With just one major fall in-water show left this year — the Dec. 4-7 St. Petersburg Power & Sailboat Show — discussions centered on expectations for the industry’s winter shows at the meeting of the National Marine Trades Council last weekend in Orlando, Fla.
If reports from more than a dozen marine trade associations from around the country are any indication, efforts are in high gear to pursue favorable legislation for the marine industry.
As the lame-duck session of the 113th Congress that has raised accomplishing nothing to a high art gets under way, the Advisory Council of Marine Associations will tackle a wide-ranging agenda at its annual meeting this weekend in Orlando.
I usually pass up reading articles that are mostly numbers … except if they’re numbers that show that our industry is climbing out of the deepest hole in our history. And that’s exactly what numbers from the Marine Industries Association of South Florida, Discover Boating and the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas are showing.
Boat dealerships are small businesses and we should point with pride to that fact. It’s also reason enough to participate in Small Business Saturday, which is coming up on Nov. 29.
In what appears to be a contradiction, gasoline prices are plummeting while funds from gasoline sales going into the Sportfish & Boating Trust Fund are rising. And that’s good for boating.
Let us pray for common sense.
There are more new programs added to this year’s Marine Dealer Conference & Expo and Lenny Rudow’s workshop on “Shooting and Editing Boat Walk-Through Videos” has got to be at the top of the list.
I know it’s not even Halloween yet. But thoughts need to turn to mistletoe and holly now, lest the opportunity to profit from the big Christmas selling season passes us by.
They might not seem to go together, but the increase in home equity lines of credit and the surge in pickup truck sales bode well for the future because boat sales track with both.
The drones are coming to a lake near you … and they’ll be watching.
There likely aren’t two things that concern retail dealers more than developing a successful lead management process and determining when it’s good to raise prices. Both should be on the radar.
Need something to charge you up today? Check out these success stories:
Mayors from 20 Great Lakes cities in both the U. S. and Canada converged on Chicago recently seeking answers to the growing algae problems plaguing the lakes, particularly Lake Erie, but a real threat to waterways throughout the region.
“Tide Rises for Boat Industry” is the headline in the Tampa Bay Times, clearly capturing the energy and expectations of exhibitors and attendees as IBEX wraps up today.
There’s encouraging news worth noting on two fronts — a rising consumer confidence index and recognition for the industry’s ongoing Discover Boating campaign.
“The key is not the will to win. Everybody has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that is important.” – Former Army, Indiana and Texas Tech men’s basketball coach Bob Knight.
Getting a “no” can be good or bad. Just look at the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals or the Federal Reserve Board.
I turned on the TV in Chicago last night and what did I see? It was a well-done Go RVing commercial. Here I am, I thought, in the nation’s second-largest market and I see the RV industry appropriately hitting it with a slick message. And I’m immediately ticked.
A $100 discount for registration to the 2014 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo in Orlando, which runs Nov. 16-19, ends this Friday. But, savings aside, the real question is: why haven’t you registered?
A shout-out to Nautique president and CEO Bill Yeargin for stepping up to a deal with CBS as the title sponsor of the Nautique U.S. Open of Water Skiing.
After an amazing breakthrough show last year with a 44 percent attendance increase, the Tampa Boat Show continued to set a good pace, albeit with an attendance increase last weekend that’s back down to more earthly growth.
We’ve always heard that “the customer is always right.” Why, if I look back at old blogs, I undoubtedly wrote those words, too. But when I did, I was wrong. The customer isn’t always right — or good for business.
By now we’re all aware that the economy grew by a healthy 4.2 percent in the second quarter (April-June) topping early predictions and strongly suggesting growth is picking up speed.
Answering the growing calls for more boater education, the United States Power Squadrons and BoatUS Foundation Wednesday released their newest online educational offering called “Weather for Boaters.”
I don’t normally see a drop in boat show attendance as a good thing, but to assume it’s not in this case would be a mistake.
Now’s your chance to make one of your customers or boating friends a star of Discover Boating. And read on to find out why Generation X is a demographic that should make a great marketing target.
