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Maryland bill would cap tax on luxury boats



The Baltimore Boat Show kicked off Thursday at the convention center.

The Baltimore Boat Show kicked off Thursday at the convention center. 








Gary Haber
Staff Reporter- Baltimore Business Journal

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A bill that would cap the state excise tax on luxury boats is scheduled for a hearing Thursday before the House Ways and Means committee.

House Bill 548 would cap the 5 percent excise tax at $10,000 per vessel. That means people buying vessels selling for more than $200,000 would pay the same as those buying boats that sell for $200,000.

The hearing comes on the same day that the Progressive Insurance Baltimore Boat Show begins a four-day run at the Baltimore Convention Center.

Maryland’s boating industry says the measure is needed to keep the state from losing boat sales and jobs to neighboring states like Delaware, which has no excise tax on boats, and Virginia, which caps its excise tax.

“It would absolutely increase sales,” said Walter George, owner of Annapolis Boat Sales Mobile Service in Chester, one of the companies selling boats at the show. At least 20 percent of George’s Maryland customers register their in boats in other states because of Maryland’s high excise tax, he said.

Mark Schulstad, owner of PocketYacht Co. in Grasonville, sells boats that range from $50,000 to $300,000. Capping the excise tax would help boat dealers and the rest of the industry, Schulstad said.

“It will help people in a troubled economy keep boating,” he said.

A legislative analysis found that limiting the excise tax to the first $200,000 of a boat’s value would mean about $3 million a year less in tax collections for the Department of Natural Resources. The state agency uses the money for its Waterway Improvement Fund to dredge the state’s waterways and keep them clear of debris, among other things. DNR also distributes some of the money to local governments to improve their waterways.

Gary Haber covers Banking, Finance, Insurance, Law



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SAILING: Weekend regatta will be a throwback

Basic seat-of-the-pants sailing will reign Saturday and Sunday when the Alamitos Bay Yacht Club hosts the Southern California Yachting Association’s annual E.E. Manning Regatta, a throwback to the sport’s simpler past.

Many of the approximate 200 adult and youth competitors in more than a hundred boats will be following their parents and grandparents in the event’s format that was founded in 1935.

Competition is limited to one- and two-person dinghies with body weight only for ballast. Classes forming include double-handed Club Flying Junior (CFJ) and Lido 14s, alongside single-handed Finns, Laser Full and Laser Radial, with reduced sail area, and low-key Naples Sabots.

The event also is the fourth and final stop of the Shadden Series tour of Southern California following regattas at Marina del Rey, Newport Beach and San Diego.

Fifty teams with boys and girls under the age of 19 are racing CFJs in the series that was launched in 1991 in the name of John Shadden, one of Long Beach’s premier youth sailors whose career peaked with an Olympic silver medal performance in 1988. Shadden, still a Long Beach resident, shared that Olympic success with Mike Segerblom, who is now executive director of the US Sailing Center in Long Beach and will be principal race officer this weekend.

Three teams from Del Rey Yacht Club top the Shadden Series standings. Christopher Weis and crew Dot Obei, with seven first-place finishes in 16 races so far,

appear to have an insurmountable lead.

The schedule for all classes calls for four races Saturday and three Sunday. Racing will be on the outer harbor inside the breakwater, except for the Lidos and Sabots that will race inside on the bay. Racing will start at noon each day, weather permitting.

The Manning regatta is raced annually at ABYC. It first was contested in 1935 to honor E.E. Manning, a member of the Los Angeles YC who during his lifetime was an active sponsor and promoter of dinghy racing.

The Manning trophy is awarded to the winner of the class with the most competitors.


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USA. Mike Smith joins Boat Trader as Mid-Atlantic Sales Manager


Boat Trader, a Dominion Marine Media business offering the widest selection of boats for sale in the U.S., today announced the appointment of Mike Smith as its Mid-Atlantic sales manager.  Smith will work with boat dealers to help grow their business through Boat Trader’s suite of online marketing products and dealership management tools.

