Archive for » December 19th, 2014«

Bellwether report shows continued boat sales gains

bellwether november

Jonathan Sweet
December 19, 2014
Filed under News, Top Stories

U.S. boat sales are still running just less than 10 percent ahead of 2013 through November.

That’s according to Info-Link’s latest Bellwether report, which tracks boat sales across the country based on new U.S. boat registrations. Bellwether states are geographically dispersed states representing roughly half of the US boat market (varies by market segment and time of year).

(For more on 2014 numbers and the 2015 outlook, see our article posted earlier this week.)

Continuing the trend we’ve seen all year, every segment of the market posted year-over-year gains, with the exception of sterndrive/jet. That category was down about 5 percent in bellwether states in November year-over-year.

PWC sales continue to be strong with sales gains of 25 percent year-over-year. Earlier this year, sales peaked at about 30 percent ahead of 2013. The sportfish and ski boat segments also boasted gains of more than 10 percent in November year-over-year, while outboard sales grew by just under 10 percent.


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US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider Announces Major Partnership with Sunbrella® Fabrics

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With our mutual commitment to high performance, technical innovation, and sustainable results, this is a natural partnership on many levels.

Portsmouth, R.I (PRWEB) December 19, 2014

The US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider today announced a major partnership with Sunbrella® fabrics, the leading producer of performance and marine canvas around the globe. Effective immediately, Sunbrella will be named as a Gold-level sponsor of the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider, the nation’s Olympic and Paralympic sailing team, and also as the presenting sponsor of ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, North America’s premier Olympic and Paralympic classes regatta. A North Carolina-based brand with deep roots in the American sailing community, Sunbrella will now assume a prominent role in fostering the future of high-performance sailing the United States.

“Sunbrella and the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider share many core principles, and we are very excited to bring them onboard,” said Josh Adams, Managing Director of US Olympic Sailing. “With our mutual commitment to high performance, technical innovation, and sustainable results, this is a natural partnership on many levels. By joining our team’s Rio 2016 campaign, Sunbrella adds tremendous support to US Olympic and Paralympic athletes.”

Founded in 1961, Sunbrella began offering marine upholstery products in the mid 1970’s. By producing innovative canvas and fabrics that were exceptionally weather-resistant and easy to maintain, Sunbrella quickly became a dominant player in the marine industry. Fabric made by Sunbrella’s parent company and manufacturer, Glen Raven, was notably used for the American flag planted on the moon by Apollo 11 astronauts in 1969. With a core brand identity that celebrates the best of what America has to offer, Sunbrella now will adorn the hulls and sails of US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider athletes as they make their push towards the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“There has been a special bond between Sunbrella and the sailing community for nearly 50 years as sailors the world over have adopted Sunbrella as their fabric of choice,” said Gina Wicker, creative director for Glen Raven, Inc., makers of Sunbrella fabrics. “Our alignment with the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider as a Gold Level partner is a natural fit, as the team of athletes represents the best in our country, known for its endurance, commitment to excellence and reputation of dependability. We are proud to support the team’s quest for Olympic and Paralympic greatness in 2016.”

About Sunbrella Fabrics

For nearly 50 years, Sunbrella® fabrics have set the standard for the performance of marine canvas all around the globe, offering durability, fade resistance and easy care. First introduced in 1961 as an awning fabric, the Sunbrella brand revolutionized the way the world thinks about how beautiful fabrics look, feel and perform. The Sunbrella brand is the leading premium fabric choice today not only for marine, but also for awning and upholstery, including boat interiors. Sunbrella fabrics are manufactured and marketed by Glen Raven, a 134-year-old family-owned company based in North Carolina with operations worldwide. For more information on the Sunbrella brand, including fabric resources, visit

About the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider

The US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider is managed by the United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the national governing body for the sport of sailing and sailboat racing. The top boats in each Olympic and Paralympic class are selected annually to be members of the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider. US Sailing helps these elite athletes with with financial, logistical, coaching, technical, fitness, marketing and communications support. The title sponsor of the team is Sperry Top-Sider; other sponsors include Gold-Level partner Sunbrella and Silver-Level partners Harken, Team McLube and Groupe Beneteau. Yale Cordage is a team supplier. The US Sailing Center Miami is an Olympic training site. Oakcliff Sailing and Clearwater Community Sailing Center are US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider Training Centers. Chubb Personal Insurance sponsors US Sailing’s National Team Tour, a nationwide presentation program for US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider athletes. For more information, please visit

