Archive for » April, 2015 «

Brunswick launches online dealer certification for all Brunswick boat dealers

LAKE FOREST, Ill. – Brunswick Corporation’s (NYSE: BC) dealer services team, Brunswick Dealer Advantage, announced continued improvements to its dealer certification program in an effort to provide greater value and challenge to the Brunswick marine dealer network. In partnership with the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (MRAA), Brunswick dealers can now complete their certification online using an interactive virtual platform.  Brunswick boat dealers also will be introduced to new, relevant certification requirements and an expanded two-year certification cycle.

With the new online platform, Brunswick dealers will have the flexibility to complete their certification process at a pace that is convenient for them. Dealers will be able to enter and upload all needed information for each standard, while receiving step-by-step video instruction along the way. The system also allows dealers to save their progress as they work through the standards one-by-one, while retaining the information for the dealers’ use in the future for their recertification.

Once dealers have completed their certification standards, they will attend a one-on-one webinar with a dedicated facilitator to review their uploaded content, discuss areas of strength or weakness and develop specific business improvement strategies tailored to their dealership.

“We are always looking for ways to provide more value, streamline and improve dealer processes and help save our dealers’ time and money,” said Brunswick Dealer Certification Program Manager Kirsten Schuchardt. “This innovative online portal, improved content and simplified two-year certification cycle allow us to address all of these areas while providing a superior certification program that our dealers expect and deserve.”

The Brunswick Dealer Certification guidelines focus on creating continuous improvement throughout the dealership by maximizing customer satisfaction, tightening sales management, improving online and social media marketing, boosting finance and insurance sales and increasing service department productivity. The expanded certification cycle allows dealers to complete their recertification online every two years instead of annually and eliminates the need for onsite visits. Dealers who attain any level of Brunswick Dealer Certification also achieve Marine Industry Certified Dealership (MICD) status, providing them with two industry certifications through one process and one low price.

“There has never been a better time to become a Certified Dealer,” says MICD Program Director Sonja Moseley. The MICD Program launched its online portal in March. “Dealers have already commented on how much more smoothly the process runs and how much less cumbersome it is to get through each of the standards and see certification through to completion. The online platform is a true game changer for the MICD Program, and now for the Brunswick Dealer Certification program as well.”

Brunswick dealers can enroll in the Brunswick Dealer Certification program at Brunswick dealers can learn more about Brunswick Dealer Certification by contacting Kirsten Schuchardt at 920-929-5094 or email at

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Brunswick reports 12 percent increase in marine sales

New boats and engines helped marine segment sales grow by 12 percent for Brunswick compared to Q1 2014, the company reported Wednesday.

“New engines, boats and fitness equipment are generating market share gains around the world,” said CEO Dusty McCoy. “We are adding plant capacity to meet demands and ramp up production as our sales continue to grow.”

Sales in the Mercury division, which includes Mercury engines and assorted parts and accessories businesses, were up 16 percent overall and 19 percent in the United States for the quarter. Sales were up for both outboards and sterndrives, said COO Mark Schwabero.

New outboards and the purpose-built sterndrive engines introduced in 2014 and 2015 have been well received by both customers and OEMs, Schwabero said, and the company is gaining market share in its targeted saltwater and repower markets.

Boat sales also improved, with the segment up 15 percent worldwide and 21 percent in the United States. Global unit sales increased by 12 percent.

Brunswick had strong growth in fiberglass sterndrive and modest growth in outboards. New and refreshed models are driving that growth, Schwabero said, specifically citing Boston Whaler’s Dauntless and 320 Vantage models and the Sea Ray L Series, among others.

The largest negative for Brunswick is the continued strength of the dollar versus other currencies, hurting sales in other markets. Currency has had a $10 million impact for the quarter, and the company is estimating it will cost the company $30 million to million for the quarter, CFO Bill Metzger said.

Click here to read the full earnings report.






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Coastal Benders flock to boat show

Hundreds of potential boat buyers were among the thousands of visitors that flocked to the fourth annual Rock the Dock In-Water Boat Show held at the Redfish Bay Boat House on April 24-26 at Conn Brown Harbor in Aransas Pass.

The event is also becoming a “take stock in tock the dock” economic development tool.

Rock the Dock In-Water Boat Show is one of a few in-water boat shows where boats are actually in the water as well as displayed on trailers on land. Potential buyers are able to test drive their boat of choice making for a quicker decision on buying this boat or that boat on the spot. The event generated record sales with an estimated $6,000,000 or about 120 boats sold at an average price of $50,000 each. This translates into $495,000 in tax revenue for the State of Texas ($375,000), Aransas County, the City of Aransas Pass and two other taxing districts share the remaining $120,000 in tax revenues.