“We are extremely pleased to have someone with Mike’s industry knowledge join our sales group,” said John Souch, U.S. sales director, Boat Trader.  “Mike brings a wealth of knowledge and a unique perspective to our dealer sales channel, having worked for both a dealership and an OEM.”

Smith has over 15 years of experience in the marine industry.  Before joining Boat Trader, he was with MYMIC, a high-technology and services company based in Portsmouth, VA, where he created and developed a virtual Marina Safety Training program.  Smith also developed sales and marketing strategies for MYMIC’s commercial division.  Prior to that, Smith spent 7 years in sales and marketing roles in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast territories for Raymarine.  His experience also includes 5 years with Boaters World Marine Center.  Smith is a graduate of the University of Mississippi and resides with his wife and two children in Smithfield, VA.

Commenting upon his appointment, Smith said, “Joining Dominion Marine Media is an exciting opportunity.  I am enthusiastic about working with the entire team to grow our existing business and unlock new opportunities. I look forward in the coming days and weeks to getting out and meeting our customers in the Mid-Atlantic territory and building relationships that will help grow their businesses.”

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 26 February 2013 )


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SAP aims for podium as ESS 2013 approaches

(MENAFN – Muscat Daily) With less than a week to go for the start of the 2013 Extreme Sailing Series (ESS) in Muscat, excitement is building up at the Millennium Hotel Resort Marina in Musannah where most of the teams, including strong contender SAP Extreme Sailing Team, have been training since the past one week or so.

Oman Sail will host the opening Act of the eight-leg series at The Wave, Muscat from March 5-8. Red Bull Sailing Team, Alinghi, GAC Pindar and debutant Realteam have already got their multihulls ready alongside SAP Extreme Sailing Team and are testing the Oman waters in the run-up to the start of the ESS. Defending champion The Wave, Muscat, which was training earlier this month, will return to the waters in a couple of days after the crew assembles following a short break. Team Korea, a late entry into the 2013 edition, is expected to arrive in Oman in a few days’ time.

Looking ahead to the team’s second successive campaign in the ESS, SAP Extreme Sailing Team’s co-skipper Jes Gram- Hansen of Denmark told Muscat Daily, ”It’s great to be here ahead of the start of the opening leg. We got the boat ready earlier this month and we’ve had good training sessions.

The weather has been fantastic, it’s an ideal place to train.” SAP Extreme Sailing Team is the only team with two co-skippers – Gram-Hansen, its helmsman, and Rasmus Kostner, its tactician, who is also from Denmark. The America’s Cup duo had led the team to a sixth-place finish in their debut season. Gram-Hansen, a former world No 2 in match-racing, said, ”We went through a steep learning curve last year and we are keen to fight for the podium this time.” SAP boasts of the highlyexperienced Extreme 40 British sailor Pete Cumming, who is its mainsail trimmer. He is ready to compete in his sixth successive Extreme 40 season and he has been closely associated with Oman Sail in the past. Cumming told Muscat Daily, ”Our goal for this season is a podium finish. Last year was our debut and typically, the first season is the toughest one as racing with this fleet is nothing like the [usual] sailing world. ”There are many new skills to learn. That’s why sailors and spectators love Extreme 40. We have very fast boats racing on very small courses. It’s like putting a Formula One car on a go-kart track.” The 33 year old has had success in Extreme 40s as skipper of Oman Sail Masirah, winning the Asian and European titles in 2009 and 2010. He also played a role in The Wave, Muscat’s title victory in 2010. He was skipper of Oman Sail Masirah for three seasons, starting with 2008. Cumming said, ”We have been based in Musannah since February 6 as we needed time to work on our boat. With high-quality accommodation, marina and workshop facilities, all in close proximity at the Millennium Hotel Resort, this is certainly a world-class winter training base. ”The facilities, combined with perfect weather for sailing at about 25 degrees Celsius and 12 knots of wind, make for some great training.”

The British sailor added, ”SAP Extreme Sailing Team has completed six days of training now. We are now ready to move to The Wave, Muscat for our final preparation before the first regatta of the 2013 Series. ”Over the past few days, we focussed on getting Nicolai [Sehested], our new bowman, up to speed. Crew-work is the key to winning races. Of course, we need to be fast too. We’ve had a few line-ups with GAC Pindar and our friends at Alinghi.

