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Tiara adds sparkle to new boat sales

Scott Neil


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  • Uptick in sales: this Tiara 36 Coronet is the first new Tiara to be sold in Bermuda since 2005, and is seen as further evidence of growing confidence in the economy (Photograph by Scott Neil)

  • Driving seat: the cockpit of the Tiara 36 Coronet

  • Time to eat: a grill, sink and refrigerator fitted on the Tiara 36 Coronet

  • Put your feet up: a seating area converted into a bed in the lower quarters of the Tiara 36 Coronet

Further evidence of an improving outlook for boat sales in Bermuda, and the economy in general, has come from the sale of a high-spec motor yacht by PW Marine Bermuda.

The first new Tiara boat to be sold on the island since 2005 is the latest fillip for the company, which has previously reported a significant uptick in sales that began last year.

The Tiara 36 Coronet has a base-boat price of about $450,000, although this goes up depending on the specifications, equipment and accessories a new owner chooses as add-ons.

Linda Down, sales manager at PW Marine, is in no doubt that the first sale of a new Tiara in Bermuda for more than a decade is significant.

She was involved in marketing and selling the prestigious marque in Bermuda for many years before PW Marine secured the dealership rights three years ago.

As she prepared to hand over the 36-foot boat to its new owner, she said: To me it indicates the economy is healing and people are feeling more confident in Bermuda going forward.

The Americas Cup is part of the equation; the prospect of securing a good position on the water. Clearly, if you have family and friends coming to visit you want to have a platform to watch the races.

In April, Ms Down noted that the lean years that followed the economic downturn of the late 2000s appear to have come to an end following a tremendous growth in sales of new boats during the past 18 months.

The purchases have been fairly evenly split between Bermudians and non-Bermudians, with the former tending to make the larger buys.

The Tiara 36 Coronet is hailed as an elegant choice. It features a small grill and barbecue station, with sink, counter, cooler storage and a refrigerator. The upper cockpit area, which has plenty of seating, can be enclosed and cooled with air-conditioning. The boat is fitted with Garmin electronics.

In the below-deck retreat area is a dining area that can quickly be transformed into sleeping quarters. There is a television, sink, small stove, microwave, and an aft bunk where children can sleep.

People can overnight, or go out on the water for a weekend, said Ms Down, who added that previous clients had mentioned how they loved the striking beauty of the boat.

While the Americas Cup finals in Bermuda next year have clearly increased the level of interest in owning a boat to watch the spectacle, Ms Down said there is also a trend in people upgrading their boats.

During the past week, PW Marine has delivered four new Boston Whaler boats to clients, and it has a further two handovers lined up for July.

Last year and this year combined the sales have been significantly higher, and we are still talking to clients about buying this year; it is never too late in the season, said Ms Down, who has been involved in the industry for more than 30 years.

PW Marine, which has its headquarters on the corner of Serpentine Road and Woodlands Road, in Pembroke, has also seen improving sales in the supply side of the business.

PW Marine Bermuda has a Facebook page at:


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Published Jun 6, 2016 at 8:00 am
(Updated Jun 5, 2016 at 9:24 pm)

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Oklahoma City-area retailers surprised by hike in boat sales

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – The state is below the national trend in boat sales, but retailers report this season is faring better than last year.

“If you look at both of our locations, we’re up about 70 percent (in sales), year to date,” Steve Jennings, owner of Blackbeard Marine Inc. in Tulsa and Kingston, told The Journal Record ( ).

Jennings works at the Kingston location, which sprawls across 13 acres. The Tulsa store is only about 3 acres, and he said he’s running out of storage room. He said he’s done $2 million in sales this year, with another $2.5 million waiting to close.

“Our summer really gets going May to Labor Day,” he said. “We’ll sell double the rest of the year.”

Nationally, it’s expected to be a good year for boat sales, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association. The group anticipates sales of new powerboats will increase 5 to 7 percent over last year. In 2015, powerboat sales increased 8.5 percent compared to 2014.

NMMA President Thom Dammrich said warm, sunny weather will drive more people to retailers and waterways. He said boating is not as susceptible to low gasoline prices, though some people do take their extra disposable income and purchase a watercraft.

He said the retail increase is likely about the weather. In Oklahoma last summer, several lakes were flooded, which kept people off the water. But in Texas and California, some areas had drought conditions. This summer, lake levels seem to be returning to normal, he said.

Nevertheless, Oklahoma has to climb out of a small hole from 2014, when boating registrations decreased 1 percent compared to 2013. New powerboat, outboard engine, trailer and aftermarket accessory sales increased $2 million. Between 2013 and 2014, there was about a $28 million increase in the accessory sales, according to the NMMA.

Dammrich said two summers of extreme weather – drought and then flooding – could have caused some boaters or potential boaters to get cabin fever; this year, they were anxious to get to retailers or boat shows.

At Grand Lake O’ The Cherokees, Shangri-La Marina and Boat Sales didn’t see a slowdown in sales after the winter boat shows, said Mike Williams, communications director.

“Sales have been increasing and consistent since the Tulsa and Oklahoma City boat shows in February,” he said.

Sales are up 15 percent compared to the same time period last year. He said his team is surprised at the increase. They were bracing for a slow year after energy-industry layoffs. He said when the price of oil dropped in the 1980s, it devastated the retail boat industry.

“Oklahoma’s economy has become much more diversified, and we can sure see that in boat sales,” he said.

Oklahoma boat registrations have not reached the pre-recession total of 223,758, which was the 2007 amount. Nationwide, Dammrich said sales haven’t reached the 2007 numbers either. In 2007, about 270,000 powerboats were sold, with 238,000 sold in 2015.

“It’s been a slow road back,” he said. “Everyone would like a much faster recovery, but it’s been a healthy way to come back.”

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