Boating Industry

April 2016

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Page 13 of 43 14 | Boating Industry | April 2016 BY JONATHAN SWEET i n 2015, Indmar, in partnership with Ford, introduced the ROUSH-charged Raptor engine to the inboard market, winning several industry awards, includ- ing being one of Boating Industry's Top Products of the Year. In 2016, Indmar is expanding the Raptor line to new market segments. We talked to some of the Indmar product development team – vice president Scott Clack, vice president of engineering Jason Stimmel and design engineer Rachel Masburn – about the new engines, and its new accessory, the Strainer Pro, which won an innovation award at this year's Miami International Boat Show. Boating Industry: So last year, you introduced the Raptor engine, and now you're expanding it to the cruiser and jet segment. What's driving that decision? CLACK: The short answer was that if we're getting into other markets, cruisers seemed to be a perfect fit. If you look at the 6.2 and the performance of it … it's diesel performance in a gasoline engine. We thought this would be really nice, even as far as a retrofit if you're looking for re- power, not just an OEM product. The ski boat/wake boat segment is pretty compressed when you start looking at the players in it. … All of our OEMs … are all on board with the engine now and it's proven to be a really strong performer. So we look at that segment and arguably it's pretty saturated right now, so what else makes sense? You look at the jet boat market … and they were asking for it. We took a pretty aggressive stance in going up into the Northwest and getting a foothold there, setting up shop up there and we have a service station and tech and warehouse up there. Boating Industry: What are you learning in those markets? CLACK: [Jet boats] are a different mar- ket for us … they're a lot more technical. These guys are people that like to work on the product, they want to know about it. They understand the engine, but they also want to know that you're going to be there for them. Now, moving into 2016, there's a lot of positive feedback, we're starting to get a lot more calls, a lot more interest. Cruiser is something we're going to continue to work at. We understand the market is pretty flat right now, but we look at what does this engine bring to that seg- ment? We think this is a great opportunity to bring new technology to that market. Boating Industry: What do you think are the advantages you're offering in that market? CLACK: One is gasoline prices are drop- ping and you've got performance in the 6.2 product. You've got better fuel economy now, you've got a quieter engine, you've got performance that brings those torque values in. It's a great package and price is a huge differentiator, as compared to a diesel- powered product. We're going to dip our toe in the water. Our passion is boating and all aspects of it. Our heritage has been in the water ski and wake business, but we're all boaters. We just want to be out on the water and we think there's opportunity with these products. The wake and water ski segment tends to drive innovation, it's more accepted. We've proven ourselves to the industry, it's a brand that's well known, it's a brand that speaks quality and service and we think that can translate over to the cruiser market. Boating Industry: Now that the Raptor has been in the market for a year, what's been the reaction from your OEMs and consumers? CLACK: Well, I can tell you the phones are quiet from a warranty standpoint. Deal- ers absolutely love the product. Our war- ranty problems are double-digit down with this product. Working with Ford, engineering put a lot of time and effort into building this product, putting in the safety features and all of the mechanisms that we learned over the years. That is one of the main things we're hearing: we don't see the overheat- ing of the engines, we don't see perfor- mance issues, we just don't hear about it. with Indmar's product team

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