,” said Kowalesky.

Several past participants of this championship have gone on to compete in the Paralympic Games, including 2008 Paralympic Gold Medalist and former U.S. Yachtsman of the Year Nick Scandone, who succumbed to ALS two years ago.

The five-boat, triple-handed fleet is led by three-time U.S. Disabled Triple-handed Champion, Rick Doerr of Clifton, N.J. He will be sailing with Oceanside’s Michael Ross and Gerard Tiernan of Falmouth, Maine. Also in the class is 2012 Paralympic double-handed silver medalist Jennifer French, of St. Petersburg, Fla. She won the double-handed U.S. championship in 2009 and is a seven-time winner of the Milan-Gruson Award as the top disabled female skipper. French and Canadian Brenda Hopkins will be crewing for Sarah Everhart Skeels of Tiverton, R.I.

Edenson will steer the local entry with Kowalesky on the mainsheet and Iwamoto on the foredeck. Iwamoto has plans to sail from Japan to San Francisco next year in a 28-foot boat.

In addition to sailing in the Disabled Nationals, Kowalesky is on the committee responsible for bringing the 22-year-old event to the West Coast for the first time.

“Hopefully, this will raise the awareness of what a great sport sailing is for anyone with a physical limitation,” said Kowalesky. “I’m trying to interest the Wounded Warrior program in sailing. I think it would be a great fit.”


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Sailing Billboards Introduces New Outdoor Advertising Medium to Toronto

TORONTO, Oct. 25, 2012 /CNW/ – Sailing Billboards Canada is excited to announce that it is beginning operations in Toronto during
the summer of 2013.

“Our Toronto-based Reliance 12Metre boat is one of the most striking
sailing vessels in the harbour and it offers a tremendous amount of
sail area for advertising,” says owner, Brett Rathbone.

Sailing Billboards brings a new focus to sail-based advertising. Sail
advertising has traditionally been associated with racing boats, but
races typically take place in open water far from shore. As a result,
the ads are seen only by other racers or in race photos.

Sailing Billboards is focused on the needs of advertisers rather than
those of racing teams. The boat is on the water according to a defined
schedule and sails exclusively in Toronto’s inner-harbour and vicinity,
maximizing exposure.

“The opportunity for advertisers is huge,” says Mr. Rathbone. “Toronto’s
inner-harbour is one of the busiest pieces of water in the country,
with multiple yacht clubs, Toronto Island ferries running continually,
Porter Air flying overhead, and tens of thousands of commuters, condo
dwellers and visitors on shore.”

Sailing Billboards is part of Toronto-based Creative Monopoly, a
full-service advertising and communications firm. Its founder, Brett
Rathbone
, is a long-established marketing professional.

For more information, visit www.sailingbillboards.ca or call 416-606-9863.

SOURCE: Sailing Billboards Canada


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It’s curtain time for boat show – Sun

It’s curtain time for the 53rd Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, and exhibitors are praying the stormy weather stays at bay so they can reel in big business during its five-day run.

While organizers are taking precautions, the show will open for business Thursday and is expected to be one of the best in recent years, said the Marine Industries Association of South Florida, the event’s owner.

That’s good news for the more than 1,200 exhibitors of boats, yachts and marine products and accessories who have a lot riding on the show that runs through Monday at six city sites.

It’s been a mixed sales bag for South Florida boat sellers this year.

Some say business is up from 2011, while others contend it’s flat or lagging in the uncertain economy.

Some argue the election year has made some buyers reluctant to make big ticket purchases, while others say serious buyers are starting to return.

Nationwide, retail sales of new powerboats are expected to increase 10 percent in 2012, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association.

The types of boats leading this growth trend include pontoons, ski boats and jet boats, the association said.

Open fisherman boats with multiple outboards, which are generally used for fishing and diving, are among top selling boats in South Florida this year, industry specialists say.

Data shows new boat sales have rebounded in South Florida year over year, according to Info-Link Technologies Inc., a Miami-based marine industry tracker.

For the 12 months ending in September, new boat sales in the region climbed 5.5 percent to 3,854 units compared with 3,653 in 2011. And from July through September, new boat sales rose 10 percent to 989 units compared with 899 in the prior-year quarter.

