Archive for » October 14th, 2014«

Sales have Scout Boats thinking expansion

Posted on October 14th, 2014


Business at Scout Boats has risen about 25 percent during the last four years, in contrast to the industry average of 6 or 7 percent growth in the period, fueling a $2.5 million expansion that should add 300 employees in the Charleston, S.C., region.

That’s according to owner Steve Potts, who said during a 25th anniversary dealer meeting that increasing demand for larger products is driving the expansion at its South Carolina facility.

Hurricane Hugo nearly wiped out the then-fledgling boatbuilder in 1989, but Scout’s boats now are at more than 75 dealers in 25 countries.

Demand for larger models is fueling a $2.5 million expansion in Summerville, where the payroll is “right close to” 240 workers, Potts told The (Charleston) Post and Courier in a QA.

“Our five-year plan is to add another 300 employees to that,” Potts told the publication.

Potts attributed the company’s success through the downturn to the 18 new models it introduced between 2008 and 2010, a time when “none of our competitors were coming out with any new models,”Potts said.

The biggest trend Scout sees is a transition from what it has traditionally built -–boats 25 feet and under –- to boats from 25 to 42 feet.

“The demand for bigger stuff …is off the charts,”Potts said.

That trend has, in part, fueled the expansion, he said.

“The demand for our bigger boats is such that, in some instances, we have a waiting period of six months,”Potts said. “We were losing sales because we didn’t have the capacity to meet the demand. The biggest reason for the new facility is it’s going to build a new 42-foot boat and a new 38-foot model. That will free up the rest of the facility … to build more of the other stuff.”

Scout’s newfound popularity as a yacht tender can be partly attributed to in-house research and design, he said.

“We design and build all our own tooling,”Potts said. “I’d say today nearly 90 percent of the companies don’t do that. They outsource it. … I’ve considered that. My problem with going that route is that the designs end up being homogenous, in that I can look at the design of a new model boat and know who did it. The design of our boats … and the style lines and all that we create, and our look –– it’s our character.”

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Sales have Scout Boats thinking expansion

Posted on October 14th, 2014


Business at Scout Boats has risen about 25 percent during the last four years, in contrast to the industry average of 6 or 7 percent growth in the period, fueling a $2.5 million expansion that should add 300 employees in the Charleston, S.C., region.

That’s according to owner Steve Potts, who said during a 25th anniversary dealer meeting that increasing demand for larger products is driving the expansion at its South Carolina facility.

Hurricane Hugo nearly wiped out the then-fledgling boatbuilder in 1989, but Scout’s boats now are at more than 75 dealers in 25 countries.

Demand for larger models is fueling a $2.5 million expansion in Summerville, where the payroll is “right close to” 240 workers, Potts told The (Charleston) Post and Courier in a QA.

“Our five-year plan is to add another 300 employees to that,” Potts told the publication.

Potts attributed the company’s success through the downturn to the 18 new models it introduced between 2008 and 2010, a time when “none of our competitors were coming out with any new models,”Potts said.

The biggest trend Scout sees is a transition from what it has traditionally built -–boats 25 feet and under –- to boats from 25 to 42 feet.

“The demand for bigger stuff …is off the charts,”Potts said.

That trend has, in part, fueled the expansion, he said.

“The demand for our bigger boats is such that, in some instances, we have a waiting period of six months,”Potts said. “We were losing sales because we didn’t have the capacity to meet the demand. The biggest reason for the new facility is it’s going to build a new 42-foot boat and a new 38-foot model. That will free up the rest of the facility … to build more of the other stuff.”

Scout’s newfound popularity as a yacht tender can be partly attributed to in-house research and design, he said.

“We design and build all our own tooling,”Potts said. “I’d say today nearly 90 percent of the companies don’t do that. They outsource it. … I’ve considered that. My problem with going that route is that the designs end up being homogenous, in that I can look at the design of a new model boat and know who did it. The design of our boats … and the style lines and all that we create, and our look –– it’s our character.”

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Click here to Register … it’s free!

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Not a member yet? Click here to Register!

Already a member? Click here to Login!

Subscribe … for unlimited access!

Individual subscription: $29 for unlimited site access for one year.

Small Business subscription: $140 for unlimited site access for up to 10 members of a company for one year.

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Duchess becomes royal patron of sailing charity

THE Duchess of Cambridge has become royal patron of a new sailing charity that already has the support of Hampshire Olympian Sir Ben Ainslie.

Kate, who is pregnant with her second child and suffering from severe morning sickness, described her love of sailing and said she hoped the 1851 Trust would inspire a new generation to take up the sport.

The 1851 Trust is the charitable arm of the British team’s bid to bring the America’s Cup back to the UK, which is led by Lymington’s Sir Ben.

The charity, which also has the support of Ben Ainslie Racing, will work with young people under 25 years old to encourage them to become involved in sailing and the marine industry.

It is not the first time the pair have come together over their love of sailing.

As previously reported, the duchess joined four-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Ben in June, as he launched Britain’s bid to win the historic America’s Cup yacht race.

Sir Ben will skipper the team, which will be based in Portsmouth, that aims to triumph in the 35th America’s Cup being staged in 2017.