The United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership, integrity, and growth for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US Sailing is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. US Sailing offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider. For more information, please visit

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2014 Ocean Marina Pattaya Boat Show sets a new benchmark in sales and … – TravelDailyNews Asia


2014 Ocean Marina Pattaya Boat Show sets a new benchmark in sales and visitor turnout

Theodore Koumelis – 19 December 2014, 09:17

Now in its third year, the organisers decision to expand the Show to a four-day format proved to be a wise one as the opening two days (Thursday and Friday) attracted almost half the total number of visitors with many being interested buyers.


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Planning is already underway for the fourth annual Ocean Marina Pattaya Boat Show, which will take place at Ocean Marina 26th to 29th November 2015.


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Clipper fleet eye 2015 Sydney to Hobart

Over a year out from the 2015 Sydney to Hobart, the Clipper Round the World Yacht event have announced their intention to again include the iconic Australian race event in their 40,000 nautical mile global odyssey.

The 12-boat Clipper fleet plus two training boats contested the Sydney to Hobart in 2013, though there wasn’t a large Australian presence among the different crews.

There will be a bigger local contingent in the 2015-16 Clipper race, after the two training boats were left behind in Sydney to encourage more local participation in the event, which teams amateur sailors with professional skippers.

One of those training boats, Clipper Ventures 10, will tackle this year’s Sydney to Hobart, with ten Australians and eight overseas sailors aboard.

Although they didn’t feature in the upper reaches of the line and handicap honours standings of the 2013 Hobart race, the Clipper fleet added colour to the event and contained sailors from countries that had never been represented in it in the past,

That trend continues this year, with the first South Korean to contest the race, aboard Clipper Ventures 10.

The multi-month Clipper event will include three Australian races, from Albany to Sydney in early December, the Sydney to Hobart starting on Boxing Day, and Hobart to a yet to be confirmed Eastern Australian port, commencing in mid-January.

“We are very excited to include the Sydney to Hobart as part of our AustralIan leg in the 2015-16 Clipper Race series,” said race chairman and founder Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail single-handed and non-stop around the world,

“This coast-to-cast leg is very popular with Australians, with a three-race series which includes the Sydney to Hobart classic.”

Plenty of people from around the world have travelled to Australia to train for the Clipper event.

“We actually have crews from all over the world coming,” Kirsty Whyte managing director of Clipper Ventures Australia, told AAP.

“It’s not just the Aussies taking advantage of our training.

“I had a guy from the UK who flew out just for a week to sail here.

“We have trainees from New Zealand, Australia, the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, the UK.

“I have got people signed up to train from the USA and Canada in the first quarter of next year.”

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Rogers: With recent purchases, Bass Pro continues to grow

It seems in today’s business world that the big keep getting bigger and the little stores fade away. When I was a sales rep in the outdoors industry, I witnessed many Mom-and-Pop tackle shops close forever when a giant outdoors store opened

Some were able to adapt and change their business model. Others tried to hang on and couldn’t, while plenty just threw in the towel.

The landscape of the outdoors retail business has changed dramatically. I would think that for these boat brands to remain successful and continue to sell high-end luxury items like a bass boat, they would need every independent dealer they could manage.

As with all major acquisitions, closing conditions and regulatory approvals need to be finalized, but it looks like this is a done deal.

It will be interesting to see how these brands are molded in the current Bass Pro lineup. No doubt that successful businessmen like Johnny Morris and Forrest Wood have a vision. These outdoors leaders have seen the business side grow from practically nothing to a multibillion dollar industry within their lifetimes. I’m sure that we will all enjoy seeing what unfolds next.

