Archive for » February 16th, 2014«

Foreign boat buyers get matched with US manufacturers at Florida boat show

— Recreational fishing boats HydroSports and SeaHunter can maneuver the waves off Dubai or Japan just as well as they can the waters of Biscayne Bay.

So the Islamorada-based factory-direct sales office for the crafts is targeting overseas sales, hoping a government-sponsored program will link it to international buyers during the upcoming Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show, which runs Thursday through Monday.

HydroSports and SeaHunter are participating for the first time in the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Buyer Program, which connects U.S. companies with foreign businesses to boost export sales.

This is the second year the Miami Boat Show is partnering in the program, offering its exhibitors an added link to the foreign market. Exhibitors must have pre-registered by last week. There is no fee, but the exhibitor must be a National Marine Manufacturers Association member or an exhibitor that sells a U.S.-manufactured product.

“What I like about this program is it gives new-to-export companies an opportunity to get their feet wet, so to speak, in the international arena. So they don’t have to make the huge investment required to travel overseas, because the buyers are coming to them,” said Julie Balzano, export development director for NMMA, the trade association for the recreational boating industry. The association produces 23 boat shows annually, including the Miami show, one of the world’s largest.

All the international buyers are recruited by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s network of commercial specialists around the world, said Gary Rand, director of the International Buyer’s Program. Once recruited, the NMMA can link them to suppliers from its list of prequalified vendors, including boat builders and equipment manufacturers, to schedule appointments.

Overall, the International Buyer Program participates in more than 35 major industry trade shows every year, including the Consumer Electronics Show, the Graphics of the Americas show and the Fancy Food Show, said Rand, who is based in Washington, D.C.

Across all industries, the International Buyer Program has helped generate $1.7 billion in export sales from 2011 to 2013, Rand said. More than 46 percent of the sales were exports by a firm to a new market.

Already, 200 buying representatives from 102 companies in 22 countries have signed up for appointments through the program for the Miami International Boat Show, Rand said. The show takes place at the Miami Beach Convention Center and Sea Isle Marina.

“The Miami Boat Show is one of the biggest boat shows in the world. Everybody comes from all over the world, so we see nothing but positives working with a program like this,” said Terri Nuechterlein, director of marketing at the factory-direct sales center for SeaHunter and HydroSports, which will have a booth at the Miami Beach Convention Center. The boats will be available to try out at Sea Isle Marina. SeaHunters, manufactured in South Miami-Dade, range in price from $89,900 for a 24-foot bay boat, to $549,900 for a 45-foot center console boat, with outriggers, rod holders, bolster seating and other options. HydroSports, made in Stuart and Tennessee, cost $79,900 for a 23-foot boat to more than 600,000 for 42-foot with luxury options like teak flooring, teak tables and a tower.

During the past year, both brands have enjoyed overseas sales to Dubai, Spain, Japan, the Bahamas and other Caribbean nations, Nuechterlein said.

So far, through the International Buyer Program, two more potential buyers from Dubai have signed up to meet at the Miami Boat Show, she said. “Our boats handle the big water that is there.”

Accmar Equipment Co., a Kendall-based manufacturer of dock equipment, is also registered in the international program. The company manufactures such items as power pedestals for docks and marinas, fire safety equipment, boat fenders, dock ladders and other items, said Accmar President Juan Pizarro, who founded the company in 2007.

During the recession, Accmar focused on the international market, selling to buyers from Dubai, Panama, Ecuador, Venezuela and Colombia. Pizarro said 40 percent of the company’s sales are international.

Last year, Accmar’s participation in the International Buyer Program led to sales in Panama and South Korea.

“I believe this is a great tool the Miami Boat Show is providing for their customers, because it gives us the opportunity to meet face-to-face with the buyers, and the industry right now is about relationships,” said Pizarro, who will be exhibiting on the main floor of the show at the convention center.

“You can’t fly to all these countries,” he said. “There is no doubt in my mind that we will get a positive lead that might turn into a sale from the program.”

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Pier 33 to Open Grand Rapids Boat Show Wednesday February 19 – PR

Pier 33 Marina of St. Joseph, Michigan is preparing for some exciting boat debuts at the 2014 Grand Rapids Boat Show.

As Michigans largest new boat dealer representing Pursuit, Chaparral and Robalo Boats, the Grand Rapids Boat Show is a key event for Pier 33 and this years show will give area boaters their first local look at a group of models never before shown at the Grand Rapids Boat Show. The boat show will be held February 19 thru 23, Wednesday thru Sunday at DeVos Place in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Included on Pier 33s debut list:

Pursuit OS 315, a wide-beam twin-engine outboard cruiser. Pursuit is part of S2 Yachts. S2 Yachts is headquartered in nearby Holland, MI and also is the builder of Tiara Yachts.

Chaparral 277 SSX. This luxury high-performance bow-rider is powered by a 430 HP Mercury Bravo III stern drive and features Chaparrals latest comfort innovations.

Robalo R 222 Center Console, Robalo R 207 Dual Console and Robalo R 180 Center Console. These three models represent Robalos industry-leading No Haggle Reel Deal program, offering boaters a premium level of quality at special boat-motor-trailer package pricing. This will be Robalos first showing at DeVos Place.

In addition to these models, Pier 33 has been provided with special incentives such as Five-Year Warranty Coverage from Chaparral Robalo thru the Gotcha Covered Sales Event; Winter Boat Show Incentives from Pursuit, worth up to $7,500 and Five-Year Extended Service Protection thru Yamahas Reliable Choice program on all new Pursuit and Robalo models.

