Archive for » September, 2016 «

Westerly Fulmar is All Rounder With Used Boat Sales On Post–Brexit Surge

“I’m busier now than I was in June or July” is the cheerful response from John McDonald down in Kinsale at the south coast MGM Boats boats for sale office writes W M Nixon. Normally there’s a slowing down of sales as Autumn draws in, or brokers might find their time being taken up by the perennial tyre-kickers who will only move if an absolute bargain is in the offing. But September 2016 has been different.

The affable and informative McDonald reckons it’s the post-Brexit effect. Much and all as Brexit on June 23rd was only an electoral decision, and nothing concrete has as yet flowed from it – indeed, it could take years for any significant changes to kick in – the feeling is that when a major decision is coming down the line, every other decision is deferred. So the fact that a decision has been made, whatever about its longterm consequences, is better than a state of uncertainty.

For Irish boat buyers and sellers, the main interest lay in the effect on the euro-sterling rate of exchange, and we’ve reported on Afloat.ie about the way Howth YC maximised on the initial plunge in sterling by sending off a very focused procurement team to the Solent area in search of four good J/80s for use in the club’s sailing development programme. They hit the ground running to find the exchange rate in such such a sweet place that they came back with five J/80s.

But now things have stabilised, rates of exchange seem to have settled down with sterling at a lower level, and boat buyers can move with a clear idea of the true comparable prices between boats in the Euro zone and across the water.

This Westerly Fulmar 32 is back on the market with MGM Boats through a change in the owner’s circumstances. The significance is that an already good example of the noted collaboration between leading designer Ed Dubois and volume boatbuilders Westerly Marine is available at a price of €33,950 which seems even more attractive when you factor in the impressive array of new equipment and sails she has acquired during the past year.

The Westerly Fulmar 32 is the very epitome of a “sensible” boat. She’s a big 32–footer, yet the designer didn’t try to shoehorn in more accommodation than there was comfortably room for, and the result is she actually seems even bigger than she really is.

But this doesn’t come with an impairment of performance. On the contrary, the Fulmar achieves the ideal of a more-than-respectable average speed when sailing on a cruising passage, and it’s all done in a sea-kindly boat in which the miles slip effortlessly by. In this case, the high standard of equipment is matched by a very good general level of maintenance, providing the ideal package in a very attractive size range, details here. 


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Westerly Fulmar is All Rounder With Used Boat Sales On Post …

“I’m busier now than I was in June or July” is the cheerful response from John McDonald down in Kinsale at the south coast MGM Boats boats for sale office writes W M Nixon. Normally there’s a slowing down of sales as Autumn draws in, or brokers might find their time being taken up by the perennial tyre-kickers who will only move if an absolute bargain is in the offing. But September 2016 has been different.

The affable and informative McDonald reckons it’s the post-Brexit effect. Much and all as Brexit on June 23rd was only an electoral decision, and nothing concrete has as yet flowed from it – indeed, it could take years for any significant changes to kick in – the feeling is that when a major decision is coming down the line, every other decision is deferred. So the fact that a decision has been made, whatever about its longterm consequences, is better than a state of uncertainty.

For Irish boat buyers and sellers, the main interest lay in the effect on the euro-sterling rate of exchange, and we’ve reported on Afloat.ie about the way Howth YC maximised on the initial plunge in sterling by sending off a very focused procurement team to the Solent area in search of four good J/80s for use in the club’s sailing development programme. They hit the ground running to find the exchange rate in such such a sweet place that they came back with five J/80s.

But now things have stabilised, rates of exchange seem to have settled down with sterling at a lower level, and boat buyers can move with a clear idea of the true comparable prices between boats in the Euro zone and across the water.

This Westerly Fulmar 32 is back on the market with MGM Boats through a change in the owner’s circumstances. The significance is that an already good example of the noted collaboration between leading designer Ed Dubois and volume boatbuilders Westerly Marine is available at a price of €33,950 which seems even more attractive when you factor in the impressive array of new equipment and sails she has acquired during the past year.

The Westerly Fulmar 32 is the very epitome of a “sensible” boat. She’s a big 32–footer, yet the designer didn’t try to shoehorn in more accommodation than there was comfortably room for, and the result is she actually seems even bigger than she really is.

