Boating Industry

April 2016

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April 2016 | Boating Industry | 15 It's all planned and the plan is working. We offer a single platform with three dif- ferent options, so from an OEM standpoint, installs, parts … everything is pretty common across the board. We're trying to commonize everything. From a production standpoint, it has really streamlined production. … The ROUSH brand is a strong brand. We align ourselves very well with those two com- panies. They have a rich history of performance and quality. Those guys were on board from day one, helping develop the entire package. It's been fun, it's been challenging for all of us, be- cause we are by far outpacing what our [sales] projections were. Boating Industry: What are some of those features that have made it successful? STIMMEL: I think one of the big assets with Ford is we offer freshwater cooling as a standard option. The advantages to the consumer are huge: you won't get any corrosion through the block, the pumps on the block will last longer. It's one of the reasons we could go with a fi ve- year factory warranty. The conventional auto- motive alloys will not stand up to saltwater, so [freshwater cooling] is good for the OEM and it's good for us. We tried to optimize the drainage system so all the points on the engine you do have to touch, they're all well indicated, easy to take apart. You have to drain fi ve points, and it's pretty much winterized. CLACK: I will tell you, there's a lot of pressure in the market, as these boats get larger and con- tinue to creep up in pricing. … The easiest way we bring cost out of the engine is to take closed cooling off of it. We fi rmly believe that closed cooling is a tremendous benefi t, and we're the only ones out there that offer it standard. It's the right thing to do for the consumer, it's the right thing to do for the performance of the engine. What we're seeing out there in the market, you look at the results of some of these alumi- num blocks that aren't running closed cooling, the life expectancy is not very good. The con- sumer is going to feel the brunt of that. If you want to grow the business, if you want to grow boating, consumers have to have a good experience. We need them to continue to want to be boaters and to bring other people out there. STIMMEL: We've gone to cartridge canisters. We're being good environmental citizens in this regard. We're not sending the old canister styles to the landfi ll. If you send the cartridge to a proper recycling center, they just incinerate the paper element, instead of crushing the can and leaking the oil out of it. Especially now that all of our engines are cat- alyzed, we are engaging a more environmentally conscious consumer as well. Boating Industry: Let's talk about the Strainer Pro. How did that come about? CLACK: This goes back to one of the key chal- lenges we have. We think we build a very good, quality, purpose-built product. We provide the product to the OEM, we work with them on the install, but we don't have a lot of control over the engine after it leaves our factory. We require certain water fl ow and air fl ow and all the things you need in that package, but honestly we're not sitting there auditing every single engine. Water fl ow is a key component. You put a part between the water pickup and the engine itself in the sea strainer that is arguably suspect … that's a key area. All of the sudden, you've got engine issues. I can tell you, it's cost us tens of thousands of dollars over the years trying to chase down what a problem might be. So these guys said, "Look, we can make one of these things. Why don't we design our own?" This group put it together and the design came from Rachel. She wasn't an engine geek, didn't know about engines. She didn't know any better, which is really kind of neat. She didn't know that it can't be done, or you shouldn't do that, so she had a whole different approach. MASBURN: It was incredible that we were able to do that, that the company gave me that op- portunity because at the time I was pretty green. They let me go with it and now we've got the innovation award to take back. … They said, this is what we needed to do, and we fi gured it out. It's a great team, helping each other out all the time and that's why we're able to [create] these products. … Jason just does a great job of letting us go, and I can say "Let's just try this and see what happens." Sometimes I realize something is a terrible idea, but sometimes it works. CLACK: We went into an area that was kind of unique for us, bringing parts and accessories to the market, but I think that's a direction you'll start seeing more of from Indmar, looking out- side the engine and at the system as a whole. There's a new energy at our company. We spent years and a lot of resources both fi nancially and with our employees to bring Ford back to the market and we took a huge chance. We bet the company on it and it's proven to be the right thing to do. "We just want to be out on the water and we think there's opportunity with these products." — Scott Clack

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