Archive for » January 11th, 2018«

Boat dealers power ahead as economy picks up – Houston Chronicle

Caption

Close



Dealers at the Houston Boat Show anticipate stronger local sales this year as oil prices stabilize and buyers look to replace vessels damaged by Hurricane Harvey.

Hundreds of dealers showcased more than 1,000 boats at the 63rd annual expo, which occupied the entire showroom floor at NRG Center. Many sold boats to buyers cheered by recent economic gains and fielded questions from those assessing replacement options after receiving their insurance checks.


The interest builds on last year’s sales momentum, which picked up after a plunge during the oil bust. Daniel McCormick, general manager of SMG Wake in Conroe, said he at last feels comfortable forecasting a positive year after months of uncertainty.

“We’re excited,” he said. “It was a hard-hit segment.”


img {
width:100%;
}
#traductor p {
width: 100%;
}
.right{
text-align:right;
}
#google_translate_element {
border-bottom: 5px solid
padding-bottom:20px;
}
]]>

Translator

To read this article in one of Houston’s most-spoken languages, click on the button below.


Business


Though local dealers saw sales drop as oil prices bottomed out in 2015, many recorded increases last year amid slow-but-steady economic improvements that benefited the entire retail industry.

Locally, rising oil prices coincided with a decline in the state unemployment rate, which settled at a record low last month. Chill Pillsbury, a sales associate at MarineMax in Seabrook, said sales at his dealership rose steadily for the first eight months of the year. Then Hurricane Harvey slammed the coast and hovered over Houston, destroying or damaging an estimated 13,500 boats worth $155 million, according to data from the U.S. Boat Owners Association.

Unlike auto dealers, who saw an immediate spike in sales as Houstonians rushed to replace flooded cars, boat dealers anticipate a latent uptick as Harvey-affected residents complete home repairs and other priorities.

Pillsbury, whose dealership serviced as many as 50 Harvey-damaged boats, already received some interest at the show from buyers whose vessels were totaled. He said he expects to see replacement sales begin in earnest during the second quarter, before the summer boating season.

“There will be a lot of pent-up demand,” he said.

The show, which began on Friday, had a high attendance last weekend. As many as 75,000 people are expected to attend the show, which runs through Sunday.

“Dealers have had strong sales,” said Ken Lovell, the show’s longtime president.

The boats on the floor modeled improvements in fuel economy, steering and horsepower. The latest technology, Lovell said, is vastly different from the basic equipment aboard the boats at the show in 1988, when he first took the helm.

Pontoon boats, once considered clunky, squarish cruisers for the sunset years, have seen a spike in sales driven in part by more streamlined designs, updated features and major improvements in speed. The National Marine Manufacturers Associations estimates sales in that segment increased last year by as much as 8 percent, slightly more than other types of boats.

Lynn Kirkpatrick and his son walked the exhibits at the show Wednesday afternoon, a tradition they’ve shared for more than 10 years. But this year, for the first time, they considered buying a boat.

Kirkpatick’s wife can no longer ride the jet skis they used to haul to their house on Canyon Lake, so they plan to replace them with a boat fit for cruising. He and his son left with a photo of a 22-foot NauticStar model to show her.

“We want something she can enjoy,” he said.

Martin Borrego came to the show in search of a picnic boat, a sort of cruiser more common in New England and Florida than in Texas. He wants to start a charter business out of Clear Lake with his wife, who lives with him on a sailboat they recently took from New Jersey to Galveston on a 40-day adventure at sea.

“We’re thinking of doing a sunset cruise,” he said.

McCormick of SMG Wake doubled his floor space at the show last year, anticipating a pickup in sales.

His dealership sells Bennington pontoon boats, a popular manufacturer, as well as boats specially designed for wakeboarding and other sports.

This year is looking even better than last, he said. He anticipates the dealership will sell 30 percent more boats during the show.

“Everything is firing,” he said. “It’s fun.”


Similar news:

We’re going to need a bigger boat: UK yacht makers buoyant as buyers cash in on Brexit

Whether it’s over pints of warm ale in a mocked-up canal-side pub or flutes of champagne on the bow of brand new 76ft (23-metre) luxury yachts, the London Boat Show’s organisers were raising a glass to Brexit on Wednesday.

The collapse in the value of the pound since the referendum vote in June 2016 has fuelled a boom in British boat building as the vast majority of UK-built yachts are sold overseas. Boats and equipment sales totalled £3.1bn last year – a 3.4% increase on 2016 and the best year since before the 2008 financial crisis, when rich people’s appetite for new yachts evaporated.

“We suddenly became 15 to 20% cheaper than our competitors in Europe and the US [after Brexit],” said Russell Currie, managing director of Fairline Yachts, at the opening of the London Boat Show at ExCel in east London. “It’s been a fantastic year.”