But this doesn’t come with an impairment of performance. On the contrary, the Fulmar achieves the ideal of a more-than-respectable average speed when sailing on a cruising passage, and it’s all done in a sea-kindly boat in which the miles slip effortlessly by. In this case, the high standard of equipment is matched by a very good general level of maintenance, providing the ideal package in a very attractive size range, details here. 


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Great Lakes Sailing expands Marlow Hunter region

Great Lakes Sailing Co. has expanded its Marlow Hunter dealer region from the western side of Michigan to now include all of Michigan’s lower peninsula and the eastern half of Michigan’s upper peninsula.

“We are excited to grow and expand with the Marlow Hunter brand,” said Dave Conrad of Great Lakes Sailing Co. “Since becoming a dealer in 2013, we have witnessed first-hand the continued evolution and advancement of Marlow Hunter’s engineering and build process.”

Located at the CenterPointe Marina in Traverse City, Great Lakes Sailing Co. has been offering charters and an ASA sailing school for more than 30 years.

“The natural progression of our business was boat sales,” said Conrad. “For years we have been chartering boats, and teaching people how to sail. We found that often times we would consult with longtime customers as they began the boat buying process. So we decided it only made sense to offer customers the option of working directly with us for their boat purchase. So in 2012 we become a Gemini Catamaran dealer, followed by Marlow Hunter in 2013 and Jeanneau as a charter dealer the same year. This expanded region for Marlow Hunter now allows us to reach the metro Detroit market where we already have a large customer base that sails with us.”


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Deck boats continue to appeal to boaters

Seating more passengers than a bowrider and easier to tow than a pontoon, deck boats continue to appeal to boaters

Designed to blend the generous seating capacity and family-friendly layout of a pontoon boat with the familiar look and easy trailering of a traditional runabout, deck boats would appear to offer boaters an ideal compromise between practicality and performance. They have space for all the people and all the gear, yet they’re still fun to drive. Little wonder that so many manufacturers refer to deck boats as boating’s answer to the SUV.

At first glance most deck boats don’t look a whole lot different from the familiar bowrider, and it takes most buyers a moment to realize they retain their beam further forward than the traditional runabout does, and swap the pointy bow with a broader one that may even include an integral deck or swim platform. Sporty and stylish, deck boats come in a variety of configurations, in a choice of outboard or sterndrive power, some even with full windshields for additional comfort early or late in the season.

Deck boats are a growth segment for Sea Ray.

Deck boats are a growth segment for Sea Ray.

With so many positive attributes, one might expect deck boats to dominate all categories of boat sales. But do they? That’s not quite as straightforward question as it might appear, mainly because deck boats have changed and evolved significantly – and especially in the wake of the downturn and all the boating industry upheaval that followed.

By the numbers

The rapid development of new features and capabilities has blurred the traditional definition of exactly what a deck boat is. With the water between deck boats and runabouts increasingly muddied, measuring category performance has become more difficult, leading to some apparently contradictory results depending how one looks at the data.

For instance, the National Marine Manufacturers Association reports that deck boat sales were up by 11.3 percent in 2015, based on the organization’s control group of manufacturers which represent 69 percent of the market. Its 2016 numbers are still forthcoming, but overall boat sales are forecast to be up by 6 to 7 percent for the year.

Meanwhile, Statistical Surveys Inc. pegs year-over-year deck boat sales through June 2016 as being slightly down, albeit by a mere 0.39 percent. This follows reported category growth of 2.0 percent in 2015 and 2.76 percent in 2014.

An answer to the question of how the deck boat market goes seems to largely depend on where you are. Call 10 different dealers in 10 different states and you’ll get 10 different responses.

This is particularly evident in SSI’s 2016 sales figures by market. For its top 20 Basic Trading Areas, SSI notes an almost even split of declines and gains for the first six months of this year. Declines in the Fort Myers, Tampa/St. Petersburg/Clearwater, Miami/Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Detroit, Sarasota/Bradenton, Milwaukee, Orlando, Atlanta, Charlotte/Gastonia and Boston BTAs averaged a drop of 13.7 percent in overall volumes, while gains averaging a whopping 33 percent were reported for the New York, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Raleigh/Durham, Dallas/Fort Worth, Naples FL, Springfield MO and Philadelphia/Wilmington/Trenton BTAs.

