Archive for » October 16th, 2017«

Barletta Boat Company becomes newest MRAA Platinum Partner

Barletta Boat Company, LLC, manufacturers of Barletta Pontoon Boats, a new entry into the pontoon segment of the marine industry, has become the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas’s newest Platinum Partner Member, the MRAA’s highest level of support.

“We are entering the marine business with an all-new approach to dealer and customer relations,” said Bill Fenech, president and co-owner of Barletta Boats. “As a longtime participant in the RV industry, the partnership we developed with our dealer network was absolutely the difference between being a good company and being a great company. It seems a natural starting point to engage with the MRAA and all that it does to support the growth and success of the marine industry dealer body. This is an important step for us to take.”

Based in Bristol, Ind., Barletta Pontoon Boats is the newest, and maybe the most anticipated, entry into the pontoon boat segment in years. President and co-owner Bill Fenech, a longtime boater, brings nearly 30 years of RV experience to Barletta. Bill, along with brother Ron and good friend Don Clark, was part of the ownership group that led Keystone RV Company to become the largest travel trailer and fifth wheel company in the world. In 2012, the three of them created Grand Design RV and led that company to $500 million in sales in just four short years.

With a customer-focused/dealer-centric approach, high quality products and truly partnering with the dealer network, GDRV achieved record setting scores from RV dealers on the Dealer Satisfaction Index survey. The success of GDRV, along with Bill’s experience and leadership, has provided a road-map for Barletta’s future. Bill is developing an all-star team of industry professionals to help him build a solid foundation for Barletta, with the goal of launching the company’s first model later this year.

“Bill and his team have demonstrated a passion for a dealer-centric approach to conducting business,” said Matt Gruhn, president of MRAA. “We are encouraged by the thinking that this business model has been built upon, and we’re very much looking forward to partnering with Barletta Boats on dealer development projects.”

Barletta Boat Company, LLC, joins a growing roster of boat manufacturers, vendors and suppliers that have chosen to support the dealer community through partnership with the MRAA. The support of these organizations enables MRAA to expand the products and services it offers to dealers, with the goal of providing them with more tools, resources and educational opportunities to fuel their success. Find a full menu of partner benefits on the MRAA website.

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New port for annual event? Upscale vessels on display at first Marco Island Boat Show

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They say the two happiest days for a boat owner are the day he or she buys it, and the day he or she sells it.

Over the weekend, thousands got the chance to move closer to that happy day of buying a boat, at the inaugural Marco Island Boat Show, an in-water show hosted by Rose Marina. About 2,500 visitors paid the $5 admission fee, said Tiffany Sawyer-Schank, show manager and executive director of the Marine Industries Association of Collier County (MIACC), which sponsored the event.

With boats both in the water and sitting on trailers, there was something for everyone to either seriously consider or idly dream about, from jet skis and runabouts up to motor yachts. The largest vessel on display was a Prestige 630, a 63-ft. fly bridge motor yacht with a sticker price of $2,634,505, although according to the Galati Yacht Sales reps who were showing her, if you made a cash offer of $2.1 mill during the boat show, you had the chance of cruising off with a steal of a deal. Somehow, another old boating saw comes to mind, the reminder that “a boat is a hole in the water into which you pour money.”

Along with a host of options including underwater hull lights, thermal remote engine camera, hydraulic swim platform, gyroscopic stabilizers, the Prestige features a gi-normous flying bridge, big enough to accommodate a party for your dozen closest friends, with its own sink, grill and fridge.

After 75 years in business, Tappan Marina has new owner – News …

After being operated by the same family for 75 years, Tappan Marina will have a new owner on Jan. 1.

TAPPAN LAKE After being operated by the same family for 75 years, Tappan Marina will have a new owner on Jan. 1.

The current owners — Dick and Sandy Henry and her sister, Cathy Cramblett — have sold the business to the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District.

“It’s the next chapter in our lives, and I don’t know where that’s going to lead us,” said Sandy Henry. “We’ve had a good ride here. But we will miss it. We will miss our customers.”

Added Cathy Cramblett, “It’s kind of like a divorce. You have mixed emotions.”

The conservancy district already owns the land where the business is located on U.S. Route 250 in Harrison County. The family leases the land. The sale will include the restaurant, boat sales and service and cabins.

Closing on the sale is scheduled for mid-October.

“We reached a short-term agreement with the current owners to provide storage services for Tappan dockers during this off-season,” John Olivier, the MWCD’s deputy chief-marinas, said in an email to The T-R. “This will include removing boats from the docks this fall, and placing them back on docks next spring. This really helps MWCD operationally in that we do not have to rush and mobilize ourselves to provide these services. It provides some additional revenue for the current owners, and some for us as well. Truly a win-win for both parties.”

The conservancy district has issued two RFPs (Request for Proposal) — one for operation of the restaurant and retail sales, and the other for the provision of boat and motor sales and repair and storage services. The RFPs are due at the end of October.

“We hope to have two new lessees on board by the end of the year, with those operations beginning next spring,” Olivier said.

The MWCD will provide docking services, boat rentals and bait and fuel sales. This is the same business model used at Seneca Lake Marina in Guernsey County, he said.

The marina opened in 1942, just a few years after the completion of Tappan Dam. The lake hadn’t completed filled up yet. The business was started by James Holleyoak of New Philadelphia, Sandy and Cathy’s grandfather. He was also the Tuscarawas County game warden.

At first, it operated out of the former Tappan School, which closed when the town of Tappan was removed for construction of the dam. Once the lake filled up, the marina moved to a wooden building at the current site.

Eventually, Holleyoak’s three children — Lloyd, Max and Gladys — took over operation. Dick and Sandy and Cathy and Cathy’s husband, Gary Cramblett, purchased it in 1986. Gary died in 2014.

The marina has had its ups and downs over the years. The old marina building burned to the ground in 1965 and was replaced by the current building. The dining room in the new building was heavily damaged by a tornado in 1968. Then a portion of the roof was taken off by a fast-moving storm in May of this year.

“I thought nothing more could happen and then that happened,” Cathy said. “We’ve been through a lot.”

Several generations of the family worked at the marina.

“There are so many memories here,” said Cathy, who began working there at age 11 selling candy and pop. “It was our whole childhood. Our parents brought us here, we brought our kids here, and now our kids are bringing their kids here.”

The family has been working on the sale to the MWCD for the past two years.

“It’s been a rough summer with people coming in and saying, ‘I can’t believe this is happening,'” Cathy said. “We wanted to get through the summer with our customers.”

Now they have to decide what to do next.

After the sale was agreed upon, Cathy said to herself, “My God, what did you just do? You’ve done this all your life. Now what are you going to do? But I’ll figure it out.”

Dick and Sandy said they are not ready to retire. They might consider working for whoever leases the property, or they may lease it themselves.

“Dick and I would still like to work,” Sandy said. “We just got those RFPs and we’re looking at them. We’re not sure if we will submit anything.”

They all said they have enjoyed their time working at the marina.

“We’ve had a good run here,” Dick said. “It’s been fun and we’ve had nice scenery and nice people.”


Reach Jon at 330-364-8415 or at

On Twitter: @jbakerTR






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