Archive for » December 5th, 2017«

Phoenix adds sales rep for OH, IN

Phoenix adds sales rep for OH, IN

Phoenix Boats announced today that Curt McGuire will join the company as a Regional Sales Representative for Ohio and Indiana.

McGuire has a strong background in the bass boat business, with stints at Ranger Boats (2005-09) and Stratos Boats (2006-09) as well as War Eagle Boats (2009-present). In addition, his tournament fishing accomplishments include two FLW Costa victories.

In talking with Curt, I see the same passion for bass fishing and bass boats that I have and thats what has fueled Phoenix from the beginning,” said Phoenix Boats president Gary Clouse. He will fit right in with our brand.”

During a recent visit to Phoenix Boats, McGuire said, “I am extremely excited to be joining the Phoenix family. The business environment that comes from working with an independent boat company is exactly what I work best under. I am excited for the future of Phoenix and cant wait to be a part of it.

For more information visit phoenixbassboats.com.


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Five Large Single-Outboard Boats

Simply put, with multiple engines, each engine carries much less load, so they can reach max torque sooner.

At that straddling line of 27 feet, SeaVee does all it can to reduce the total weight of the boat with resin infusion and other advanced composite-­fabrication methods. “We also reduce the deadrise at the transom somewhat to reduce resistance, as well as design the center of gravity to be more forward to reduce hump trim angles,” Caballero says.

The SeaVee 270Z, which the ­company labels a bay boat, can be powered by a single or twin outboards. “When we offer twins, we have a redesigned fuel system to provide for greater fuel capacity and also to locate the fuel load-center more forward,” he says. “It takes a great deal of computational effort and involves designing the boat twice, in many regards.”

Caballero says if engine makers can design outboards that produce very high torque very quickly — through the use of electric-drive motors, ­variable gear ratios, variable-pitch props or high-compression blowers — “that’s when we will see bigger boats with singles.”


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Kickback… and relax! – Superyacht News

During the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show this year, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Ken Denison (Denison Yacht Sales) and Jim Eden (Worth Avenue Yachts) – two stalwarts of the brokerage world, and the brains behind Broward Marine’s ‘golden era’ in the nineties.

During our separate conversations, both condemned – and said they have observed – a proliferation of surreptitious kickbacks on brokerage sales listings in recent years.

A ‘kickback’, in the context Denison and Eden refer to in this case, is an illicit payment – mostly in the form of a split commission, or a ‘commission on a commission’ – made by a broker to a captain in return for finding a willing buyer to complete a yacht sale.

“A captain is the most important person an owner has on his yacht – and what they’re essentially doing is reaching right around to pull a significant cheque out the owner’s pocket,” Denison explained.

Denison thinks owners would be “shocked” to hear the extent to which brokers – and also shipyards – engage in this with captains.

“The point is, I know my clients would say, ‘I pay this man [the captain] six figures-plus per year, I give him a car, he has all the vacations he wants, he’s on my health plan, he has security, he’s part of my family, and now he’s profiting on the sale of my yacht behind my back.”

“He’s part of my family, and now he’s profiting on the sale of my yacht behind my back.”

But is a broker not entitled to use their commission as they please? And if it’s going to help get the yacht sold, is it not in the best interest of the seller anyway?

Eden said he has done this around 50 times on sales, and is adamant that it’s not the concept that’s the problem, but it’s doing it without the owner’s knowledge. “I’ve never had an owner tell me I can’t do it, but you have to be up front with them and say, ‘Your captain is going to help me sell your boat, are you okay with me giving him a tip at the end?’. Denison also said that he is also happy to share his commission with a captain, but only with the owner’s full knowledge and consent.

Eden added: “Ultimately, it is a big transparency issue, because it’s a violation of your fiduciary relationship with your employer and I’ve always felt that way about it. When I was running IYC, we wouldn’t allow any broker kickbacks, because it’s wrong.”

Another conflict of interest that Eden pointed out is that, in such instances, the captain has effectively helped to make the entire crew unemployed upon the sale of the yacht.

“I’ll tell you a story that will make your hair stand on end,” Denison continued. “About a year ago, an old friend of mine, who is nearly retired from brokerage, had a significant sized yacht for sale.

“A friend of his was a captain on another large boat which had a charter client on board. The client liked the captain and asked if he would help him find a boat. So, the captain called this broker and said I’ve got someone who will buy your boat – if you are prepared to split your sales commission with me, I’ll send him your way.

“Ultimately, it is a big transparency issue, because it’s a violation of your fiduciary relationship with your employer.”

“So, the captain took off for a few days and walked this guy around a boat show, and he ended up buying the boat – and the sales commission was $1.8 million, so the captain made $900,000.”

The point Denison was making by telling this story is: where is the element of ‘goodwill’, like when the tables are turned and he endorses a captain? “I’ve recommended four captains who have spent over 10 years with their owners, but do I have the right to ask them for part of their salary?

“If I have a friend who goes to a restaurant after my recommendation and they spend $300, do I have the right to ask the restaurant for a share of that? The answer is no; you did it because you like someone and you want something good to happen. Have we gotten that low in life that everything has to have a payback?”

In some instances, captains have been known to take a kickback from a yard, or supplier/chandler, and pass it back to the owner to effectively work as a discount on the product or service for the owner.