The Bayliner Element SP shows the seating versatility of a deck boat.

The Bayliner Element SP shows the seating versatility of a deck boat.

Just looking at the spread between the BTAs with the greatest sales declines (-24.81 percent, Fort Myers) and greatest gains (+60.42 percent, Dallas/Fort Worth) over the same period of time clearly reveals the challenge in accurately measuring deck boat category performance. To truly appreciate what’s going on, you have to look beyond the numbers and talk to the manufacturers directly.

A growing market

While sales figures may appear to be contradictory and lacking clear consensus, what cannot be denied is that over time the number of players in the deck boat market has steadily grown. That wouldn’t happen if there was nothing going on.

It’s also why a number of the builders have been watching the continuing evolution of Hurricane with a close eye. The company that created the deck boat market is reported to still hold about a 50 percent share, in spite of upheavals and uncertainty associated with its ownership change last year. “Hurricane created the deck boat market,” said Godfrey Marine director of marketing, Jeff Roth. “You might see a lag in our deck boat numbers over the last couple of quarters, which had to do with the disruption around our sale. We didn’t have as many units in the field as we would have liked. But that’s all in the past and we’re now looking ahead. Right now we’re building more deck boats per year than our next five top competitors. This is a strong category, which is why we have seen so many other brands enter it.”

Among their many attributes, Roth says that a major reason for the continuing popularity of deck boats is that they’re seen as being easier to tow than a pontoon, which makes them more approachable – especially to new boaters and first-time buyers. Further, their lower profile on a trailer can make them easier to store in a garage or barn, where a pontoon boat that sits higher on the trailer might not clear the door frame.

“For a lot of reasons, it’s a segment that continues to attract new buyers and attract new boaters,” says Roth.

Riding the outboard power wave

One of the great attractions to deck boats is their ability to offer a choice of either outboard or stern drive power. According to Tim Schiek, president of Brunswick’s Recreational Boat Group, both segments have shown growth in recent years.

Deck boats now represent 85 percent of fiberglass sales for Smoker Craft.

Deck boats now represent 85 percent of fiberglass sales for Smoker Craft.

“Over the past five years we’ve seen the deck boat category growing nicely in both outboard and sterndrive power,” he said. “Both Sea Ray and Bayliner have picked up significant market share over the last few years. Growth has slowed a little bit over the past 12 months, but it is still moving in the right direction. The growth has been driven by both outboard and sterndrive models. But outboard power has obviously evolved tremendously, and is clearly driving the segment. We’re seeing good demand in outboard deck boats which has allowed Sea Ray and Bayliner to expand their product offering from sterndrive into outboard and really, attract a new consumer into the category.”

That new consumer, as often as not, is a younger family attracted by the deck boat’s versatility and creature comforts. Those new boaters with young children are often price-sensitive, and appreciate the lower acquisition and ownership cost of outboard power.

“The cost and value relationship between sterndrives and outboards has changed, as sterndrives have been forced to adopt catalysts and closed loop cooling systems, simply making outboards more affordable,” observes Bob vanVollenHoven, vice president of sales for Stingray Boats. “Beyond that, the technological advances in outboard power have driven a lot of sales, and opened up some new opportunities for Stingray in particular. Outboards allow a bit more cockpit space inside the boat, and they make it easier for a boater in Northern areas to prolong their season.”

Outboards also appeal in Southern, saltwater markets thanks to their ability to be tilted clear of the water when not in use.

“The Southeast is a strong deck boat market, and Florida in particular,” said Roth. “And that’s very much an outboard-driven market.”

The options and amenities available on deck boats are driving the shift from smaller bowriders.

The options and amenities available on deck boats are driving the shift from smaller bowriders.

“Definitely, advances in outboard power over the last several years have helped grow the entire deck boat category,” noted Peter Barrett, senior vice president of marketing and corporate development at Smoker Craft Inc. “To the point deck boats now represent 85 percent of our fiberglass sales. The newest generation outboards offer the kind of power, performance and quiet, smoke-free operation that used to be the exclusive realm of the I/O. They’re less expensive than an I/O, and lighter in weight, which provides a real performance edge, particularly in the smaller boats that often appeal to an entry level buyer. With an outboard, these buyers can enjoy the same kind of exhilarating performance in that smaller package as you would find in a bigger boat powered by a much larger I/O.”