Two Aransas Pass boat dealers, Chris’ Marine and Premier Yamaha were among 12 boat dealers on-site. Other area dealers were Fox Yacht, Rockport Marine, and Ron Hoover. Chris’ Marine appeared to be the top boat vendor according to Chris Coulter, owner and others involved with the event.

“I’ve sold more boats this weekend than at any other boat show in the Coastal Bend,” said Coulter, who lives in Ingleside. “I am really going to consider putting all of my resources into this boat show in the future.”

Although the crowd was down from last year there were still an estimated 5,000 in attendance.

“I heard 5-15 boats sold per dealer and Chris’ Marine had double that,” said Mike Moore, organizer of the event for the Redfish Bay Boat House. “There were 12 dealers competing for sales among the serious buying crowd.”

There were many factors for the decrease in attendance this year, said Victor Galvan, general manager for Premiere Yamaha. There were other events going on like Sandfest, Buc Days, the AutoNation fishing tournament…and then there was the weather.

“Yamaha has been there all four years,” Galvan said. “As Conn Brown Harbor develops, there will be even more options for Rock the Dock to spread out.”

Rock the Dock is also generating economic development for other small businesses. Angus and Christy Matthews have been art vendors all four years. A new start-up business, Twisted Hook apparel and tackle, has also been lured into the vending area of the event.

“We picked Aransas Pass because it is right in the middle of all the out-of-town vehicle traffic flow to and from Port Aransas and Rockport-Fulton,” said Josh Breeden of Rockport. “We also picked Aransas Pass because there was no tackle store here for anglers to purchase terminal tackle. We also carry lures, bring in fishing equipment from Florida and we just started the Twisted Hook brand of apparel and opened our storefront here in Aransas Pass.”

Breeden also explained another reason for choosing Aransas Pass. He explained that Conn Brown Harbor is the ideal spot to put in his boat because it is within a 15-30 minute boat ride to all of the good fishing spots.

“I put in at Conn Brown Harbor even though I live on the Rockport-Fulton city limits, Breeden shared. From there I can choose to go to Ingleside, Port Aransas, Redfish Bay or even north to Aransas Bay.” 

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New Jersey men accused in boat-sales fraud scheme

Posted on April 29th, 2015

Two New Jersey men were indicted Saturday and accused of committing fraud through their boat sales business.

Atlantic County grand jurors handed down a 34-count indictment against Andrew Biddle, 45, of Egg Harbor Township, and Tracy Blumenstein, 49, of Northfield, alleging conspiracy and the theft by deception of more than $75,000 in cash and property in connection with a series of fraudulent transactions they allegedly committed through their business, Professional Boat Sales LLC.

Between 2012 and 2014, the two allegedly committed numerous crimes, including conspiracy, passing bad checks and engaging in deceptive practices through their business, according to Shore News Today.

Both men were previously charged and indicted on several of the individual cases reported to police. This comprehensive set of indictments supersedes earlier grand jury actions, the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office told the newspaper.

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Denison Yacht Sales named top workplace in South Florida

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The Sun Sentinel has named Fort Lauderdale-based Denison Yacht Sales as South Florida’s Top Workplace in the Small Employer Group of its Top Workplaces Award. Winners were selected solely on employee feedback, through a comprehensive survey conducted by WorkplaceDynamics, a research firm which focuses on organizational health and employee engagement.

Currently, third generation business owner, Bob Denison, is hard at work leading the company’s efforts in new and used boat sales at their 15 locations. Employees mentioned enjoying a positive work environment, where they are given the tools to grow professionally and contribute to the company’s success.

“I love being a part of the Denison Yacht Sales family because it is a drama-free environment surrounded by lots of high fives and positive energy. I definitely look forward to coming into work every day and Bob makes sure that we all feel that way,” said Jamie Telcik, Yacht Listing Manager.

Florida yacht broker, Kevin Frawley, commented, “Denison has a fun work environment that is headlined by Bob being one of the fairest and nicest guys I’ve ever met. I think everyone recognizes that. He works as hard as anyone in the office, but also is one of the funniest people. Every morning I wake up and I get to go to work; I don’t have to.”

Denison Yacht Sales has long been a leader in the yachting industry with a rich family history dating back to 1948 with the start of Broward Marine in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Today, the company provides complete yachting services worldwide, from sales and charter to yacht management and new construction.

Denison Yacht Sales office locations include Palm Beach Gardens, Florida; Dania Beach, Florida; Stuart, Florida; St. Petersburg, Florida; Naples, Florida; Montauk, New York; Marina del Rey, California; Newport Beach, California; San Diego, California; Holland, Michigan; Seattle, Washington; Charleston, South Carolina; Fajardo, Puerto Rico; and St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; and Hong Kong.