If you’re like me, you’ve assumed that IBEX, the International BoatBuilders’ Exhibit & Conference, is just for boatbuilders. Maybe that’s been the case in the past. But another serious look at this year’s IBEX is in order because dealers can benefit from the many changes slated for the Sept. 30-Oct. 2 event being held in […]
Wisconsin warned boaters and swimmers that there’s blue-green algae in their lakes. Toledo, Ohio’s recent “don’t-drink-the-water” was a national disgrace. People who touch or ingest water containing it (microcystin toxin) can become sick. Certainly not a climate in which we can grow boating. Is it time, then, for the marine industry to take a page […]
Some say it’s just about red snapper fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. But the truth is it goes much deeper and will set a dangerous precedent for all saltwater anglers and the dealers who sell them their boats.
Arguably, the Internet decreased face-to-face communications and caused serious changes in the way we socialize with friends and family. We don’t call; we text or email or post on Facebook. But if we assume the hours spent on the Internet are at the expense of friends and family, it appears we could be wrong.
With the industry’s long list of fall boat shows opening Thursday at the Progressive Michigan City In-Water Boat Show near Chicago, organizers are making changes that will cause thousands of visitors to pass through their gates around the country.
Two good ideas today come from our industry’s Discover Boating campaign and from a successful marketing concept in the restaurant business.
It’s a conundrum.
When it comes to selling boats to women, we’re not getting it done. At least that’s one conclusion I got from the excellent feature entitled “Band of Sisters” in the July issue of Soundings Trade Only by associate editor Reagan Haynes.
In Chicago, it is said, dead people still vote. But until now, I didn’t realize Chicago could be the seat of brain-dead office holders.
The three largest in-water boating expositions held annually on the Great Lakes have worked together to set dates that avoid conflicts and make it more convenient for exhibitors that traditionally display in each event.
We can always learn from good events. So when they occur, they’re worth noting.
In the current issue of Soundings Trade Only, editor-in-chief Bill Sisson is spot-on when he cites things such as lack of time, student loans, less income and troubles finding good-paying jobs as major hurdles for millennials who we want to be buying our boats.
It was back in the summer of 2007. The phone rang and a lady on the other end said: “Now that you’ve retired from the Lake Erie Marine Trades Association, we think you’re just the guy to start a blog for marine dealers.”
With years of declining sales finally behind us and our recovery from the Great Recession, while disappointingly slow, well under way, you’ve gotta like the solid evidence that our future is good as shown in the Coast Guard’s latest National Recreational Boating Survey.
Cost control is something we often consider in the context of budget cuts. But as a priority part of our business plan? Perhaps not. Still, if it can prove a successful strategy for an airline, it could be useful in a boat dealership.
A lot of spring rain isn’t necessarily welcomed in all parts of the country, but for dealers in the Houston area, rain could be making a big difference. At least that’s the feeling around the Boating Trades Association of Metropolitan Houston as organizers just wrapped up the 27th annual edition of the Houston Summer Boat […]
Reputation is one word that can impact everything.
There’s no denying we continue to see modest improvement in boat sales as the economy delivers slow growth. But as dealers approach a new model year, attend dealer meetings and project orders, there are some clouds on the horizon that could upset any sustained growth and dealers should remain particularly alert to current issues and […]
There might be no other state where boating groups are more engaged in efforts to secure the marine industry’s future than in Florida, proving once again that our industry’s marine trades associations do what individual dealers couldn’t accomplish by themselves.
When Yogi Berra uttered his famous “You wouldn’t have won if we’d beaten you,” he could have been talking about the nation’s retailers and their courtroom loss in their quest for lower debit card swipe fees. Now the case could end up in the Supreme Court.
If you want to catch a tasty red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico today, you’re too late. The red snapper season ended at 12:01 a.m. this morning after running for just nine days.
“Up to my ass in alligators” is a popular metaphor we all know isn’t taken literally. Unless, that is, you’re Joe Lewis, chairman of the industry’s Grow Boating board, and Carl Blackwell, helmsman of our Discover Boating national campaign. They have reason to see it from a different perspective.
I must be traveling through another dimension. I’ve been beamed into a war zone where the Great Lakes are being threatened by approaching armies of Asian carp and there’s no agreement on how — or even if — the battle to prevent an ecosystem defeat.