We seem to be fast, both upwind and downwind, with our new set-up, so we are happy. We are still pushing to develop our set-up and our technique as we know that good speed isn’t enough in this Series.” Depending on the wind conditions, the teams are expected to either sail or motor along from Musannah on March 2 after the mandatory boat inspection on Wednesday and T


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SAILING | Elis weather storms, finish second

Back on the water for the first time this year, the No. 2 coed sailing team overcame canceled flights and canceled races to put in a strong showing at the Bob Bavier Team Race in Charleston, S.C.

The Bulldogs finished second out of 10 teams in the round-robin style regatta. Georgetown, the nation’s top ranked fleet, won the regatta through a tie-breaking procedure after Yale and Georgetown both finished with identical 10–2 records.

“We went into this weekend not having practiced on the water since November,” crew Heather May ’13 said. “That put us behind some of the teams that had been practicing for a couple weeks. I think we did a really good job of not stressing out about that stuff.”

Six Yale sailors made the trip down to Charleston with head coach Zachary Leonard ’89. May and newly elected captain Chris Segerblom ’14 raced together, as did skipper Cameron Cullman ’13 and crew Kate Gaumond ’15. Skipper Graham Landy ’14 was paired with crew Eugenia Custo Greig ’15.

The team did not arrive in Charleston until 2:30 a.m. Saturday morning, after inclement weather forced the team’s Friday night flight from Charlotte to Charleston to turn back. All six team members and their coach packed into a rental car and drove the 200 miles to their hotel in Charleston. The next morning at 9:00 a.m., less than seven hours after arriving, the sailors reported to their boats on the Cooper River, but more bad weather kept the races from beginning until 2:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon. The Elis raced only five of their nine races scheduled for that day and won four, their only loss coming to Georgetown after a slow start.

“It’s kind of unfortunate that we’re at the mercy of mother nature, but that’s the way it is in this sport,” May said.

Segerblom added that the Bulldogs were satisfied with their performance on the first day, even without having had the chance to prepare.

On Sunday, regatta officials shortened the first leg of the racecourse when a strong breeze and heavy current from the rainfall made upwind sailing difficult. Yale won four races to finish the first round-robin with a 8-1 record. Without enough time to complete another full round-robin, the competition was narrowed down to a final round of four teams: Yale, Georgetown, Stanford and the College of Charleston. Regatta officials planned for each of these teams to be able to race their three opponents twice more.

In the first round, Yale lost to Stanford but beat out Charleston and then looked to avenge their loss against the Hoyas the day before. With Segerblom and May in the lead, the remaining Yale boats fought to stay out of last place and secure their team the victory. Coleman and Gaulmand were able to take third place and seal the win. The teams began the second round of races, but the wind died out before the last race could be completed. The regatta was then called to an end, and only the first round between the final four teams was counted in the official score.

Yale and Georgetown both finished with 10-2 records and had split their two races, so a further tiebreaker was needed to decide the winner. Because Georgetown won the teams’ first race with a lower and better score, it won the head to head point total 19–23 and was declared the winner of the Bob Bavier Team Race.

Despite the narrow defeat, head coach Zachary Leonard was pleased with the team’s performance.

“It was very much a team effort. All six of the sailors did a great job. It was pretty much a warm up for us,” Leonard said, adding that his team has the depth and talent to maintain a balanced attack all year. “We have a lot of kids who are quite good at their roles. We’ll just keep trying to get better. We have a lot of kids who can contribute.”

Segerblom said that the team’s goal is to qualify for both the team and fleet racing national championships and to be in a position to win both competitions in May.

The team will begin sailing intensively on its spring break trip to Florida, but until then, Segerblom said, the team’s anxiousness to get back on the water will work to its advantage.

“This first regatta in Charleston bodes well for what we can do this season,” he said. “Once we get to actually start practicing, who knows what can happen?”

The coed sailing team travels to a regatta on  the Charles River in Cambridge, Mass. this weekend.


