Archive for » October 22nd, 2013«

PWC, power boats continue sales growth

pwc

October 22, 2013
Filed under News, Top Stories

Posting a second consecutive sales gain, PWC sales growth remained in positive territory, approaching 10 percent sales growth during September. The news is according to the latest figures released from Info-Link Technologies.

Sales growth in the PWC category declined sharply at the end of 2012, bottoming out in early 2013 before heading into positive territory throughout the summer months.

Building upon sales growth gains sustained through the summer of 2013, sales of 15-foot or greater powerboats notched a fourth gain in year-over-year sales growth edging just less than 10-percent growth.

Ski boat sales growth, which has hovered around 10 percent for much of the past two years, showed significant improvement in September. The three-month, year-over-year percentage change in new unit sales for the category approached 25 percent, a sharp deviation from recent trends.

Outboards showed a similarly healthy surge, with year-over-year sales growth also approaching 25 percent. While sales growth in the outboard category dropped at the beginning of 2013, its growth has increased markedly every month since the start of the summer season.

The data is based on new U.S. boat registrations. Bellwether states are geographically dispersed states representing roughly half of the US boat market (which varies by market segment and time of year). Full graphs are available here: Info-Link Technologies Bellwether Report.


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SUTTON HARBOUR HOLDINGS PLC : KTK Prime Yachts sign 4-year lease at … – 4

Yacht dealers KTK Prime Yachts will be opening a new sales office at Plymouth’s King Point Marina, after signing a 4-year lease with Sutton Harbour Holdings Plc.

KTK Prime Yachts is the South West’s authorised dealer of Beneteau Power Boats and from the King Point Marina office will be able to offer new boats for sale, boat servicing and yacht brokerage through their brokerage partner Southern Cross Yachts.

The company will be sharing the ground floor of King Point Marina’s shoreside building with marina operators Sutton Harbour Holdings Plc. The lease is due to commence on 1 January 2014.

Rob Cross, Regional Manager of KTK Prime Yachts said: “This is an exciting opportunity to bring our portfolio of marine sales and services to a completely new marina, here in the heart of Plymouth and the city’s up and coming Coastal Quarter. With our expert knowledge and professional staff we will be providing new and used boat sales, yacht maintenance and servicing, boat delivery and management to new and existing King Point Marina customers.”

£4 million King Point Marina officially opened on 1 October 2013, after eight months of work to transform the inner basin of the former Millbay docks was completed. The marina has sheltered berthing for 171 vessels of 7.5 to 25 metres, with first class shoreside facilities including fantastic showers, toilets and amenity areas for berth holders.

Mark Brimacombe, King Point Marina Manager said: “I am delighted that KTK Prime Yachts has chosen to locate its new sales office at King Point Marina. They will provide a valuable service in establishing a fully functional yacht marina facility for our berth holders, and we look forward to working closely with KTK to grow both their business and King Point Marina together.”

KTK Prime Yachts is a privately held company with head offices at Portland Marina and a regional office at Plymouth’s Yacht Haven, which will continue to provide servicing when the new office at King Point Marina opens in January. The company is the South West’s only authorised dealer of Beneteau motor boats, ranging from 17 to 55 feet in length.

For more information and berthing enquiries for King Point Marina, visit www.kingpointmarina.co.uk, contact Marina Manager Mark Brimacombe on 01752 424297or email .


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Foldable boats – what will they think of next?

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Small business

Small business
Entrepreneur

Date

October 4, 2013

  • (1)

This entrepreneur liked the idea so much he bought the company.


James Graham, Rottnest Island

When Perth entrepreneur Deryck Graham first saw the original prototype for his Quickboat, he liked it so much he bought the company.

It was not the first foldable boat ever made – but Graham saw the potential to make it work without the use of clips or latches, nuts and bolts. He planned to make it into the ultimate DIY-friendly boat, capable of being stored under a bed or in a garage, transported on roof racks and constructed in less than a minute.

In April last year, Graham, 52, bought the design and patents from Quickstep Holdings, the aerospace company he co-founded, and named the new venture Quickboats. He began on a global fund-raising venture, which has since netted him $1.5 million from around 30 high net worth investors.

It will begin retailing in December. There are around 50 advance orders and thousands of “strong inquiries” he is confident of converting into sales.

While the “minute-to-make” boat was a hit at the Sydney International Boat Show in August, it is not an original concept. Graham admits the boat’s inspiration was Porta-bote, another Australian company which has sold around 90,000 folding boats and which itself claims a four-minute assemblage time.

The big difference is Graham’s space-age design uses so-called “Armor Skin” panels secured by Kevlar hinges and no metal parts.

It will be interesting to see if his broad vision for the boat will work. He wants it to appeal to the weekend camper rather than pure boating enthusiasts: “We’re thinking lifestyle, not boat segment,” he says.

Nor does he believe that the retail price of $4375 (including GST) will put off his market. It’s not for the guy who wants a $100 tinny to fish locally. It’s for the go-anywhere, entrepreneurial outdoor traveller.

“I wouldn’t travel around Oz with a tinny, and blow-ups are not very good and get very wet. You can take a Quickboat to the Top End, stay for three months, fold it up and then go on to the next caravan spot. It’s for guys who want to fish in lakes and streams they couldn’t normally get to, or the family with two young sons who want to go fishing once or twice a year.”

Undoubtedly the boat is efficient, but the company’s structure appears unwieldy. It may be Australian-originated with the main industrial designers in Sydney, but there are other designers in Ireland and the boat’s engineer of composites is French. It’s manufactured in Thailand, uses virtual assistants in the Philippines and is about to engage a technology officer in Singapore. The company’s European agent is based in Amsterdam and the first salesman is likely to be hired from Adelaide.

What about his home town of Perth? Graham, who runs the company with general manger (and nephew) James Graham, says it’s too expensive to hire anyone from “the most expensive city in the southern hemisphere”. He says it all will be managed through “a new generation” of cloud technology.

Graham is no stranger to the virtual world – he sold about 20 boats in a promotional sale at the cut price of $3000 through crowd-sourcing platform Indiegogo, through which he also raised $65,000. It was a ploy to simultaneously raise money and the company’s online profile.

While his reps will be targeting the big boating and camping retail chains across the world – and particularly in the US – he intends to sell boats direct from the Quickboats website, with deliveries to a customer’s front door no matter where they are.

How many can the company produce? Graham says the Thai manufacturer has a capacity constraint at about 500 boats for the first year. He intends to launch in the US the year after to ensure he can manage the hoped-for demand.

“The first thing Americans ask is ‘what’s our margin?’ and the second is ‘what’s your inventory?’ We know, for example, that there is a middle-sized camping and boating network in the US with 185 stores. If it alone sold one boat every week per store, that’s 4500 sales per annum. We’re hunting for the big retail chains – as well as building a community online.”

By Graham’s own admission only good communication will prevent chinks appearing in a company which he acknowledges is “geographically all over the place”. He and his nephew own about 65 per cent of Quickboats although further fund-raising may dilute their stake. He expects the break-even point to occur at around 600 boat sales (without add-ons) with profitability at around 800.

“The first 12 months are all about contractors delivering designs and products and getting systems and processes right – then it becomes an item for sale, and it’s all about putting in distributorships,” Graham says.

“We have to adapt to all the evolutionary stages. Nothing is constant – this is still a start-up.”

 


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