But what about sterndrives?

While there is clear consensus that technological advances in outboard power have benefitted deck boat dealers, a significant number of the deck boats made today retain the traditional I/O powerplant. What gives?

“Having said that, sterndrives have also evolved in substantial ways, bringing entirely new levels of performance for boaters who prefer the open stern and continuous, extended swim platform that an I/O allows,” continues Barrett. “Those extended platforms really make family boating easier, especially when you have kids enjoying tow sports and you’re passing boards or tubes back and forth. The I/O is a great fit to the clean, contemporary styling that we’re seeing in deck boats today, so the stern drive segment remains an important part of the overall market.”

For Brunswick – itself a manufacturer of both outboard and sterndrive engines – the deck boat market represents a nearly ideal platform for demonstrating the benefits of both forms of power.

“While we’re pleased with the success of our outboard products, sterndrives still play a very significant role in the deck boat market,” Schiek said. “We continue to invest in our sterndrive product line and we’ve enjoyed considerable success with our sterndrive-powered deck boats among both Sea Ray and Bayliner buyers. Having purpose-built stern drives like the 4.5L MerCruiser V6 and the 6.2L V8 enhances the entire ownership experience, and makes the segment that much more attractive to a prospective buyer.”

Continuous innovation

Outboard-powered options are helping the segment grow.

Outboard-powered options are helping the segment grow.

If there is one thing builders agree on, it is that the versatility that lies at the core of a deck boat’s value proposition is what will drive the category forward and provide it with a platform for continued market share growth.

“Customers tell us they appreciate having more creature comforts, more seating options, more entertaining options, and more comforts like a Porta-potti or a head – but without losing that open layout and  the ease of access to the front of the boat,” said vanVollenHoven. “Customers want new amenities, and they want the boat to be more efficient and refined. We’re seeing customers shift from smaller bowriders to larger deck boats simply for the amenities the deck boat offers, and that’s not likely to change.”

Schiek takes an equally optimistic position. “We see the deck boat segment providing nice steady growth,” he said. “It won’t be explosive growth, but it will be steady and measured. I see it being fueled by innovations around functionality, by continued evolution in the use of space and accessibility of storage space in particular, to enhance overall usability.”

“Deck boats are very much the sporty SUV of the water,” Barrett said. “They provide all of the practicality of having plenty of interior space, with generous amounts of storage space and seating or the entire family, and blend that with the sporty handling and sleek styling of a performance boat. Yet they do that in a package that retains the open layout and easy access families want. You can do everything from a slow cruise to ripping across the lake with a bit of surfing in between. It’s the true family boat, and we’re looking for ways to add more versatility as we address the demands of today’s boaters with regards to technology, comfort and performance.”


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Sea Hunt Boats quietly gains saltwater market share

Posted on September 28th, 2016 Written by Reagan Haynes

Sea Hunt sales manager Johnny Craig spoke about the companys success at the Progressive Norwalk Boat Show.

Sea Hunt sales manager Johnny Craig spoke about the company’s success at the Progressive Norwalk Boat Show.

NORWALK, Conn. — Sea Hunt Boats has been gaining market share in the 18- to 30-foot range saltwater market steadily during the last decade, but is fairly quiet about its success.

The Columbia, S.C., boatbuilder sees dealers making three to four turns on average, while they clamor for more boats. But Sea Hunt has found its sweet spot, according to Sea Hunt sales manager Johnny Craig, and isn’t looking to add to its 34 dealers in its network.

“The company builds 2,000 boats a year,” Craig told Trade Only Today at the Norwalk Boat Show. “We produce eight boats a day, every day. Then the boats are on haulers and being delivered. There are no boats in the yard.”

The company, founded in 1995 by Vic and Bubba Roof, a father and son team, now has a 170,000-square-foot facility and is not computerized at all, Craig said. Bubba Roof, age 44, has the majority stake in the company and runs it with his partner Joel Moss.

“Bubba is there every morning at 6 a.m. and checks the molds,” Craig said. “He invests in inventory of purchased items. He keeps it in stock so he can deliver those eight boats each day, and keeps track via a pad of paper and a pen. Bubba is the only one who submits orders to be produced.”

