Boating Industry

July 2016

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Page 19 of 43 20 | Boating Industry | July 2016 ince the economic downtown, the boating industry has trans- formed and, along with it, so has the boatbuilding process. Manufacturers are working to provide high-quality products that are affordable, meet the needs of con- sumers, attract existing and new audiences, all while maintaining safety and regulatory com- pliance and keeping their own costs down. It's a lot to juggle. However, this sea change has allowed manufacturers to get creative and build products that breathe energy into the indus- try, hopefully keeping boat sales on an up- ward trajectory. This creativity has led to a small insurgence of what could be considered "crossover" products, softening the lines between segments. "Manufacturers are always looking at different ways to get custom- ers. If you have all of the boats built the same – a hull, a steering wheel, an engine – they all start to look the same after a while," said Attila Gy- urko, president of WaveToys. "So you've got to be unique, you've got to have some niche that nobody else has, and if you can serve more than one market ... you're going to have a bigger appetite for your boats." Crossover vehicles have become popular in the automotive industry, so it is unsurprising to see this trend trickle down to the boating industry, as trends often do. Products like the Marker One from Cobalt, a fi berglass-molded pontoon, exemplify the introduction of crossover design in the boat- ing industry. Addressing consumers' needs in one product is important when affordability is a huge barrier for many who want to enter the recreation. However, manufacturers Boat manufacturing development and design evolves Boat manufacturing development and design evolves Boat manufacturing development and design evolves "I think we've seen a lot of crossover customers over the last fi ve years…" — Dave Grovender, product develop- ment manager, Premier Marine, Inc. BY BRIANNA LIESTMAN S

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