Currie said 95% of the company’s yachts, the biggest of which sell for several million pounds, are exported so the collapse in the pound has made its vessels better value compared to European and US rivals. “That doesn’t mean that only 5% of owners are British,” he said. “Most of them are British but they are buying them in a sunnier climate than ours.”

Brexit has helped Fairline recover from collapsing into administration two years ago. “We’ve gone from zero employees, with zero contracts and zero dealers in January 2016 to more than 380 employees, and a full order book,” Currie said. “We’ve sold 162 boats in the last two years … no, 163, we sold one this morning.”

Currie explained that Fairline’s customers, who he said are generally very rich with self-made wealth, are increasingly demanding bigger boats, which had created a headache for the company which is based in landlocked Oundle, Northamptonshire.



Inside a Fairline Squadron 53 boat at the London Boat Show, but the company is facing increasing demand for larger models. Photograph: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA

At present Fairline’s boats are transported to the sea by lorry in the middle of the night, but doing so has limited the maximum size of its yachts to 78ft.

“Our Oundle base is nowhere near the sea, and the cost [of transporting boats to the sea] has compromised the size and design of our boats,” Currie said. “So, we have invested £30m in a shore-side manufacturing facility on Southampton Water.” The company will hire about 200 new workers in Southampton.

The new base will allow the company to match its customers’ growing demand for roomier boats. “We have made 115 78ft boats, and 80 65ft boats, that gives you an indication of the appetite – they want bigger,” he said. “Buying our boats is how our customers reward themselves for the success they have achieved.”

Currie said the company’s customers tend not to be too ostentatious, but have been been known to buy “seven, eight, nine or 10 Fairlines – but not all at the same time”. He said the company’s strategy is to encourage owners to start small and then upgrade to bigger models as they get more experienced with yachting, and their bank balance grows.

“They want to bring their families and enjoy their free time,” Currie said of his customers. “They tend to be very family-orientated , they want to enjoy their wealth rather than show their wealth.”

Even Fairline’s Russian owners Alexander Volov and Igor Glyanenko, who bought the company out of administration for £4m in 2016, do not own the brand’s biggest boat. “One owns a 42ft boat the other a 62ft,” Currie said. “These are conservative guys. These are very hard-working business guys – this is not an oligarch story.”

Sales are so strong at Poole-based Sunseeker International that the now-Chinese owned company is splashing cash on sponsoring the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia, which will allow the company to invite a selection of its super-rich customers to the tournament.

Phil Popham, chief executive of Sunseeker International, said Brexit had helped fuel “very, very strong growth” and he expected 2017 sales will have increased by at least 10% on 2016. The company collected revenue of £252m in 2016, an increase of 26% on 2014.

“We sold 140 yachts last year, and we expect to sell a lot more than that this year,” he said, on the bow of a newly launched 76ft model. “We’ve sold 90% of our production for 2018 already on forward order.” For some larger models customers will have to wait until 2020 for delivery if they order now.



Sunseeker yachts at the London Boat Show on 10 January 2018. Photograph: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA

Popham said demand is strongest for superyacht-sized models, including the largest 131ft Sunseeker, which costs £16m plus tax. “It takes 10-12 guests and requires seven crew, it really is a superyacht,” he said. “We’ve sold 125 boats over 100ft since 2002.”

Sunseeker is now the world’s largest producer of yachts over 85ft, turning out about 30 a year.

While Brexit has helped make Sunseekers more price competitive, Popham said cost was not the primary motivator of his customers. “This [he said tapping the yacht] is a discretionary purchase, no one needs a superyacht.

“The world is becoming more and more affluent. There are more ultra-high net-worth individuals than ever before, we see that trend continuing and that is clearly our target market.”

  • Follow Guardian Business on Twitter at @BusinessDesk, or sign up to the daily Business Today email here.

Similar news:

Boat dealers power ahead as economy picks up

Caption

Close



Dealers at the Houston Boat Show anticipate stronger local sales this year as oil prices stabilize and buyers look to replace vessels damaged by Hurricane Harvey.

Hundreds of dealers showcased more than 1,000 boats at the 63rd annual expo, which occupied the entire showroom floor at NRG Center. Many sold boats to buyers cheered by recent economic gains and fielded questions from those assessing replacement options after receiving their insurance checks.


The interest builds on last year’s sales momentum, which picked up after a plunge during the oil bust. Daniel McCormick, general manager of SMG Wake in Conroe, said he at last feels comfortable forecasting a positive year after months of uncertainty.