“Every dealer I have would like to have more boats,” Craig says, adding that he was hired by Roof to make sure “the dealers were being taken care of.”

Steven Bolanos of All Seasons Marine Works, the dealer displaying seven Sea Hunt models, as well as Regulator and Pursuit, at the show, said his business would gladly take more Sea Hunts. “We sell them as fast as we get them,” Bolanos said.

The company had tried to build beyond those 2,000 boats, but scaled back again to ensure the quality and oversight that the company has built its reputation on.

“We have no intentions of expanding into bigger boats either,” Craig says — which is noteworthy as nearly all the saltwater market players have introduced new models in the 40-foot range. “That’s not us. We don’t want to build a half-million dollar boat. We build boats for families, not just hardcore fishermen.”

Roof also doesn’t spend money on print advertisements, relying on devout word of mouth. The company is debt free and relies on its buying power to keep prices low. Craig didn’t want boat show prices listed in print, but maintained that the boats are among the most competitively-priced without sacrificing fit, finish and quality.

Craig, who came from Stingray Boats, said he was captivated by the enthusiasm and excitement at the company.

“Bubba has a real passion for the brand and a great relationship with his dealers,” he said. “They retain their employees because they pay well. Where we are in South Carolina, there are other boatbuilders. Our employees have opportunities to go elsewhere, and we don’t want that to happen.”

There are more than 100 workers at the plant, though Craig declined to be specific about the workforce. The dealer network is in the Southeast and Northeast, with a couple in Texas, Craig says. Dealers in other parts of the country would like to represent the product, but, “Who would I cut off to give a new dealer 40 boats?” Craig asked.

There are seven lines within the brand, many of them center consoles. Those include the Gamefish Series, the BX Bay Boat Series, the Ultra Series designed for comfort, the Triton Series — billed as “an affordable boat with excellent performance” — the dual console Escape Series, the center console Edge Series, and the RZR Stepped Hull Series.


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Sunseeker sales expected to reach £95m following Cannes and …

Sunseeker International reported it is starting its boat show season with £70m of confirmed retail orders (exc. tax), and an expected £25m of additional orders to be agreed shortly.

At this year’s Cannes Yachting Festival, Sunseeker launched four new models – the 95 Yacht, 116 Yacht, 68 MK II and Manhattan 52. The Cannes show – which is the first of the autumn season – was extremely busy for Sunseeker, according to the company, with very high levels of visitors to the stand and pre-booked meetings with clients and prospects at a record high.

Sunseeker continued to see high levels of visitors at the Southampton Boat Show, the U.K.’s largest in-water boat show, and held a record number of pre-booked meetings with existing and new customers. Interest in the new Manhattan 52 has been particularly high. This new yacht is Sunseeker’s smallest flybridge model in over a decade. The Manhattan 52 is designed to maximize entertainment options, light and living space throughout the boat and it sets the design direction for a new wave of Manhattan models that will be introduced over the coming years.

“This year’s Cannes and Southampton Shows have been truly excellent – we’ve enjoyed really positive events with substantial confirmed retail orders, on sales of 25 luxury motoryachts across the range, with an additional £25m of orders to be agreed shortly,” said Sean Robertson, sales director at Sunseeker International. “We were particularly proud to host the world premier’s and U.K. debuts of our new models, the Manhattan 52, the Predator 68 MKII, the 95 Yacht and the 116 Yacht, all of which have been eagerly awaited by existing customers and those new to our brand. It’s also been a real pleasure to welcome so many visitors and special guests to the stands, which included our graduate apprentices and the Minister of Transport the Rt Hon John Hayes MP at the Southampton Boat Show.”

The business also revealed at Cannes Yachting Festival that it moved back into profit in the second quarter of 2016 with a forecasted overall return to profit for the full year. The next five years will see a massive £50 million of investment spent across new products, improved shipyard facilities and the continued recruitment of people.

Multiple model launches are set to continue as part of a long-term product plan that will see new model introductions across the size range over the next five years including additions to the Manhattan range.


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Sunseeker sales expected to reach £95m following Cannes and Southampton Shows

Sunseeker International reported it is starting its boat show season with £70m of confirmed retail orders (exc. tax), and an expected £25m of additional orders to be agreed shortly.

