Archive for » May 23rd, 2014«

Report shows boat sales boost in April

Posted on May 23rd, 2014
Written by Reagan Haynes

It’s still early in the boat-buying season, but April numbers show signs that the bad-weather slump is largely behind the industry and sales are back on the upswing.

April sales are typically the first that the industry reviews to take the overall selling season’s pulse.

“We’re on a continued upswing,” Info-Link managing director Jack Ellis told Trade Only Today. “April has essentially demonstrated what we as an industry had been predicting or hoping. We’re going to come out the other end of this brutal winter and people will start buying boats again, even though it’s a little later than last year.”

On a 12-month rolling basis, outboards continued to drive the industry’s growth, with about a 10,000-unit increase from May 2013 through April 2014, Ellis said. Unit sales of powerboats had continued their five-year momentum, edging up over the 140,000 mark.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

The data are based on new-boat registrations and are from Info-Link’s Bellwether states, which the company says are geographically dispersed and represent about half of the U.S. boat market.

“My expectation is in May we’ll see the same thing,” Ellis said, “people who would’ve otherwise bought in March and April buying in May.”

Ellis said the weather’s impact can be seen in the types of boats that have sold, versus those that have seen a bit of sluggishness.

“If you look at boats like saltwater fishing, which tend to sell in larger numbers in Southern states, those continued to tick along,” Ellis said. “Pontoons and freshwater fishing boats took a bit of a ding in the first quarter.”

Because those segments have been in such a heavy growth period for so long, it was unusual to see that decline, Ellis said. “But I really think it was weather-related,” he says. “It continues to be runabouts and smaller cruisers that are struggling. Outboards are driving the growth, and aluminum fishing boats and pontoon boats — and the vast majority of those are outboard-powered.”

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Sailing center expands, changes name, hosts weekly barbecue in Fort Pierce

New boats now allow older children to keep sailing at the Fort Pierce Sailing Center.

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Preparations underway for junior sailing program at Northern Yacht Club

Their first task is to pull the boats out of storage, something that can take a few days.

“We pretty well know what boats need a bit of work,” explains instructor Stephen Cantwell, who has been with the program for eight years. “It takes a lot of work to get them geared up and to make sure they are all properly equipped.”

There is enough time over the next few weeks for Cantwell and fellow instructors Mitchell Shaw and Emily Hatcher to take care of the bigger jobs before the kids arrive.

Over the last couple of years, there has been a significant jump in the number of beginner sailors from eight to 10 years of age.

“We always have a waiting list,” said Shaw, who, along with Hatcher, is a lifeguard at the Northside Community Pool in Sydney Mines.

“This is a great summer job, we aren’t stuck indoors all the time and the kids are great. We are doing something we really enjoy.”

The Northern Yacht Club Community Marine Centre, is home to the junior sailing program on the Northside.  Having a dedicated space has made it much easier for the instructors to teach the junior sailing program.

They do have some classroom work, but the majority of time they are on the water.

The junior sailing program runs three, two-week sessions and an additional weeklong session that takes place during Regatta Week in Baddeck.

Last year there were 35 kids enrolled in junior sailing.

“This year we are going with seven instructors and expect to have at least 40 kids and there is usually a waiting list,” Cantwell said. “Prevention is key and for us as instructors, safety is a priority. That’s why its important that we maintain our certification and keep up with the various courses such as CPR and first aid.”

Throughout the season Cantewell and his fellow instructors keep a close watch on the weather.

“We have VHS radios supplied by the coast guard. Technology is pretty important from the aspect of checking the weather and being able to communicate on the water.”

Along with the junior sailing program, the Northern Yacht Club also offers the Sail Able program. It runs in conjunction with the Learn to Sail program and operates two boats, which have been specifically designed to accommodate sailors with disabilities.

Registration for the sailing for yacht club members will take place Tuesday from 7-8 p.m. and for non-members Wednesday from 7-8 p.m. in the junior sailing building.

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Fairline pushes boat out with global sales hires

Oundle-based luxury motor yacht manufacturer, Fairline Boats, is hiring fast to keep pace with global demand.

Adam Waters joins Fairline as regional sales director for Asia Pacific and Vicky Farrow as customer liaison manager.

The appointments follow the recent expansion of Fairline’s approved dealer network, with three new dealers appointed in the US and Middle East since the beginning of 2014.

Fairline Boats has strengthened its global sales team with two new appointments.

Based in Sydney, Australia, Waters will be responsible for the strategic development of the Asia Pacific dealer network, including India, Thailand, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. 

He has 12 years’ experience working with a number of prestigious European motor yacht brands.

Farrow will be based at Fairline’s headquarters in Oundle, liaising between the factory, the dealer network and customers to ensure Fairline provides the best possible customer service.

She will also support customer factory visits and manage boat handovers at Fairline’s testing facility in Ipswich. Farrow has many years experience working with some of the best known motor yacht brands and is an active leisure boater.

Fairline CEO, Kevin Gaskell said: “Fairline is committed to building its worldwide dealer network in 2014 and showcasing the Fairline range across the globe.”

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Upstate championship sailing regatta skippers among the best; picnic May 24

Western Carolina Sailing Club held its 48th annual championship sailing regatta on Lake Hartwell recently. The competing skippers were some of the best of the best, including John Kreidler, Marc Bailey, Dennis Baker, Steve Kiemele, Paul Harder and Spencer Mathews. These competitors earned places in the championship regatta based on their year-long performance skippering racing keelboats and centerboard boats during the club’s 2013 sailing season.

Kreidler, Baker, Kiemele and Harder are past club champions with Harder having won the championship 10 times in the past 30 years.

The races were sailed in identical 18-foot Buccaneer sailboats. A Bucc 18 is a centerboard boat having a main, jib and spinnaker sail; and are sailed by a crew of two. After each race, the crews swapped boats so that each crew sailed each boat the same number of times. This eliminated any performance advantages that may have existed among the boats.

The new WCSC Club Sailing Champion is Steve Kiemele. Kiemele was the 2013 runner-up in both the Keelboat and Centerboard fleets. Kiemele had 8 points. Kreidler finished second with 10 points. Baker and Bailey tied for third place with 11 points each and Baker winning the tie-breaker.

Kiemele commented, “I was very fortunate to be within striking distance in the final race and able to capitalize on Kreidler ‘s predicament.”

They are looking forward to sharing their sailing venue and a big picnic, with the public at their upcoming Open House on May 24. Western Carolina Sailing Club welcomes inquires. Enjoy us at

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