Archive for » February 11th, 2014«

Weekly 5: Boat dealer arrested at Atlantic City Boat Show

Weekly-5-01112014

Photo Credit: Jason Rojas, Flickr.

February 11, 2014
Filed under Top Stories, Weekly 5

 

The BI Weekly 5 is a collection of tips, news and data affecting the boating industry this week. Be sure to look for the BI Weekly 5 every Tuesday on BoatingIndustry.com.

 

1. Boat dealer arrested at Atlantic City Boat Show

A New Jersey boat dealer was arrested at the Atlantic City Boat Show last week, accusing him of issuing bad checks and theft by deception.

Tracy Blumenstein, owner of Professional Boat Sales in Egg Harbor Township, allegedly sold at least one trade-in boat without paying off the outstanding loan. He is also accused of issuing $33,000 in bad checks. Local police said other employees had also been “implicated in fraudulent activity involving the sales of other boats, and the investigation is ongoing.”

2. Obamacare insurance requirement delayed

Employers with fewer than 100 employees won’t be required to provide insurance to employees until 2016, under a delay announced Monday.  Larger firms will have to cover at least 70 percent of employees next year. In a rule especially important to the marine industry, the IRS also said employers will not have to cover seasonal employees that work less than 6 months.

3. Creating a strategic plan

Ready to take your planning to the next step with a solid strategic plan for your business? SCORE is offering a free online workshop to help business owners create a plan.  It’s just one of the many free resources SCORE offers small business owners.

4. Do better online in five steps

Nice simple how-to guide from MarketingProfs this week on how local businesses can easily improve their online presence. Worth checking out if you need to get your online efforts off the ground.

5. Go for the leadership gold

Playing off the Olympic theme, gold medalist Adam Kreek offers his advice for winning and how it can apply to entrepreneurs (and managers, for that matter.)



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Brokerage sales dip in January

Posted on February 11th, 2014
Written by John Burnham, YachtWorld.com


After eight months of year-over-year improvement, the U.S. yacht brokerage market started 2014 with 5 percent fewer boat sales in January than it had in the same month last year.

There were 1,635 boats that changed hands during the month, down from 1,728 a year earlier, according to YachtWorld member brokerages reporting in SoldBoats.com, their proprietary database. The total was still higher than the five-year average for the month of 1,559.

The aggregate price paid for boats in January increased by 2 percent to $242.7 million compared with the same month the previous year. Sales of larger boats generally held up well during the month, even as sales of smaller powerboats and sailboats declined.

Powerboat sales as a whole were lower by 6 percent for the month at 1,284, yet the value of the boats sold rose 27 percent to $212 million.

In contrast, the number of sailboats sold declined just 1 percent to 351, yet the total price paid for them dropped 56 percent to $30.5 million. This extraordinary statistic can be traced to the benchmark in January 2012, when five vessels 80 feet and longer were sold for $43 million; in January 2013, no sailboats of that length changed hands.

Most of the downturn for the month was attributable to lower sales volume for boats under 26 feet and, to a lesser extent, boats 26 to 35 feet. Under 26 feet, boat sales were 21 percent lower with 453 sold and among boats 26 to 35 feet, sales were down 4 percent to 580. The value of the boats sold in these size ranges declined by lesser percentages, so the average price for each size boat increased incrementally during the period.

Among powerboat sales, the strongest growth was in boats 46 feet and higher, especially 46 to 55 feet, where sales were 34 percent higher. The total value of sales increased at a slower rate among boats 46 to 79 feet, indicating lower average prices, but over 80 feet, more expensive boats sold well with volume up 17 percent and the total price paid up 112 percent.

Among sailboats, the story was different, with level or higher sales and generally higher average prices among boats 36 to 79 feet and no sales above 80 feet.

A more detailed report summarizing recent U.S. brokerage sales will appear in the March issue of Soundings Trade Only.

John Burnham is the editorial director of YachtWorld.com.


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Iran Sends 'Fleet' To U.S. East Coast On Comic Relief Mission

Don’t fear the Iranian “fleet” that is sailing toward the U.S. East Coast. You have more to fear from your bathtub boats than from this ostensible armada.

“The Iranian Army’s naval fleets have already started their voyage towards the Atlantic Ocean via the waters near South Africa,”declared Admiral Afshin Rezayee Haddad, commander of Iran’s Northern Navy Fleet, according to the semi-official Fars News Agency.

Admiral Haddad pointedly added that “Iran’s military fleet is approaching the United States’ maritime borders, and this move has a message.”

Unfortunately, Iran’s gunboat diplomacy may send the opposite message, namely highlighting just how feeble is the gunboat part. Haddad speaks of the “Iranian Army’s naval fleets”, which not only sounds like a peculiar oxymoron coming from an admiral of the Navy (which presumably is a separate branch from the Army), but also raises the question of what “fleets” he’s talking about. The expeditionary force appears to be the Iranian Navy’s 29th Fleet, which consists of a whopping two ships; the destroyer Sabalan and the helicopter carrier Kharg, which left the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas on January 22 for the Atlantic Ocean, according to Iran’s Press TV.

Iranian warship Sabalan. Wikipedia photo

But the Sabalan is a relatively small 45-year-old British-built frigate armed with just four Chinese-made anti-ship missiles and a single big 4.5-inch caliber gun. The ship made history after it was bombed and nearly sunk by U.S. Navy A-6 aircraft in April 1988 after it fired on American planes that were retaliating for Iranian minefields laid in the Persian Gulf (the Sabalan’s captain was nicknamed “Captain Nasty” for his attacks on neutral merchant ships). The 37-year-old “helicopter carrier” Kharg carries just three helicopters, notes the War is Boring blog  ; it’s actually a tanker and replenishment ship to refuel Iranian warships.

These vessels will obviously be closely monitored by the U.S. Navy, though the U.S. Coast Guard could probably take them out should hostilities flare. Of course, this assumes that the Iranian duo will make it to the East Coast in the first place. The Iranian military has suffered decades of sanctions that have impeded the flow of spare parts. Bandar Abbas is about 6,000 miles from New York, which leaves plenty of empty ocean for two old and maintenance-deprived ships to break down. Perhaps some passing American warships will offer them a tow?

What’s funny is that I wrote virtually the same story more than two years ago. The Iranian armada never materialized then, and who knows if it will now?  But if it does, what purpose does this expedition serve? If Iran means to intimidate or deter the U.S from, say, bombing its nuclear facilities, then it can best do so by threatening to either block oil tanker traffic in the Persian Gulf, or unleash terror attacks by Hezbollah. A couple of decrepit ships off Boston harbor won’t cause more than a chuckle.

In the meantime, considering what happened the last time the Sabalan fired on American forces, Captain Nasty is advised to be on his best behavior.

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