Archive for » February 19th, 2015«

Fugitive boat dealer that faked death turns himself in to police

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

1. Fugitive boat dealer that faked death turns himself in to police

Andrew Biddle, the professional boat racer and business manager of a New Jersey boat dealership, has turned himself into police seven months after faking his death.
Biddle and Tracy Blumenstein, owner of Professional Boat Sales in Egg Harbor Township, N.J., were accused of bilking customers in a variety of ways. On July 20, Biddle and another man were in a pontoon accident. The other passenger survived, but Biddle was never found. Within a matter of weeks, investigators reported that they believed Biddle had faked the accident in order to escape criminal prosecution.

2. Florida neighbors fear Sea Ray expansion

The Sea Ray plant near Flagler Beach, Fla., has asked for rezoning to expand its parking lot, but area residents are fighting the request, the Palm Coast Observer reported.
That’s because those residents fear it will lead to expanded production at the boat builder’s facility. The Flagler County Planning Board voted against the rezoning last week, but the issue will go before the County Commission, which has final say, in March.

3. Ohio governor’s tax plan could raise cost of boats

A new plan of varied tax cuts and increases from Ohio Gov. John Kasich would make it more expensive to buy a new boat when trading in a used one, the Sandusky Register reported.
While the plan includes a lower income tax, part of the shortfall would be covered by increasing the sales tax paid when trading in a used boat or car on a new purchase. Under the existing law, the value of the new car or boat is reduced by the value of the trade-in for sales tax purposes. Under Kasich’s plan, that discount would be cut in half.

4. Port backlog worsens in California

The number of ships stacking up off the California coast is continuing to grow as the labor dispute in the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports continues, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Labor Secretary Tom Perez is headed to California to try to jump-start talks between the Pacific Maritime Assn., and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. The parties have been negotiating for nine months.

5. Consumer sentiment down from January

The preliminary Reuters/University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index for February dropped to 93.6, down from 98.1 in January, which was an 11-year high.  Analysts said the change could reflect an increase in gas prices this month.

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Mountain men take on California

Mid-Winter Catalina Island Race

Mid-Winter Catalina Island Race

The Jackson Hole Ocean Sailing Team begins its journey toward Catalina Island on Feb. 7 at the Midwinter Catalina Island Race in southern California. Despite a slow start, the team ended up crossing the finish line first among nine boats.

Mid-Winter Catalina Island Race

Mid-Winter Catalina Island Race

Jackson Hole Ocean Sailing Team’s George Bailey mans the wheel as Stefan Fodor looks on during the race to Catalina and back.

Posted: Wednesday, February 18, 2015 4:30 am

Mountain men take on California

By Clark Forster

Jackson Hole NewsGuide


George Bailey and his Jackson Hole Ocean Sailing Team crew had a plan.

Competing on Bailey’s boat, the Santa Cruz 52, in the Midwinter Catalina Island Race against nine other boats, all of which hailed from southern California, the Wyoming crew decided it would follow the local boats west from the California coast to their halfway point of Catalina Island.

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More about Jackson Hole Ocean Sailing Team

  • ARTICLE: Where mountains meet the sea

More about George Bailey

  • ARTICLE: Where mountains meet the sea


Wednesday, February 18, 2015 4:30 am.

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George Bailey,

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Midwinter Catalina Island Race

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In Miami, boat sales become latest sign of US recovery –

More than 100,000 manufacturers, retailers, brokers and buyers have converged on Miami for one of the biggest boat industry events in the world.

Each year, the Miami International Boat Show and the luxury-oriented Yacht and Brokerage Show on Miami Beach, simultaneously set up shop. The showboat events feature thousands of watercraft and accompanying aquatic accessories, all of which are up for grabs.

Read MoreSpend $10,000 a night to stay on this new ship

Whether its aluminum fishing boats or mega yachts, one theme is prevailing across price categories at both shows: boat sales are back.

“Almost everything is selling,” says Thom Dammrich, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA). “Pontoon, ski-and-wakeboard boats—both of those are increasing double digits, and salt water fishing boats are very strong.”

That’s welcome news for an industry rocked by the recession. Like other types of big-ticket discretionary items, demand for recreational boats plunged dramatically in the economic downturn. Sales of new boats sunk 60 percent from their pre-recession peak, staying sluggish for years as the much larger pre-owned market held steady. The wave of distressed supply drew in enterprising bargain hunters, who dominated the market.

Read MoreMeet the $100 million superyacht that’s just for women

Yet if the buzz at Miami’s shows is any indication, the tide seems to be turning.

The NMMA estimates new boat sales grew 7 to 8 percent last year, and it forecasts similar momentum for 2015. While sales activity is still about a third below that mid-2000s peak, consumer spending on boats, marine accessories and other related goods has surged back to pre-recession levels, according to data. In 2014, spending on the recreational boating in the U.S. approached $40 billion.

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