“We’re excited,” he said. “It was a hard-hit segment.”


img {
width:100%;
}
#traductor p {
width: 100%;
}
.right{
text-align:right;
}
#google_translate_element {
border-bottom: 5px solid
padding-bottom:20px;
}
]]>

Translator

To read this article in one of Houston’s most-spoken languages, click on the button below.


Business


Though local dealers saw sales drop as oil prices bottomed out in 2015, many recorded increases last year amid slow-but-steady economic improvements that benefited the entire retail industry.

Locally, rising oil prices coincided with a decline in the state unemployment rate, which settled at a record low last month. Chill Pillsbury, a sales associate at MarineMax in Seabrook, said sales at his dealership rose steadily for the first eight months of the year. Then Hurricane Harvey slammed the coast and hovered over Houston, destroying or damaging an estimated 13,500 boats worth $155 million, according to data from the U.S. Boat Owners Association.

Unlike auto dealers, who saw an immediate spike in sales as Houstonians rushed to replace flooded cars, boat dealers anticipate a latent uptick as Harvey-affected residents complete home repairs and other priorities.

Pillsbury, whose dealership serviced as many as 50 Harvey-damaged boats, already received some interest at the show from buyers whose vessels were totaled. He said he expects to see replacement sales begin in earnest during the second quarter, before the summer boating season.

“There will be a lot of pent-up demand,” he said.

The show, which began on Friday, had a high attendance last weekend. As many as 75,000 people are expected to attend the show, which runs through Sunday.

“Dealers have had strong sales,” said Ken Lovell, the show’s longtime president.

The boats on the floor modeled improvements in fuel economy, steering and horsepower. The latest technology, Lovell said, is vastly different from the basic equipment aboard the boats at the show in 1988, when he first took the helm.

Pontoon boats, once considered clunky, squarish cruisers for the sunset years, have seen a spike in sales driven in part by more streamlined designs, updated features and major improvements in speed. The National Marine Manufacturers Associations estimates sales in that segment increased last year by as much as 8 percent, slightly more than other types of boats.

Lynn Kirkpatrick and his son walked the exhibits at the show Wednesday afternoon, a tradition they’ve shared for more than 10 years. But this year, for the first time, they considered buying a boat.

Kirkpatick’s wife can no longer ride the jet skis they used to haul to their house on Canyon Lake, so they plan to replace them with a boat fit for cruising. He and his son left with a photo of a 22-foot NauticStar model to show her.

“We want something she can enjoy,” he said.

Martin Borrego came to the show in search of a picnic boat, a sort of cruiser more common in New England and Florida than in Texas. He wants to start a charter business out of Clear Lake with his wife, who lives with him on a sailboat they recently took from New Jersey to Galveston on a 40-day adventure at sea.

“We’re thinking of doing a sunset cruise,” he said.

McCormick of SMG Wake doubled his floor space at the show last year, anticipating a pickup in sales.

His dealership sells Bennington pontoon boats, a popular manufacturer, as well as boats specially designed for wakeboarding and other sports.

This year is looking even better than last, he said. He anticipates the dealership will sell 30 percent more boats during the show.

“Everything is firing,” he said. “It’s fun.”


Similar news:

Classic crafts cruise on at Minneapolis Boat Show – StarTribune.com

With U.S. boat sales hot for the second year in a row and with Minnesota ranked fourth among all states as a leading market for new powerboats, engines, trailers and accessories, the 2018 Minneapolis Boat Show expects a major splash in attendance starting Thursday.

There, in front of Hall D near the main entrance, some 36,000 visitors will be greeted by boating’s past. Surrounded by magnificent wooden creations and a few old fiberglass gems, members of the Bob Speltz Land-O-Lakes Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society will be serving up nostalgia for at least the 15th year in a row.

Like the rest of the boating community right now, the club is in a period of prosperity. Membership is up 20 percent over the past two years to about 360 people. This year’s boat show, running through Sunday at the Minneapolis Convention Center, provides another opportunity for expansion.

“We are growing and we have a reputation of being a very active chapter,” said Dave Bortner, the club’s president.

Bortner, who owns a boat service and restoration company in Mound, said there’s a full spectrum of boat styles represented in the club — from canoes to sailboats and specialty boats. What’s relevant to the club changes as various “new” watercraft become collectible. Finned fiberglass boats made by Herter’s Inc. in the 1950s have drawn attention for a number of years. Century Coronados, Boston Whalers and James Bond-style Glastron boats — also made from fiberglass — have come into vogue.

“What is cool to collect is getting newer,” Bortner said. “It’s not just wood boats.”

Surprise is a 1927 Hutchinson Launch 30-foot boat built in New York. It was commissioned by a wealthy woman as a birthday surprise for her husband. The boat will be on display Thursday through Sunday at the Minneapolis Boat Show.