Archive for » May 31st, 2017«

Consumer claims Gulf Coast Boat Sales failed to return deposit

CLEARWATER – A Hillsborough County consumer is seeking the return of a deposit he placed on a boat.

Thomas Pepin filed a complaint on May 15 in the 6th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida – Pinellas County against Gulf Coast Boat Sales LLC alleging breach of contract.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that as of July 6, 2016, he paid defendant a total of $83,500 toward the purchase of a Beachcat boat. Upon completion, he alleges several problems were encountered during sea trial. Both parties entered discussions for the purchase of a different boat, but the suit states were unsuccessful in reaching an agreement. 

The plaintiff holds Gulf Coast Boat Sales LLC responsible because the defendant allegedly failed to deliver the Beachcat as agreed and failed to return plaintiff’s deposit.

The plaintiff seeks judgment against defendant in the sum of $83,500, plus interest, attorney’s fees and costs and all other relief as this court may deem just and proper. He is represented by Robert L. Olsen of Allen Dell PA in Tampa.

6th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida – Pinellas County case number 17-003011-CI

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After decade long recovery boating industry returns to peak

DOTHAN, Al. (WTVY) – The boating industry is seeing some of its highest sales in nearly a decade, Nationwide.

The latest National Marine Manufacturers Association’s recreational statistics indicate that unit sales of new powerboats increased 6% in 2016, that’s 247,800 boats sold. They are expected to increase an additional 6% in 2017.

But you don’t have to tell that to one local dealer who’s enjoying one of the best seasons yet!

H20 Sports and Outdoors on Reeves Street in Dothan is a one stop shop for all types of boats. New or old ski and wake board boats, off shore, pontoons, center consoles and your water sports stuff needs.

Frankie McLaney opened his boating business with his wife in 2008, he said people thought they were crazy for starting one in the first place.

“The worst time you could open a boat business, or any business, was in 2008. The economy crashed, and nobody saw what was coming. Here we are in Dothan, Alabama with no water and we open a boat dealership!” said McLaney.

Nearly 10 years later and business is booming for the H20 Sports owner. The store sells boats all over the country as far as Idaho, Pennsylvania and Michigan, they even sell in Australia. Boat sales typically are slower during winter months and start picking back up as the weather gets warmer.

Brandon Nall has worked in sales at the store since February, he said just in April alone, they sold around 30 boats.

“People are not afraid to spend more money, the banks are loaning a lot easier now, jobs are picking up. I feel like the economy is finally in the place where it needs to be to help push the boat industry,” said Nall.

“We got a boat for anybody in town, the Wiregrass, or nationwide,” added McLaney.

Sales aren’t slowing down yet, according to the NMMA, increase is expected to continue through 2018.

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Gov. Rick Scott touts Lee boat dealer Fish Tale, plan to add jobs in Naples





Florida Gov. Rick Scott visited Fish Tale Boats in South Lee County on Tuesday, May 30, 2017.
Ryan Mills/Naples Daily News

Fish Tale Boats, a longtime Southwest Florida boat dealer and service facility, plans to expand operations into the Naples area this summer, less than a year after opening a new south Lee County headquarters.

Travis Fricke, 32, Fish Tale’s vice president of operations, said the company should be opening a Naples sales center off Davis Boulevard near Airport-Pulling Road in August or September.

“We’re just getting to the client, because Naples is an important market,” Fricke said.

Gov. Rick Scott stopped by Fish Tale’s new south Lee headquarters, off U.S. 41 and Briarcliff Road, on Tuesday morning to highlight the company’s growth over the past several years.

Since 2011, when Scott took office, Fish Tale has almost doubled its workforce from 21 employees to 41, Fricke said. That number should continue to grow with the new Naples sales center, Fricke said.

Scott awarded Fricke and his mother, Diane Fricke, Governor’s Business Ambassador medals.

“You have a beautiful location,” Scott said, surrounded in a service bay by Fish Tale employees, boats, Yamaha motors and a draped American flag. “I hope you don’t have 41 employees next year. I hope you’ve sold so many boats that you have 100 employees.”

During his presentation, Scott touted Florida’s improving economy, low unemployment rate and job creators like Fish Tale. But he lamented significant budget cuts made by the Legislature this month to two statewide economic development agencies, Visit Florida and Enterprise Florida.

“We have to keep fighting for jobs,” Scott said. “We’re on a roll right now, but unfortunately the politicians in Tallahassee, we just finished our session, they turned their back on two agencies that create jobs.”

When asked after the presentation about a possible veto of the budget, Scott said he is “going to look at the budget very closely.”

“We’re taking our time,” he said. “We’re going through the budget because I know it’s your money.”

Fish Tale was purchased in 1996 by Diane Fricke and her late husband, Bruce.

Before moving into its new facility just north of San Carlos Park late last year, the company had its headquarters on Fort Myers Beach. Fish Tale has customers from Venice to Marco Island, and the new location makes it easier to get to them.

“It makes sense to be centralized in order to service our customers better,” Travis Fricke said.

Fish Tale specializes in selling Grady-White, Chaparral and Robalo boats. Travis Fricke said his goal is for his family’s business to keep expanding.

“It will continue to grow,” he said. “There’s a lot of market share out there for boats. The market is growing as a whole.”


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Boat Sales on the Rise

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. (CNBC) – Boat sales are on the rise!

There could be more people heading out on the water now that boat sales are at their highest level since the recession. (Photo Courtesy: NBC)

This might not be a surprise if you saw more crowded waterways over Memorial Day Weekend.

There could be more people heading out on the water now that boat sales are at their highest level since the recession.

And for dealers like Tom Houlaires, the pick up in demand has been keeping him busy.

“Our sales are up around 30 percent over last year,” Tom said. “You’ve got a change in office, you’ve got the stock market at an all-time high. You’ve got good job reports.”

Sales of powerboats are expected to rise this year and next. However, high-end manufacturers like Boston Whaler aren’t counting on mega yachts like these for that growth.

“Overall demand of the yacht segment is a little soft, we’ve seen it in the industry data in the last three to four quarters,” says Brunswick Boat Group President Huw Bower.

The slowdown is being attributed to a stronger dollar, which has helped European competitors. Add to this growing concern from potential buyers that Washington won’t be able to pass the tax cuts they’re expecting.

Boat manufacturers are facing another challenge – not enough workers. At Boston Whaler’s Manufacturing Plant in Florida, boats are made by hand and can take up to four months to complete.

The company says it is having trouble filling open positions because of a lack of skilled workers.

And while industry experts don’t expect sales to get back to pre-recession levels, they are optimistic middle market buyers will keep the industry afloat.

“When I look at the overall portfolio, we’re seeing strong demand in pontoons 21-25. We’re seeing strong demand for that recreational day boat 30-35 feet with more power,” Huw said.

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