This is considerably more salubrious and represents the employer’s best interests. And it goes back to Eden’s main concern, which is not that it’s happening more and more, but that it’s happening under the table and thus disrupting an employer/employee relationship.

Image credit: Justin Ratcliffe


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VEXUS Enters Boat-Building Fray

By Todd Ceisner
BassFan Editor

It started on July 9 accompanied by the hashtags #fiftypostsforfiftyyears and #thewayitusedtobe.

Keith Daffron began a Facebook post by reminiscing about his 16th birthday and being invited to work at a Ranger Boats dealer meeting in Grove, Okla.

Little did I know those 5 days in Grove, OK would change my life forever, Daffron wrote.

The post included photos of a teenage Daffron fishing with his grandfather, Forrest L. Wood, out of a 25th anniversary Ranger 482VS that had been built exclusively for Wood. The photo is watermarked in the lower right corner noting the date it was taken: AUG 11 92.

It was the first in an extensive series of posts Daffron authored as a way to reminisce about his and his familys deep connection to Flippin, Ark., and the bass boat and fishing industries. Its been a cathartic exercise, he said. There was one about the fire that destroyed the Ranger Boats plants in May 1971. There were other posts recognizing the men and women who worked behind the scenes at Ranger and others focused on pro anglers whose names became synonymous with Ranger, which is set to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2018. The overarching themes of the posts center on legacy and tradition and the individuals that worked to build Ranger into a premier brand.

Reading through the posts, there was a sense Daffron was building up to an apex and today, in his hometown of Flippin, Ark., a couple miles from where his iconic grandfather guided Ranger for decades and where Daffron served as vice president of sales until two years ago, that moment arrived.

At the outdoor museum bearing his grandfathers name, Daffron announced hes heading up the launch of a new bass boat brand called VEXUS, which will operate under the parent company Advanced Marine Performance, LLC. The companys manufacturing facility is under construction in Flippin and is slated to be completed in the spring. The 115,000 square-foot plant will specialize in the production of both aluminum and fiberglass fishing boats as well as custom-matched trailers.

The VEXUS brand represents more than a new line of fishing boats, said Daffron, who will serve as president. Today marks a historic time in our industry as we continue our revolutionary commitment to product excellence. Were extremely fortunate to have a great group of industry veterans already working with us. With so many talented craftsmen and committed dealers, and even customers vying for the first completed models, its a humbling and exciting time.

Its a significant announcement considering the shift toward corporate ownership that has swept through the bass boat business in recent years. Daffron said this venture is extremely personal for himself and others involved with VEXUS launch. He and company CFO Mendel Hughes departed Ranger in November 2015, less than a year after Ranger was acquired by Bass Pro Shops White River Marine Group.

Im a big analogy guy, but I cant find one for what were doing, Daffron told BassFan in a phone interview prior to the announcement. From my personal perspective, being born and raised in Flippin, Arkansas, around what is known as a fairly popular place for producing fishing boats, its in my blood. Our employees and our team are people Ive known, literally, my entire life. I either went to school with them or went to school with their kids. To have an opportunity to start again is something in my wildest imagination would not have envisioned. Thats how life is. Its funny that way, but sometimes its doing you a favor and I think in this case, history will probably bear out thats what happened because it allows us a chance to assemble a team that more closely mirrors what made it work the first time.

Thats true with anglers. Thats true with dealers. And its true with employees. To me, thats what is exciting about it. We have a shop filled with people who are all pulling the wagon in the same direction and are equally motivated.

Daffron said the initial response to the brands unveiling has been strong. Of the independent dealers who were invited to attend Fridays ceremony, none declined. Daffron said the companys primary product introduction will take place at the Bassmaster Classic in March in Greenville, S.C.

From there, production will start immediately, he said. Certainly, we have to be flexible with the weather, but thats our intention. Well end up with a full complement (of models). Were going to build outboard-powered trailer-able fishing boats. Thats our wheelhouse. If we get outside of that, theres probably somebody else who will probably do a better job than us.

Daffron said a handful of models will be available initially followed by a ramp up thats as aggressive as Ive seen in the marketplace, he added. I think we have a team that can do that and technology that allows us to be quicker than were accustomed to.

Daffron said there are a couple reasons behind the timing of the VEXUS launch.

Certainly, its a good market. The Dow broke 24,000 (the other day) and while that doesnt directly correlate to a good boat market, it certainly doesnt hurt it, he said. Its a pretty bullish market and from somewhat of an experience perspective, we feel like theres a strong demand from the independent dealer base for a privately-owned boat builder that shares the same passion and isnt bogged down in the things that can happen with corporate ownership or things of that sort.

VEXUS already has several employees in place and will grow as demand increases.

Were in the teens right, but its growing daily, Daffron said. The market will ultimately tell us how many employees we need or can support based on what we can sell. Its not a shade tree operation. Were building a 115,000-square-foot facility which I dont remember being done in a new start up before.

We have a management team with more 500 years of experience, Daffron added. That doesnt mean were all old, but it does mean weve been there and that means a lot. Tribal knowledge is important in boat building. Its not unlike anything else in the industry. You cant take a kid with a degree off the street and expect him to get plugged in. He still has a lot to learn. Thats what will help us a lot. We have guys who already know their roles and how to do it well.

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