Pier 33 and Chaparral display partner Action Water Sports of Traverse City, MI will be sponsoring the Chaparral Boats Treasure Hunt Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the boat show. Boat show visitors will have a chance to search for clues aboard new Chaparral boats, complete a simple entry form and then be eligible for a random drawing to win a Summer Fun Package. The Summer Fun Package will include a GoPro Hero3 camera, Ronix Wakeboard, boots bindings, Liquid Force Party Tube, ski ropes and ski vests. The Summer Fun Package is valued at over $1,000.

With warmer temperatures expected to arrive in time for the show, Pier 33 General Manager Tighe Curran is looking forward to a big turn out: “The Michigan boating world really comes alive at when the boat show comes around and boaters have never been more ready to see a sign of springtime” says Curran “Spring launch is not that far away.”

The Grand Rapids Boat Show begins Wednesday February 19 and runs thru Sunday February 23. Show hours are 3 pm 9:30 pm Wednesday Thursday; 11 am 9:30 pm Friday; 10 am 9 pm Saturday and 11 am to 6 pm Sunday. Admission for adults is $10, children 6-14 $4, 5 under get in free.

Pier 33 Marina is a full-service boating facility including summer dockage, winter summer boat storage, complete boat repair and maintenance service, yacht brokerage and pre-owned boat sales and new boat sales from Pursuit, Chaparral and Scout Boats. Pier 33 is located at 250 Anchors Way in St. Joseph, Michigan.

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Sailing: Midwinter Regatta Underway

Local residents Henry Sprague and Howie Hamlin are leading two of the eight classes competing in Alamitos Bay Yacht Club’s share of the Southern California Yachting Association’s 85thMidwinter Regatta, which opened as one for the ages Saturday.

Sprague, 68, tops the singlehanded Finn class with finishes of 1-6-1-1; Hamlin, approaching his 61st birthday next week, leads the 5-0-5s at 2-1-1-2.

“Henry was pretty impressive,” said Mike Dorgan of San Diego, who is one point behind. “He’s been sailing the boat 40 years. He’s ‘Mr. Finn.’ “

Even his sixth (last) place was a fluke. He had a large lead starting what everyone thought was the second lap of the second race—but the race committee had called for a one-lap race, and suddenly Sprague was hopelessly dead last as everyone returned to finish.

No matter. “We all thought we sailing two laps,” Sprague said, “but the thing is we were having a good time.”

That, Sprague said, is his lifestyle. He just returned from a month in Florida where he finished third in a national Finn event, “and the champion—a 20-year-old sailor from Brazil—finished fourth behind me. The Finn sailors in Florida are like professionals. It’s their life.”  

He enjoyed it despite conditions less than desirable: unusually light breeze of 4 to 7 knots from the south instead of the more familiar double-digit breeze from southwest

Other leaders entering the final day Sunday included Keith Davids, 45, of San Diego with four-win sweeps in Laser Masters and Lido 14-B, respectively.

Hamlin came close but appears comfortable with a five-point edge over Jeff Candon and crew Reeve Dunn of Newport Harbor YC and buddy Mike Martin and crew Ben Benjamin of St. Francis YC and NHYC, respectively.

Martin, the director of rules and umpiring for last fall’s America’s Cup in San Francisco, said, “We led at the first mark in every race. Why don’t we just end the story there?”

Next Thursday night, a day after Hamlin turns 61, Hamlin and Martin will fly to Australia to compete the together in the JJ Giltinan regatta, the world championship for 18-foot skiffs.

There was one protest Saturday. Stu Robertson moved into first place by winning a port-starboard issue in the day’s final race against chief rival Bruce Golison—both ABYC members—that dropped Golison out of the lead.

There are 64 entries in eight classes but no keelboats due to lack of launching facilities during reconstruction of Basin 5 at ABYC. The boats are launching from the beach adjacent to the club.

Racing is in the Long Beach outer harbor inside the breakwater, except for Lido 14s inside Alamitos Bay. Racing will start at noon, conditions permitting.

First staged in 1928, the SCYA Midwinters are the longest-running regatta in Southern California, surviving the Great Depression, a full range of weather and interrupted only by World War II. SCYA and the Los Angeles Junior Chamber of Commerce teamed up in 1928 to sponsor the first Midwinters in L.A. Harbor, which was promoted as the sports “paradise” that Southern California offered in the winter. Until the 1960s all the boats were wooden but some of the sailors were legendary. Humphrey Bogart sailed his Santana to second place in a handicap class in 1947.

Class leaders at ABYC  

LASER MASTERS (17 boats; age 35+ with progressive handicap points)—Keith Davids (age 45), Mission Bay YC, 1-1-1-1-8HP, 12 points.

5-0-5 (5)—Howie Hamlin/Andy Zinn, Alamitos Bay YC, 2-1-1-2, 6.

CORONADO 15 (3)—John Richardson/Steve Miller, Santa Barbara YC, 1-1-1-1, 4.

F-18 (7)—Scott Miller/Patty Miller, Mission Bay YC, 2-8/DNC-1-1, 12.

FINN (6)—Henry Sprague, Long Beach, 1-6-1-1, 9.

INTERNATIONAL 14 (8)—Brad Ruetnik/Garrett Brown, San Diego YC, 2-2-2-2, 8.

LIDO 14-A (8)—Stu Robertson/Sammy Elsharhawry, ABYC, 1-5-1-3, 10.

LIDO 14-B (7)—Bill Moore/Melody Wong, ABYC, 1-1-1-1, 4.

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