Dealer Outlook

Trade Only Dealer Outlook Blog

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.

Ready for the EMV chip?

New and more secure credit cards are on the way, but liability for fraudulent use is shifting from banks to retailers, who need to decide whether they want to buy point-of-sale units with chip-reading technology.

West Marine and MarineMax set examples

Yes, they are big names in our industry with lots of resources. But West Marine and MarineMax offer noteworthy examples of initiatives to increase fishing and boating participation that can be undertaken by any dealer recognizing the need to remain engaged with customers and prospects.

Four things “fishy” are worthy of note

You know me — I love fishing. And we all know of angling’s importance to our industry. So, from blasting the National Park Service to a solid partnership to get more women fishing, here are four fishy items worth knowing about that have grabbed my attention.

Low gas prices are a double-edged sword

Boaters are having a great summer with gas seeing the lowest average price per gallon in mid-summer since 2009. Moreover, gas on the highways could be headed for $2 a gallon again. But while low prices leave consumers with more cash to spend and fuel the economy, job cuts and an eventual drag on the […]

Nothing beats face-to-face contact

Technology (email and texting) has taken the place of face-to-face contact, the swipe fees war isn’t over and newly proposed underground storage tank rules will impact dealers and marinas with fueling systems.

Ray Underwood receives Lifetime Achievement Award

“Schultzy, if you wanna do some good lobbying, do it with a can of worms,” Ray Underwood told me years ago. Last week, Underwood became the first recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award, created in his honor by the Michigan Boating Industries Association, and it couldn’t be more fitting.

MTAs always give members a good ROI

It’s often things that marine trades associations make certain don’t happen that members overlook when evaluating their membership’s return on investment. And MTAs often fail to adequately make known what they stopped. A good case in point: the Boating Associations of Ohio.