The duchess, who has not been seen in public since the news of her pregnancy was announced, said in a statement released by Kensington Palace: “I am delighted to be royal patron of The 1851 Trust.

“I feel very fortunate to have enjoyed sailing from a young age and I know it is a great way of providing young people with the opportunity to develop skills and confidence.

“It is a hugely exciting time for sailing as the British challenger bids to bring the America’s Cup back to Britain. I am looking forward to being part of this journey and I hope that through The 1851 Trust we can engage and inspire a new generation into sailing along the way.”

Kensington Palace said the patronage reflected the duchess’s personal interests in sailing and in supporting children and young people to build their skills, confidence and aspirations.

During her gap year, the duchess crewed on round-the-world challenge boats in the Solent. In April this year, she took the helm of an 80ft America’s Cup sailing boat for two three-mile races in Auckland against her husband the Duke of Cambridge.

She won 2-0, punching the air in triumph each time.

A British team has never won the America’s Cup. The oldest trophy in sport was first offered as the One Hundred Pound Cup in 1851 for a race around the Isle of Wight, witnessed by Queen Victoria.

The duchess is due to attend her first official engagement since she was struck down with morning sickness next week when she and the Duke of Cambridge formally welcome Singapore’s president Tony Tan at the start of his four-day state visit to the UK.


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Old-school sailboats return to Poland's mighty Vistula

Warsaw (AFP) – Gliding down the river on a sleek wooden hull, its white sail gleaming as it catches the breeze, the vessel could easily be mistaken for a traditional Egyptian felucca sailing down the Nile.

But this mighty river, the Vistula, runs through Poland and in its capital Warsaw, rigged skiffs first built centuries ago for trade on the wild waterway are making a comeback thanks to a new breed of sailing buff.

“Our boats look a little like feluccas. They have what Egyptians call a ‘crab claw’ sail with one spar along the lower edge,” photographer Jacek Marczewski, who built his own boat from scratch, told AFP.

“In other ways, our boats are quite unique, just like the Vistula is special,” he says of the traditional “pychowka” or “push-boat” in Polish, named for its long pole reaching the river bottom that is used for navigation, much like on the famous gondolas of Venice.

To avoid any accidents, police escorted his 8.5 metre-long (29 foot) vessel through the streets of the capital to its launch site near the impressive national stadium built for the Euro 2012 football championships.

Marczewski waded waist-deep into the river on his 55th birthday to launch his boat, named “Slawka” after his late mother.

Polish boatmakers finish their work on a traditionalnbsp;hellip;

It’s a sleek but sturdy design and the 12-square metre (129 square feet) sail is fixed to a five metre high mast.

He used three different types of wood to build it: acacia for the frame; oak for the bow and larch for the hull.

“We built it based on the design of traditional skiffs used for centuries on the Vistula to transport goods or for fishing.

“Larger boats were used to dredge sand from the river bottom used in building, or to ferry goods up the river from Krakow in the south to Gdansk, on the Baltic coast,” the tall, husky Marczewski told AFP.

Pychowki boats moved everything from wheat to potatoes and textiles up and down the Vistula as far back as the 17th century, but river transport fell out of favour with the advent of railways in the late 19th century.

A traditional quot;pychowkaquot; wooden boat is transportednbsp;hellip;

Marczewski is captivated by the Vistula, which he dubs “wild and changable.”

“Areas that are deep can become shallow from day to day and islets of white sand appear and disappear with the seasons,” he told AFP.

He dreams of sailing the Vistula and its tributary the Bug, on Poland’s eastern border with Ukraine, as well as the Oder on its western border with Germany.

He and fellow “pychowka” fan Lukasz Perkowski, who helped Marczewski build his boat, want to sail it at the “Festival de Loire”, an annual event in Orleans, central France, drawing river boat enthusiasts from across Europe.

- A quick getaway -

Jacek Marczewski launches a wooden boat - which henbsp;hellip;

A ceramics artist, Perkowski uses a carpenter’s shop in Warsaw just a stone’s throw from the Vistula to feed his passion for building boats.

He honed his skills while refurbishing a traditional skiff he acquired from the police, who had confiscated it from poachers.

“Because these boats have flat bottoms, they are very stable and nothing dangerous can really happen,” says Perkowski of the traditional “pychowka”.

“There’s no keel or centreboard and you can easily come ashore in sandy or rocky areas,” he explains.

“That’s also why the boat can only use a back or side wind.

“The Vistula has the reputation of being a very dangerous river and people are afraid to navigate it,” he adds.

Over 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) long, the river spans Poland from its source in the southern Tatra mountains to its northern delta on the Baltic coast, but unlike centuries gone by, there is little traffic on the Vistula today.

The real attraction of the “pychowka” for weary city folk is the quick escape it offers from the hustle and bustle of metropolitan life.

“All you need to do is get in the boat and push off the river bank,” says Perkowski.

“You’re still in the centre of a city of well over a million people, but you’re in a completely different world and you see the city differently,” he says.

“An hour downstream from Warsaw, you discover the peace and quiet of the wilderness, of nature,” Perkowski told AFP.

“It means you can be in the city and quickly step out for a little vacation any time you wish.”


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