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Brunswick: Sea Ray lost $17.2M in 2017 – Daytona Beach News

Company officials say Sea Ray sale drawing ‘significant interest’

PALM COAST — The decision by Brunswick Corp. executives to sell off the Sea Ray Boats division in December came as the luxury boatbuilder was on track to post a $5.9-million loss in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to financial results released by the company Thursday.

For all of 2017, Sea Ray Boats posted adjusted operating losses of $17.2 million, the earnings report states.

During a Thursday morning conference call with analysts after the release of fourth quarter and full year earnings, Brunswick Corp. officials said they are pleased with how the sale of Sea Ray Boats is unfolding.

“The sales process is underway,” chairman and CEO Mark Schwabero said during the call. “There has been significant interest in the business and our goal remains to complete the divestiture in the first half of the year. We are encouraged by all the interest we’re seeing on the Sea Ray side.”

The company operates a manufacturing facility off of Roberts Road in Flagler County that employs about 440 workers.

Schwabero stressed that closing the sale of Sea Ray will be a focus “while ensuring the business is diligently managed to support our employees, our dealers and our customers.”

The rest of the company’s boat segment, which includes Edgewater-based Boston Whaler, reported earnings of $21.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, compared with $13.1 million during the same period in 2016.

Asked about the implications of the Sea Ray sale on the company’s other boat brands, Schwabero said it will allow greater focus on continuing operations.

“Obviously it frees up management’s time and focus,” he said. “How much gets freed up is a function of who the buyer is and what services they want to have for some period of time.”

Boston Whaler recently broke ground on a $42-million expansion project expected to create between 50 and 100 jobs at the Edgewater facility.

The project follows a 60,000-square foot expansion of the plant in 2015.

 

 


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Dreaming of summer: A look inside how businesses prepare at NYC …

The scene at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan this past weekend was all-nautical as the Progressive Insurance New York Boat Show was in full swing. First held in 1905, it is the nation’s longest-running boat show, bringing together hundreds of businesses that represent dozens of manufacturers. 

For East End marine businesses, the event is a time for staff to gear up and bring their A-game for five days of nothing but boat talk.

Dealers come from all over the country but mainly from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. More than half of the marine businesses that come from New York are based on Long Island, and out of those, over a quarter of them are from the East End.

Some of these businesses include Strong’s Marine, Port of Egypt Marine, Hampton Watercraft and Marine, Spellmans Marine and Albertson Marine.

“I love coming to this show, seeing what’s out there, our competition, seeing our customers that own boats and hearing stories about what they’ve been doing out on the water with their families and then helping others get into new boats,” said Rachel Pena, a sales consultant from Strong’s Marine, last Wednesday, the first day of the show.

The large showroom was divided into sections by boat brands like Grady-White, MasterCraft and Regal.

Ms. Pena was in the Cobalt boats section, one of the manufacturers Strong’s represents. One of the newer models she was showing off was the Cobalt R7 Surf Boat, designed for wakesurfing and other watersports.

Ms. Pena said the show is a great opportunity to see a lot of different products all at one venue.

Salesmen from Port of Egypt Marine aboard the Grady-White Freedom 375 model Wednesday morning at the New York Boat Show at the Jacob K. Javits Center in Manhattan. Credit: Krysten Massa

A few feet away at the Regal boats station, Strong’s Marine salesman David Russell was showing off a more luxurious boat. He was taking guests on a tour of a Regal 42 Grande Coupe, which evoked oohs and aahs from people who walked by it.

The 42-foot boat offers plenty of seating for guests, an aft cabin with a king-sized bed, a forward stateroom with a queen-sized bed and a kitchen area with a refrigerator, freezer, microwave and stove.

“This would be ideal for anybody who wants to go for a nice cruise out to Block Island or Connecticut,” he said.

The boat show is the one-stop shop for anything a boat lover could ever want, from engines to jet skis, luxury boats to more sporty boats.

Bill Witzke from Albertson Marine in Southold does not bring boats with him to the show, but can be found by the Mercury Marine boat engines. He said he’s been participating in the show for close to 30 years.

“It’s nice; we meet a lot of our customers here,” he said, adding that it’s cool to represent the North Fork at the show. “It’s always nice to meet people who I didn’t even know lived in Southold.”

Some of the Grady-White models on display at the show. Credit: Krysten Massa

Mike Kelley, sales manager at Port of Egypt Marine, said the same thing about being a business from the East End of Long Island.

“It’s always neat to represent our home area,” he said. Mr. Kelley and the rest of the Port of Egypt team could be found at the Grady-White section of the showroom. He said Port of Egypt is the longest-standing Grady-White dealer in the world.

One of the most impressive models he was showing was the Grady-White Freedom 375, a 37-footer with the largest hull the manufacturer makes. The boat features a large seating area in the bow, a sleeping/lounging area, and a refrigerator and electric grill.

He said that, while the goal is always to sell boats, many people come to the show just to look around, see what’s new and then later on follow up with a dealer to purchase a boat. He said during the long weekend, his main focus is to make sure he can answer any questions a potential buyer may have and to give smart buying tips. He said a sale will typically be made in the days or weeks following.

“It’s a good economy, people are into boating and it’s usually the kickoff to the season,” he said. “The manufacturers have great incentives. It’s a perfect time to buy a boat.”

Photo caption: Rachel Pena, a sales consultant at Strong’s Marine, on the Cobalt R7 Surf Boat Wednesday afternoon at the New York Boat Show. (Credit: Krysten Massa)

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