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Tight visa rules hit sales of UK superyachts

Robert Braithwaite, president of Sunseeker, which builds 200 boats a year
priced at £300,000 to £22m, said: “Chinese visa problems are
impacting on Sunseeker’s long term growth prospects. An important part of
the client experience during the decision making process is to visit our
shipyard in Poole or a UK boat show. Sunseeker’s Chinese clients and
potential buyers are having extreme difficulty in obtaining a visa to visit
the UK, being laborious at best and often declined.”

He said potential buyers who are declined visas “decide to visit
elsewhere in Europe where the visa process appears smoother”.

Princess Yachts International builds around 300 luxury motor yachts a year,
with a price tag from £300,000 to £15m. Chris Gates, managing director,
said: “We are finding it increasingly difficult to reach customers in
some of our largest markets, such as China and Russia, due to what we
believe are unnecessary restrictions and delays in obtaining UK visas. This
is becoming a major issue. We know we are losing sales to Italian and French
yards and, as the sales opportunities grow in these new markets, so will our
lost sales. This is certainly not a level playing field.”

A Home Office spokesman said: “China is one of the UK’s priority markets
for tourism and business. Our Chinese visa system already provides an
excellent service and we will continue to make further improvements wherever
possible, but we will not compromise the security of our border.”


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Rowayton's Kirby sails into Hall of Fame

When Bruce Kirby is inducted into the National Sailing Hall of Fame in October, the 83-year-old Rowayton resident will take to the dais in New Orleans and deliver a speech that says, well, he isn’t quite sure.

“Do you have any ideas?” Kirby said and laughed.

A three-time Olympian, Kirby is best-known for creating the Laser sailboat, a small car-top dinghy that became so popular among the masses that the boat has its own competition class in the Summer Olympics. But Kirby began his career as a journalist, where concision is the mark of good writing; and he intends to craft his induction speech with the same gimlet eye he used as an editor at The Montreal Star newspaper back before designing sailboats became his full-time career.

“Obviously I want to say something earth-shattering, but I don’t know what it’s going to be yet. I guess acknowledging luck would be part of it. And I like the line that something good is bound to happen if you get old enough,” Kirby said. “I think if you can really think of some good words and really keep it short, that’s more impressive than rambling on.”

Given his long, varied and distinguished career, Kirby could be forgiven for rambling on.

A native of Ottawa, Canada, Kirby was born into sailing. He and his older brother, David, learned the sport from their father, also David, and were regular members of his father’s racing crews when Bruce was just six years old.

“I like to joke that I was late getting started because I was born in January and didn’t get started sailing until June,” Kirby said.

When he reached his teens he began racing International 14s, two-man boats named after the boat’s overall length (14 feet). He’d already been dabbling in the rudiments of boat design, using wooden blocks as practice.

“I’d get a chunk of three-by-six or two-by-four. In the beginning they were pretty crude, but by the time I got into my teens I was making pretty nice sailing models,” Kirby said. “But being up in Canada, in Ottawa, 800 miles from salt water, I never dreamed that I could follow yacht design as a profession.”

He worked as a newspaper journalist starting in the early 1950s, first at The Ottawa Journal and later at The Montreal Star. During his time as editor of that paper’s international desk, he covered such huge stories as the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the trial of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann.

Kirby sailed for Canada in the Summer Olympics in 1956, 1964 and 1968, placing eighth among 24 racers in 1956, his best Olympic finish. In 1958 he designed his first production sailboat, the Mark I International 14. Twenty-eight were ultimately made. Two years later he unveiled the Mark II, of which 85 were eventually sold. Three years after that came the Mark III, which sold 185 units. Kirby’s prospects as a designer looked sanguine when he went to cover the 1964 America’s Cup for The Montreal Star. In Newport, R.I., he was approached by the publisher of One-Design Yachtsman, a fledgling magazine that later became Sailing World.

“They needed an editor. They had heard that there was this guy up in Canada who was a very serious sailor and also a newspaper guy,” Kirby said.

