Dealer Outlook

Trade Only Dealer Outlook Blog

Are you ready for the 2017 model-year rollout?

In less than three months, you could be receiving some 2017 model-year boats. That’s because President Obama signed the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015 and it included an unprecedented model-year change that will impact every dealer.

Florida anchoring bill faces vote today

The Florida state legislature will set a terrible anti-boating precedent with an expected vote sometime today on a bill (HB 1051) banning overnight anchoring in selected areas. All Florida boating interests should oppose the action right now.

Fish in Cuba with Betty Bauman

As Cuba opens up to limited travel opportunities, it’s no surprise that the marine industry’s first lady of fishing, Betty Bauman, is set to lead a group to fish the island’s waters.

Here’s to the resiliency of our industry

It’s hard to believe, but it’s here. After talking about it for the last 12 months, we’re about to see industry history made with the Thursday opening of the new Progressive Miami International Boat Show at the new Miami Marine Stadium Park & Basin.

Support new status for manatees

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced plans to “downlist” the West Indian manatee from endangered to a less-serious status of threatened and the Southwest Florida Marine Industries Association is calling on its members — and all boating interests — to support this action in public comments now.

Senator addresses Lake Erie trade group

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, told nearly 100 attendees at the annual meeting of the Lake Erie Marine Trades Association that significant progress was made in 2015 on issues that impact the marine industry, particularly on the Great Lakes and Lake Erie.

Be comfortable being uncomfortable

National Marine Manufacturers Association president Thom Dammrich might be the most in-demand speaker in the marine industry today. His position allows him a comprehensive view of the business.

What’s the best way to position a deal?

It’s showtime as the New York Boat Show opened Wednesday and the show in Houston opens Friday. They’re starting off the industry’s critical winter boat show season with anticipation of gains in attendance and continued increases in sales.

With a new year comes a new show

The final countdown to Miami is underway. In just six weeks, an all-new sound will be coming from a 74-year-old marine industry institution. The Progressive Miami International Boat Show will open its 75th edition in the new Miami Marine Stadium Park & Basin and celebrate the largest relocation of a boat show in history.

Did you pay attention in 2015?

It’s the end of the year and a darn good one at that. So, come on, make my day and take this little quiz about some random facts and highlights. No Googling! (Answers at bottom)

Shining lights across central Florida

When Clark Griswold, played by Chevy Chase, blankets his house with Christmas lights in the classic film “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” it doesn’t hold a twinkle to the display Joe and Susan Lewis, with teens Joey and Julia, stage in central Florida.

Model-year starts are finally about to change

Hallelujah! The discussion of when the model year should start and end has been going on for years, but it’s expected to be finally settled when the Senate passes a U.S. Coast Guard reauthorization bill today and sends it to the president.

RBFF’s idea to focus on grandparents is a smart one

The Recreational Boating Leadership Council gathered today in Chicago for an annual review of activities and programs that various task force groups are undertaking, while the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation has raised an interesting question about America’s grandparents.

Pirate fishing hurts everyone

Its fancy name is “illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing,” but call it what it is — pirate fishing. The good news, however, is that President Obama has signed a bipartisan bill to tackle the problem that impacts all anglers, recreational or commercial.

A call to revise the ethanol mandate

When 42 percent of the U.S. House of Representatives says it’s time to revise the ethanol mandate in this country, it’s time for the Environmental Protection Agency to heed the call.

Boating should be going to the dogs

I recall a time prior to 2008 when Discover Boating had a strong national TV campaign and it was airing a commercial with a variety of dogs aboard and the key line “Dogs love boating, too.” Not being a dog owner, I thought the theme was a stretch, at best. Well, I was wrong then […]

The fight to keep summer vacation

Here’s a tale of two states — Florida and Michigan — and the need to keep summer from ending early. One state is winning, the other is not. Both have big impacts on boating.

It’s not too early to think about Christmas sales

It’s not even Halloween and I’m already thinking Christmas? I didn’t mean to, but right next to the Halloween costumes and candy at our local Target is — you guessed it — everything from Christmas tree lights to model gingerbread houses.

Hope for an end to the ethanol debacle?

If you’re like Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders who is “sick and tired of hearing about Hillary Clinton’s emails,” then you are just a likely fed up hearing about the ethanol debacle. But the announcement last week of the Smarter Fuel Future coalition’s new campaign, dubbed “Inconvenient Facts,” brings to mind the possibility that biobutanol […]

Court says the EPA failed in the Great Lakes

For dealers and their customers on the Great Lakes and elsewhere, a recent court ruling is reason to cheer. And, with the growing algae bloom problems still plaguing parts of many lakes, some good news is more than welcome.

Tell customers: ‘Buy and finance now’

The possible increase in interest rates at the next Federal Reserve committee meeting Oct. 27-28 and the recent demand that the largest banks add an additional $200 million layer of capital to protect against losses got me wondering just what impact any of this news might have for marine dealers.

Progressive adds real value to shows

Walking the aisles of last weekend’s Progressive Tampa Boat Show, I came upon the Progressive Insurance exhibit and I was struck by the genuine value that was being added to the overall show by this sponsor.

Volkswagen breaks the cardinal rule of trust

The Volkswagen scandal unfolding daily around the world is, at the very least, a wakeup call to businesses that breaking trust with customers can spell disaster. As expected, lawyers in Florida (and likely other places) have already filed suits on behalf of a customer and are gearing up for the lucrative class-action litigation that could […]

RBFF and Jake Owen promote boating

Two programs to get people out on the water are being stamped a success. The Boat Registration Marketing Program created by the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation and the national media exposure by country music star Jake Owen, aka Discover Boating’s ambassador, are getting it done.

Is convenience a new service model?

We’re living in an on-demand world today. For a geezer like me, it’s hard to grasp the fact that I could get a replacement Jabsco livewell pump (not in stock locally) from Amazon and see it on my doorstep in two days. Maybe I could have even gotten it in two hours.