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Distinct adds cloud-based DMS & website platform to offerings

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — After much demand from dealerships across the nation, Distinct, a South-Florida based marketing company best known for creating the award-winning website and revolutionary Digital Price Signs, announced that it is now offering Speed Digital’s cloud-based Dealer Management System and Website Platform to boat dealers who are seeking to boost their online sales.

The seamless integration of Distinct’s award-winning website designs with Dealer Accelerate provides an unparalleled end-to-end solution for boat dealers. “Speed Digital, like us, create nothing but cutting edge solutions. After years of working alongside their team, we are proud to officially add Speed Digital’s incredible product to our offerings today. “ said Jani Gyllenberg, founder of Distinct.

The Dealer Accelerate platform is a creation of Charlotte, NC, based Speed Digital. It’s easy to use, yet powerful platform has managed over $1B in inventory since its release. “DealerAccelerate provided us with an amazing platform to power the backend of our inventory system, which enabled us to win the 2013 Boating Industry Best-in-Class Digital Strategy Award” added Gyllenberg, “Speed Digital’s dedication, knowledge, and continued support have been priceless in our endeavors to take our company to the next level. Our dealerships could not be happier with the results: their customer satisfaction and online conversion rates have never been better.”

Knowing that no two boat dealers are the same, the system was designed from the ground up to be completely customizable to individual dealer needs, allowing it to power everything from small used boat dealers who sell only a handful of boats each year to new boat dealers with dozens of locations.

Dealer Accelerate is a complete specialty dealer management system combining inventory management, CRM, workflow automation and marketing tools into one dealer platform. And after two-plus years of extensive testing and development, Distinct Speed Digital are offering the platform to all boat dealers. Features include:

  • One touch inventory publishing to Boat, eBay, and more
  • Signature-ready paperwork preparation for sales documents
  • Customizable reports for all departments
  • Sales/Lead Management CRM
  • Service Work Orders
  • Logistics Inventory Tracking
  • Cloud-based Document Management
  • Built-in Social Media integration

The system saves valuable time by virtually eliminating duplicate data entry for third party sites and systems. No more having to input inventory into an antiquated Dealer Management System and again to other systems, as sales, marketing, and service are all managed in a single solution.

Dealer Accelerate is offered as a SaaS model, meaning there is no software to download or updates to purchase. The system can be accessed anytime, from any device, by simply visiting the website.

The platform is available from Distinct. For more information, or to get started with Dealer Accelerate, visit:

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2 N.J. men indicted in alleged $75000 boat sales scheme

file photo

A pair of Atlantic County men have been indicted on a number of charges in connection with an alleged boat sales scheme in which prosecutors say they stole more than $75,000 in cash and property.

According to the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, a grand jury returned a 34-count indictment Thursday against Andrew Biddle, 45, of Egg Harbor Township, and Tracy Blumenstein, 49, of Northfield, related to their business, Professional Boat Sales LLC.

Authorities say Biddle and Blumenstein committed the alleged crimes against eight victims between 2012 and 2014.

Charges for each include:

  • Second-degree theft by deception
  • Conspiracy to commit theft by deception
  • Two counts of passing bad checks
  • Six counts of third-degree theft by deception, 
  • Five counts of theft by illegal retention
  • Theft by unlawful taking
  • Deceptive business practices

Biddle and Blumenstein had previously been charged and indicted in connection with several of the individual cases reported to police. Prosecutors say these latest comprehensive indictments supersede previous grand jury actions.

The FBI is also investigating Biddle after he allegedly attempted to fake his own death in a boat crash to avoid prosecution.

Both men have been released on bail pending trial.

Follow Mark Daniels on Twitter @dannypapers. Find the South Jersey Times on Facebook.

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How to Buy a Boat Without Sinking Your Finances

Whether paddling across a pond in a 6-foot canoe or putting out to sea in a 60-foot yacht, boating is back — big time.

With the onset of warm weather, you may be tempted to plunge into boating, too.

As it turns out, you don’t have to be rich to own a boat. The National Marine Manufacturers Association says 72% of American boat owners have household incomes of less than $100,000.

But you do want to chart a sensible course for your money.

Americans spent $36.8 billion on recreational boating in 2013, the latest full-year figures available, NMMA says. That money went not only for new and pre-owned boats but also for engines, trailers, accessories and services, including fuel, repair, storage, insurance and taxes.

Still, if you want to dive in, you won’t be alone. Sales were expected to show a 5% to 7% increase when 2014 final figures are tallied and rise another 5% in 2015, NMMA says.