At this year’s Cannes Yachting Festival, Sunseeker launched four new models – the 95 Yacht, 116 Yacht, 68 MK II and Manhattan 52. The Cannes show – which is the first of the autumn season – was extremely busy for Sunseeker, according to the company, with very high levels of visitors to the stand and pre-booked meetings with clients and prospects at a record high.

Sunseeker continued to see high levels of visitors at the Southampton Boat Show, the U.K.’s largest in-water boat show, and held a record number of pre-booked meetings with existing and new customers. Interest in the new Manhattan 52 has been particularly high. This new yacht is Sunseeker’s smallest flybridge model in over a decade. The Manhattan 52 is designed to maximize entertainment options, light and living space throughout the boat and it sets the design direction for a new wave of Manhattan models that will be introduced over the coming years.

“This year’s Cannes and Southampton Shows have been truly excellent – we’ve enjoyed really positive events with substantial confirmed retail orders, on sales of 25 luxury motoryachts across the range, with an additional £25m of orders to be agreed shortly,” said Sean Robertson, sales director at Sunseeker International. “We were particularly proud to host the world premier’s and U.K. debuts of our new models, the Manhattan 52, the Predator 68 MKII, the 95 Yacht and the 116 Yacht, all of which have been eagerly awaited by existing customers and those new to our brand. It’s also been a real pleasure to welcome so many visitors and special guests to the stands, which included our graduate apprentices and the Minister of Transport the Rt Hon John Hayes MP at the Southampton Boat Show.”

The business also revealed at Cannes Yachting Festival that it moved back into profit in the second quarter of 2016 with a forecasted overall return to profit for the full year. The next five years will see a massive £50 million of investment spent across new products, improved shipyard facilities and the continued recruitment of people.

Multiple model launches are set to continue as part of a long-term product plan that will see new model introductions across the size range over the next five years including additions to the Manhattan range.


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Brunswick Hits The Wake, Has 23% Upside According To Imperial Capital

Imperial Capital’s George Kelly noted that PA and the Fitness businesses were driving stable, high margin growth for Brunswick Corporation (NYSE: BC), in a “benign” boating environment.

Kelly initiated coverage of the company with an Outperform rating and price target of $60.

The analyst believes the stock could have 23 percent upside potential.

Compelling Stock

Kelly mentioned that Brunswick Corp “presents a compelling opportunity due to its improved operating model and financial profile, attractive valuation and option value should new boat sales accelerate.”

Related Link: Redfin Names The 10 Best Cities For Boaters

Given the outperformance of the stock during Q4 and Q1, the analyst believes the time is right to acquire Brunswick shares.

Recovery Underway

Kelly also pointed out that the recovery in the boating segment was only in its mid-stages, with macro-economic and marine data seeming “relatively benign” and supporting continued growth.

However, the analyst also noted that new boat sales “remain well below pre-recession levels despite growth in boating participation and stable boat registrations.”

On the other hand, the company’s improved operating model and financial profile were expected to drive more consistent growth, given that the recent financial and operating changes lay greater emphasis on less-cyclical, growing segment, while de-risking the balance sheet.

Kelly expects Brunswick Corp to see meaningful upside if boating “picks up steam,” saying that even in a stable end market, “we see potential for margin improvement.”

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House panel looks at sales tax breaks for Texas luxury boats – Corpus Christi Caller


JOHN MORITZ/CALLER-TIMES Greg Allison (left) of the Intercoastal Financial Group and Simon Urbanic of the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership prepare to testify before the House Ways and Means Committee on Monday at the Texas Capitol.

By John C. Moritz, USA Today Austin Bureau

AUSTIN — Texas is losing business to Florida and other states on the eastern seaboard because of the high sales tax levied on luxury boats, representatives of the marine industry told a legislative panel Monday.

Greg Allison, a regional manager for Intercoastal Financial Group, told the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee that Texas should join the growing list of coastal states that have slashed tax rates for pleasure crafts that extend more than 35 feet and carry price tags starting around $300,000.

“It’s easy to say this is just another tax break for the rich,” said Allison, whose company finances high-end boat sales. “But the truth is, the rich already got their tax break from Florida.”