It was the perfect job for a sailing enthusiast and word-lover. “I spent 10 years as editor of that magazine,” said Kirby, who moved to Rowayton with his wife, Margo, and their two daughters in the late 1960s. “(When I started), I was designing boats as an amateur. As editor of the magazine, they encouraged me to do this moonlighting. It was when I was editor of the magazine that I did the Laser.”

Kirby was asked by a friend to design a small, light car-top dinghy. He created the Laser during 1969 and 1970, and rolled it out at a regatta hosted by the Playboy Club at Lake Geneva. “That was kind of neat. It was a special regatta put on for boats costing under $1,000. We thought that’d be a good place to introduce it. And it was an immediate success.”

The Laser was formally introduced to the buying public at the New York Boat Show in January 1971. It sold well from the beginning, and to date has sold more than 210,000 units, far and away the best-selling design among Kirby’s more than 60 sailboat creations.

“The problem was building them fast enough,” Kirby said. “The boat became very international very quickly, with plants in California, Japan and Australia. Soon I was making three times as much in Laser royalties as I was getting paid by the magazine.”

That precipitated his move into full-time boat design in 1975. “I kind of hated leaving the publishing game because I really did like it,” he said.

Kirby enjoyed watching the Laser competition in the recent Summer Olympics, and had the added interest of rooting for Rob Crane, a Darien resident and member of the Noroton Yacht Club who competed in the competition. Crane finished 29th out of 49 participants.

Kirby still sails every Sunday out of Noroton Yacht Club in Darien, but his vessel of choice nowadays is another one of his creations — the Sonar, a 23-foot boat that is used by sailors of all ages and skill sets, including participants in the Paralympics.

“I couldn’t sail a Laser now. I’m not nearly quick enough or agile enough,” he said.

He still has a hand in designing boats, though. A few years ago he designed a boat for author and friend Nathaniel Philbrick, a Nantucket resident who won the 2000 National Book Award for his maritime history “In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex.” And other friends and acquaintances continue to inquire about tapping his expertise.

“I may saddle up again,” Kirby said.

Cameron Martin is the Sports Editor/Managing Editor of the Norwalk Citizen.


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Mike Smith joins Boat Trader as Mid-Atlantic sales manager

Boat Trader
February 26, 2013
Filed under News

Norfolk, VA – (February 26, 2013) – Boat Trader, a Dominion Marine Media business offering the widest selection of boats for sale in the U.S., today announced the appointment of Mike Smith as its Mid-Atlantic sales manager.  Smith will work with boat dealers to help grow their business through Boat Trader’s suite of online marketing products and dealership management tools.

“We are extremely pleased to have someone with Mike’s industry knowledge join our sales group,” said John Souch, U.S. sales director, Boat Trader.  “Mike brings a wealth of knowledge and a unique perspective to our dealer sales channel, having worked for both a dealership and an OEM.”

Smith has over 15 years of experience in the marine industry.  Before joining Boat Trader, he was with MYMIC, a high-technology and services company based in Portsmouth, VA, where he created and developed a virtual Marina Safety Training program.  Smith also developed sales and marketing strategies for MYMIC’s commercial division.  Prior to that, Smith spent 7 years in sales and marketing roles in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast territories for Raymarine.  His experience also includes 5 years with Boaters World Marine Center.  Smith is a graduate of the University of Mississippi and resides with his wife and two children in Smithfield, VA.

Commenting upon his appointment, Smith said, “Joining Dominion Marine Media is an exciting opportunity.  I am enthusiastic about working with the entire team to grow our existing business and unlock new opportunities. I look forward in the coming days and weeks to getting out and meeting our customers in the Mid-Atlantic territory and building relationships that will help grow their businesses.”

 

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CSULB Sailing Team is ranked first in the Southwest

The top-ranking Cal State Long Beach Sailing Team breezed through to a first-place finish at the South 3-4 regatta hosted by University of California, Irvine last weekend at the Newport Harbor Yacht Club.

CSULB ranked as No. 2 in the Southwest, right behind University of California, Santa Barbara going into the race. However, after two days on the water, CSULB maneuvered their way into first and took the lead.

