Boating Industry

April 2016

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30 | Boating Industry | April 2016 /// Market Trends /// This also means creating a lineup that gives those new buyers an opportunity to move to higher-end products as they become more experienced. "We can't just focus on one and not just on the other. So for us, it's always a continuous pro- cess on how we can improve in all of the catego- ries we have," said Seti. "We're seeing products in all categories doing well." Buyer trends Personal watercraft manufacturers are focusing on products that are compatible for up to three riders, which helps meet the multi-faceted uses of the current personal watercraft buyer. The market for solo riders is generally small for all players and so there is not as much focus on pro- ducing these units. "Everybody's looking for multi-use. People use personal watercraft for many different rea- sons, but people like to go for long rides, they like to tow, they like to be with their friends," said Seti. "It's a very communal activity, so you're trying to get as much activity out of the personal watercraft as you can. No doubt there are spe- cific models for specific activities, but at the end of the day we're talking about being on the water and having fun." Comfort is also top of mind for manufac- turers. Yamaha's Luxury line of WaveRunners come with the Cruiser seat, which is a theater- style seat ergonomically designed for comfort- able driving. "You aren't looking for the cruiser seat experience if you're racing, but certainly if you're a mom or a dad with kids, you defi- nitely want something that's stable, comfort- able, easy to board and easy to get in and out of the water," said Seti. Kawasaki has created a seat for its Ultra 310 The new RXT-X 300 from Sea-Doo is for "pure enthusiasts." NEW TECHNOLOGIES FROM SEA-DOO While the Spark is a big part of Sea-Doo's success, the company is focused on its whole range of product. The new 300 hp Rotax 1630 ACE (Advanced Combustion Efficiency) engine was released in September 2015. The plasma coating technology of the ACE is a thermal spraying process that deposits a protective coating on engine cylinder liners to create a metallic layer that provides a hard, durable surface to withstand piston friction forces. The engine was built to improve surface durability while keeping it lighter and compact. The new engine powers the RXT-X 300, a new luxury model for 2016 geared toward the "pure enthusiasts" of water sports. The unit includes the Adjustable Ergonomic Steering (A.E.S.) handlebar and angled footwell wedges, which are built to benefit in aggressive cor- nering and connecting the watercraft in all water conditions. The customers that the RXT-X 300 is looking to attract "want to go as fast as they can on the water, they like to have the best acceleration, the best handling, being able to push the limits," said Lévesque. The 2016 model lineup for Sea-Doo also saw the addition of the RXP-X 300 and the GTX Limited 300, both of which include the Rotax 1630 ACE engine. The new RXT and GXT models offer the new Ergolock seat, which lets riders leverage leg muscles to grip the watercraft for better control. The 2016 models from Sea-Doo also include the new second-generation of the intelligent Brake & Reverse (iBR) system, which is built for intuitive operation. The company built upon its existing system with a stronger gear drive motor and larger, reengineered brake gate to provide maximum control and a more natural reaction to the various situations a rider may encounter on the water. "There are a lot of people, especially in the watercraft business, that have no clue how to end on a boat. A brake on the boat like a car makes a big difference in their experience, so they have a piece of mind when using the watercraft," said Lévesque. 15.1% » change YOY in 2015 personal watercraft sales 1.3 million » Personal watercraft registered in the U.S.

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