In the first nine months of 2014 alone, new boat sales were up 9.4% year-over-year, to 210,200 units, according to Info-Link, the third year in a row of sales gains after they had tumbled with the recession in 2008.

America’s got 12 million registered boats — that’s more boats than people who live in Iowa, Kansas, Nevada, Nebraska and Maine combined. The owners may say “come on in, the water’s fine,” but the costs can poke holes in your finances, so study your options carefully. That may even include sailing off in someone else’s boat.

Focus Your Search

In 2014, the strongest sales came from new ski/wakeboard boats, pontoon boats, aluminum fishing boats, fiberglass runabouts and personal watercraft, NMMA says. Sales of larger cruising boats also started to see an uptick. But how do you know what’s right for you? Take into account your activities first, then look at preferences such as passengers, propulsion and transportability.

Start with these questions:

What Will You Use Your Boat for?

That should be your first question, experts say.

Fishing is the No. 1 answer, followed by tubing and water skiing, the NMMA says. Other top reasons include cruising and sailing. Buy the simplest, cheapest boat for your use, Money Talks News financial expert Stacy Johnson says.‘s interactive online guide starts with your expected activities.

Do You Really Have Time to Enjoy Your Boat?

Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson’s 30-foot cabin cruiser sits on the water just 20 feet behind his office, but he has said he only gets out on it about once a month. “I try to use it once a week, but it usually doesn’t work out that way. If it was in a marina, I’d probably be too busy to ever use it.”

As Stacy wrote in 8 Things Rich People Buy That Make Them Look Dumb, “If you take a ride down the Intracoastal Waterway here in Fort Lauderdale, within 5 miles you’ll pass more than a $100 million in largely unused boats.”

However, Americans are taking to the water in record numbers, NMMA says. Of the 242 million U.S. adults, 89 million, or more than one in three, participated in recreational boating at least once during 2013 — up 1% from 2012. The average use: 26 days. Consider renting. Even at $700 a day, that’s far less than the average of $34,838 NMMA says was spent for a new outboard boat.

Think You Need a Bigger Boat?

Ninety-five percent of U.S. boats on the water are 26 feet or less, NMMA says. Consider how many passengers you want to carry, none to 20-plus. Do you need room for parties, a kitchen, sleeping quarters? Or just a place to sit alone as you drop a fishing line into a lake? The bigger the boat, generally, the more expensive it is to operate.

Your annual expenses can easily top $10,000. Start with registration and insurance that can run about $700 annually for that average-priced boat. Fuel is running around $3.50 to $4 a gallon for gasoline, higher for diesel this year according to some reports. Your 150-horsepower engine would burn about 15 gallons per hour at full throttle, less for cruising — so the proverbial three-hour cruise could still top $100 (that’s $2,600 a year if you took it out the average 26 times).

Don’t forget about moorage typically varying from $1.50 to $15 per foot per day depending where you stay; plus dry docking in the offseason, launch and lift-out fees, hull cleaning and treatment, engine maintenance, sail and line replacements for sailboats, equipment from fire extinguishers to life jackets, and stocking your boat with goodies, water skis, dinghies and more.

Where Will You Keep it?

Some people want to tote their boats on trailers and explore a variety of waterways; others dock at homeport marinas. Typical trailerable maximums run up to 30 feet long (most are less) and 8.5 feet wide. The bigger the boat, the larger and stronger the trailer and car or truck you’ll need to pull it. As size increases, you may need permits or professionals to move your boat. Also consider the cost of storage options when you’re not using your boat for long periods.

What Should Propel Your Boat?

Sales of powerboats were up 2.4% in 2013. That includes outboard, sterndrive, inboard and jet boats. Maybe you prefer paddles or wind power (although most sailboats come with small engines to keep you going when the wind dies).

New or Used?

Americans bought an estimated 955,300 pre-owned boats (power, personal watercraft and sail) in 2013, NMMA says. They are far less expensive than new boats because they have already depreciated. New boat depreciation is at its highest during the first season of use. Depreciation on a used boat kept in good condition should level out with proper maintenance and equipment improvements. Before buying used, Stacy says, have the boat checked out by a professional, who may be found through the National Association of Marine Surveyors to determine its condition and value.

Where Do I Get Started?

Online. Most brands have owners clubs where you can chat with people who have been there, done that. They might also offer tips on boats for sale. Among online forums are iboatsBoaterEd and The Hull Truth, or for specific brands such as Sea Ray or Bayliner. Also, visit a boat show where you can examine each model in person and discuss your wants and needs with dealers and experts. Although many are held over the winter, some are still ahead from Sarasota, Fla., to San Diego.

While the best time to buy is the offseason, you can still save money on your boat purchase during the spring and summer surge by following these tips.

This post originally appeared on Money Talks News.

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