Hargrave Custom Yachts will have 11 motor yachts on display this year, its biggest ever at the event, CEO Michael Joyce said recently.

The Hargrave boats have different hull shapes, exterior designs and equipment packages, which reflect the company’s diverse offerings, Joyce noted.

For fiscal year 2013, which began Oct. 1, he’s anticipating record sales.

“We will have more new yachts for sale this [fiscal] year than at any time in our history, and what that means is we are now playing on a level field with competitors … who have always offered new models and immediate delivery,” Joyce said. “In times of uncertainly customers don’t want to wait for anything.”

Sales of pre-owned boats at Northrop Johnson are up about 10 percent this year, President and Partner Kevin Merrigan said Wednesday.

Northrop, which has a Fort Lauderdale office, will have 27 yachts at the show — the largest collection of brokerage yachts this year, Merrigan said.

He credits the business upswing to the quality of pre-owned boats for sale.

“People are reluctant to build new boats when there’s a great selection of pre-owned boats at attractive prices,” Merrigan said.

As for the bad weather threat, Merrigan sees an upside.

“As always, the good thing about bad weather is the really committed buyers come out.”


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Absent workers forcing ferries to cancel sailings

MUKILTEO — Two ferry sailings — one at 6 a.m. from Clinton, one at 6:30 a.m. from Mukilteo — on Wednesday were cancelled because of a crew shortage.

“It would be nice to know the entire story of why I personally have been late to work three times in the last couple of weeks because of late or not running boats,” Scott Anderson of Clinton said in an email to The Herald.

As a cost-saving measure, the ferry system in June cut back the number of staff on some boats to the minimum recommended for safety by the U.S. Coast Guard, ferry system chief David Moseley said.

Even though it amounts to a reduction of only one employee per boat — in most cases, from 11 to 10 — this has left no margin for error when even one worker doesn’t get to the boat for one reason or another and it’s too late to find an on-call replacement.

Altogether, 37 sailings were cancelled in the summer season because of crew shortages, compared to four during the summer of 2011, he said. Since the end of the summer season in September, the problem has forced 14 more cancellations, Moseley said.

Since June, the cancellations included six on the Mukilteo-Clinton route and six on the Port Townsend-Coupeville route, he said. None have occurred on Edmonds-Kingston route.

On Wednesday, an employee thought he was off for the day when in fact his vacation didn’t begin until today, Moseley said.

The absences have fallen into three categories, he said: those such as Wednesday’s, through errors of omission including oversleeping; employees calling in sick or reporting a family emergency; and mix-ups by dispatchers.

Ferry officials have discussed the problem with the ferry employees union, the Seattle chapter of the Inland Boatmen’s Union. They’re cooperating to encourage employees to provide as much warning as they can if they can’t make it to work to give the ferry system time to round up a replacement, officials said.

“We don’t want boats not to sail and passengers not to get where they want to go,” said Jay Ubelhart, business agent for the Inland Boatmen’s Union.

Moseley said in 2010, the ferry system enlisted a peer review panel of representatives of other ferry systems around the nation to provide input on how to cut costs. Representatives from some of the other ferry systems, such as in New York and Massachusetts, said they use the Coast Guard-mandated minimum number of employees and suggested Washington State Ferries do the same, Moseley said.

He said the reductions were made in three of the four ferry classes, with the jumbo class, which includes boats on the Edmonds-Kingston run, being the exception. Some employees were reduced from permanent status to on-call but none has been laid off, he said.

Moseley said the ferry system and union agreed to let the Coast Guard review the standards and that both sides would abide by the recommendation.

Ubelhart said the union agreed against its will, only after losing an appeal in arbitration.

“We fought it and lost. We are living with the consequences,” he said. “Now if one person doesn’t show up, the vessel can’t sail. On many of the vessels the margin of error has been taken away. We feel the employee levels (previously) in the contract added to the safety of the passengers and the crew and it certainly helped with on-time reliability.”

To be thorough, Moseley said the ferry system asked union officials if any of the employees had called in sick on purpose, to make a statement.

“We had a conversation and they say absolutely not and I take them at their word,” he said.

“There certainly is no job action,” Ubelhart said.

Bill Sheets: 425-339-3439; sheets@heraldnet.com.


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