He said the Texas industry took a huge hit when Florida capped its tax in 2010. Others states, including New York, New Jersey and Maryland have followed suit and have seen their big-boat industries flourish, Allison said.

Allison said Texans with the means to buy large vessels that they can take through the Gulf of Mexico and even to the Atlantic are purchasing the crafts in states with lower taxes. And they keep the boats housed, stocked and maintained at out-of-state marinas, he said.

He and others want the Texas tax capped at $18,000.

A similar measure that was billed as a way to protect the boat industry on the Texas Coast and even on the inland lakes was shot down by a large margin two years ago. Two years ago representatives from the City of Corpus Christi were strong supporters, as were House members who represent the Coast. Backers of the measure are expected to file the bill when the 2017 legislative session beings in January. They said the big-boat industry in Texas pumps about $6 billion annually and

Allison and Simon Urbanic of the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership said that if Texas was more competitive, any revenue lost on the front end would be made up down the line because the big boats would stay in Texas where they’d be maintained and outfitted. The money spent on those goods and services would generate Texas taxes, they said.

They said the big-boat industry in Texas pumps about $6 billion annually and adds about 31,000 jobs to the Texas economy. And that is not just limited to the coastal communities, they said. No one spoke against the proposal.

Just about every region in Texas with a thriving lake community depends on recreation and tourism to sustain its economy, Allison said.

“All around those lakes are people with high net worth,” he said. “And they like to boat.”

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Brexit boost for superyacht industry as sales rise above sinking pound

Britain’s superyacht industry is weathering the Brexit storm with the sector reporting its highest level of confidence in the wake of the EU referendum – although choppier waters could be on the horizon.

Fresh figures released by British Marine and Superyacht UK on Monday show that revenue rose 11.5 per cent to £605m in 2015/2016, marking the industry’s fourth consecutive year of growth.

However, Peter Brown, Superyacht UK chairman and salesman at yacht broker Burgess, said that “the decision to leave the EU is likely to dampen this growth”.


Nevertheless, the news has buoyed industry sentiment, with 75 per cent of Britain’s superyacht companies recording positive outlook for the next 12 months.

“With the majority of members reporting high levels of confidence post-referendum, this is in stark contrast to the sharp falls in business optimism recorded in August among British SMEs in non-marine industries,” the report highlighted.

The industry has managed to stay afloat in part thanks to its limited exposure to the domestic market.

“Recent years have seen greater demand for yacht sales from international markets, including Asia and the US,” Richard Selby, international development manager for Superyacht UK and British Marine, said.

Meanwhile, the pound’s post-Brexit drop has also supported turnover, strengthening the purchasing power of overseas customers.

Sterling has dropped around 11 per cent against the dollar and 9 per cent against the Euro since the referendum result was announced.

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    Rendering of yacht designed by award-winning architect Dame Zaha Hadid for German shipbuilders Blohm+Voss

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    Rendering of yacht designed by award-winning architect Dame Zaha Hadid for German shipbuilders Blohm+Voss

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    Rendering of yacht designed by award-winning architect Dame Zaha Hadid for German shipbuilders Blohm+Voss

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    Rendering of yacht designed by award-winning architect Dame Zaha Hadid for German shipbuilders Blohm+Voss

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    Rendering of yacht designed by award-winning architect Dame Zaha Hadid for German shipbuilders Blohm+Voss

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    Rendering of yacht designed by award-winning architect Dame Zaha Hadid for German shipbuilders Blohm+Voss

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    Rendering of yacht designed by award-winning architect Dame Zaha Hadid for German shipbuilders Blohm+Voss

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    Rendering of yacht designed by award-winning architect Dame Zaha Hadid for German shipbuilders Blohm+Voss

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    Rendering of yacht designed by award-winning architect Dame Zaha Hadid for German shipbuilders Blohm+Voss

    Zaha Hadid Architects

About 72 per cent of Superyacht UK’s 250 members have reported a jump in business activity, up from 61 per cent in the company’s last survey.

It has helped drive up full-time industry employment by 4.5 per cent over the past financial year, with over 4,100 people now employed by the superyacht sector.

Mr Brown added: “With market dynamics strong, the superyacht sector is expected to continue to post positive revenue growth over the next 12 months.”

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