Senior business marketing major and Sailing Team President Shane Young skippered the varsity boats with help from junior history major Mark “the bullet” Ryan.

“Bullet” is a common sailing term for someone who comes in first, Young said.

“Ryan earned it by finishing first place in all eight races this weekend,” he said.

The CSULB Sailing Team was resurrected in fall 2010 by brothers Chase and Shane Young, along with the help of childhood friends Dustin Durant and Laura Newton, according to Durant.

“We needed a minimum of four people to have a team, so that’s what we started with and began recruiting from there,” Durant said.

Chase Young, Durant and Newton have since graduated, leaving Shane Young to hold the team together, and “he has done a fantastic job,” Durant said.

With no formal coach and very limited funding, the team members coordinate their own practices. Shane Young helps to coach the team members’ on objectives at their weekly three-hour practices held Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at the Alamitos Bay harbor.

“At the start of practice, we decide which drills we are going to work on, and afterwards, we debrief as a team and look at what it is we are doing well and in what ways we can improve,” Young said.

There are about 18 to 20 young sailors on the team, some of who had never set foot on a sailboat before.

“We recruited four newbies at this semester’s Week of Welcome so we are really excited,” he said.

Freshman health administration major Katie Glenn joined the team during her first semester at CSULB in the fall 2012. Glenn grew up in Tehachapi, Calif. — a city far away from the ocean, beaches and a local yacht club.

“I had never even sailed before, but it sounded really fun and interesting,” Glenn said. “I’ve learned a lot about sailing and I plan to stay on the team through the next few years.”

Freshman business marketing major Anna Rubino said that she also had never sailed before.

“It is a huge time commitment, but it’s so worth it,” Rubino said. “I love being out on the water.”

CSULB alumnus Steve Flam, who came out to help coach at last weekend’s regatta, is a local sailor and avid supporter of CSULB sailing. Flam raced on CSULB’s Sailing Team when it was ranked first in the nation more than two decades ago.

“CSULB sailing has been dead for 20 years, but in the last two years, Shane has done an amazing job with the team,” Flam said. “He built the team from scratch, and he deserves all the credit. There are some really talented sailors who go through CSULB, so it’s great to see the team up and running again.”

The CSULB sailing team receives only a fraction of the funding that other schools in their conference get, according to Shane Young. CSULB has been awarded with $3,000 for the year through a grant that Shane Young applied for.

“We raise money through bake sales and fundraising dinners at Naples Rib Company,” Shane Young said. “We get a lot of support from our families and also through private donations from CSULB alumni and members of the Alamitos Bay Yacht Club.”

The South 5, the next and final regatta in the Southwest, will be hosted by UCSB and held on the weekend of March 23.

 


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Scout Boats reports strong sales at Miami show

Scout Boats reports strong sales at Miami show


Posted on 25 February 2013


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Scout Boats exhibited multiple models in its lineup at the Miami International Boat Show. MIBS 2013 was the most successful Miami show on record for the company.

“Overall, we had a tremendous show, and sales were high,” Scout CEO and founder Steve Potts said in a statement. “Our hats really go off to the NMMA and all of their efforts put forth to make this show successful. It’s clear the Grow Boating campaign and all the hard work put into that by the industry professionals is taking hold and starting to pay dividends for us as exhibitors. We at Scout would like to personally thank all the show personnel and industry staff involved in continually helping give every opportunity for these shows to be successful for the exhibitors.”

Scout had numerous models on display during the Feb. 14-18 show, including the new 320 LXF and 350 LXF, which were being debuted for the 2013 model year. The company also had a 350 LXF and a 275 LXF with Teleflex’s Optimus 360 system at the Sea Isle Marine location as in-water demos.

“We saw steady traffic throughout the entire show,” Scout vice president Dave Wallace said in a statement, “not just in our booth, but all through the show and on the docks where we had in-water demo models. Our innovative product, combined with the NMMA’s show efforts, certainly created a win-win situation. We look forward to having other successful NMMA-sanctioned shows throughout this boat show season.”

Scout builds sportfishing, fish-and-ski, walkaround, flats and bayboat models from 15 to 35 feet.

Click here for the full statement.

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