• Steve Rogers can be reached at

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Freedom Boat Club announces 2014 National Franchise Award winners

VENICE, Fla. – Capping off its 25th anniversary milestone this year, Freedom Boat Club hosted its annual National Franchise Conference at the Florida Boca Raton Club Resort in early December and gathered club owners from across the country, along with associates and key vendors. The highlight of the four-day conference featured the highly anticipated national awards program which recognizes top performance in seven distinct categories.

Winning the highly coveted “Franchise of the Year” was the Weir family of Lake Norman, North Carolina, whose entire clan is actively engaged in all aspects of business operations. According to

Freedom Boat Club President and CEO John Giglio, this most coveted award was given to Perry and Jeff Weir and family for upholding the high standards of Freedom Boat Club, coupled with continued membership growth and high customer satisfaction ratings. A top franchise sales associate from Lake Norman, Susan Joosten, also received the “Century Club” award for personally selling more than 100 club memberships in two seasons.

The “Rookie of the Year” award, given to a new franchise with the best overall sales and performance statistics in a one-year period was presented to Bobby Parker for the Daytona Beach, FL franchise he launched in 2014. Parker, the son of Roy Parker who owned the highly respected, family-owned Parker Boats for many years in Orlando, left the traditional dealership model for the boat club alternative. In his first year, Parker and his team sold more than 100 memberships.

The “Highest Percentage of Revenue Increase” award was won by Glenn Bergoffen who owns the Tampa Bay franchise, with club locations in Tampa Bay, Tarpon Springs, St. Petersburg, Tavares and Clearwater, FL. This award reflects a club’s best business practices with increased sales and profitability as benchmarks.

The “Guardian of Reciprocity” Award was won by Chris and Lisa Kelly of Sebastian/Vero Beach, FL. This award is presented to the club owner who most warmly welcomes and embraces “reciprocal” club members and delivers an exceptional member experience. Reciprocal membership is one of Freedom Boat Club’s major distinctions, which allows members to boat in club locations throughout the country, above and beyond their home club location.

The “Territory Expansion Award” was presented to Matt Carrick and Matt O’Connor in the Boston/Cape Cod market for their acquisition and membership development success in their markets.

The twosome currently operate eight Freedom Boat Club facilities in the Northeast with additional new locations opening in 2015.

A new award category was introduced this year entitled the “Freedom Boat Club Brand Champion,” presented to a franchise owner who best represents the Freedom Boat Club brand. The inaugural award was presented to Lisa “The BoatanistaTM” Almeida who co-owns the Jacksonville/St. Augustine Freedom Boat Club franchise. Not only did Almeida continually promote the brand and build awareness in her market through a variety of high profile PR and promotional initiatives, but she also is actively engaged in the marine industry through trade show participation, as well as serving on the RBLC’s national Diversity Task Force.

Giglio, himself an owner of 15 clubs in Southwest Florida whose new membership sales broke historical records this year, is very pleased with the overall growth and successes of the franchise network.

“It’s been a great year for Freedom Boat Club, with many of our franchises enjoying their best year ever,” he said. “We are so proud of the achievements of our entire franchise network, and were very pleased to provide special recognition for those whose performances this year were especially outstanding. With the group our franchise owners now in place, 2015 is shaping up to be our best ever.”

Freedom Boat Club is the largest and oldest boat club in the nation and is celebrating its 25th anniversary. It currently operates 84 clubs coast to coast, with 10,000 active club members in 19 states, and a fleet of 800 boats. For more information, visit

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Season’s final sailing race

A cool, moderate breeze drove six boats around a nine-mile course for the seventh and final race in the Fall Colours Series, bringing the series to an end until January.

All six participating boats crowded the start line and crossed within seconds of one another. The fleet quickly spread out with each crew seeking a different route to the first mark, three miles upwind from the start at Maude Island.

The boats then went downwind two miles around Winchelsea Island and from there; it was one mile in to the mark at Ruth Island. The group would come back around and head for the finish line off of Schooner Cove.

On corrected time, Shingebiss came in first, one minute ahead of second place Calais. When combined with the results of the other six races, the honours went to Calais who came ahead of Shingebiss by a single point.

After a break for the holiday season, the competition will commence again with the Hot Rum series starting January 11, 2015.

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