Where Is The Boat Industry Going?


What is going on?

Boat designs are slowly evolving; customers are becoming extremely high maintenance; the drive to offshore fish is fading away. In order for boat businesses to gain a competitive advantage, they have to find a way to better serve their customers.


The rod holders and fishing areas of a boat were the key points of a boat sale 10 years ago. “How many rod holders does it have?” “Can I lean against this gunwale while I reel my fish up?” “How big is the fish box?” These questions no longer come through the phones at boat factories. The true hardcore fishermen became the used vessel kings. They are fishing the same rigs they bought 15 years ago! What can we change in the boat business to attract new buyers?

Designing to please

Development and design teams have to produce and implement a key feature every customer will notice. Marketers like to experiment with features that change the overall look of the boat. All vessels need to have features that a 5-year-old could notice. If you were to give him or her a standard boat and a newly equipped boat they should be able to pick out the differences. Whether it’s a metallic pinstripe running down the chine or a chrome-plated logo that screams high-end, everything must have a positive reflection on the customer.

Key Features Customers Want

• Chrome, gold, bronze. Shiny! Shiny! Shiny!
• Custom Gel-Coat Colors
• On board Toilets
• GPS controlled Auto-Pilot
• Power Poles
• I-pilot
• Extra Seating
• Drink Holders
• Custom Bait Cutting Tables
• Powder Coated Hardware
• Extra Live wells
• Full Speaker Systems
• Touch Screen GPS systems
• Side Scan Sonar

Look at Me

Big trucks and football flags are crawling everywhere through the south. Everybody wants somebody to look at them. I call this the “look at me” factor. Custom is a word that is well renowned in the powerboat industry. Who has the fastest boat? Who has the latest Yamaha 300’s? Is that a custom built T-Top or is it just standard? Are those the new Garmin electronics? All these questions relate to one big question. How many people can I get to look at me? There are so many customers in this industry that want to have the biggest and fastest boat. They will spend countless amounts of dollars just to get to that level of the hierarchy. We as boat builders are ready to accommodate that need.

Note to boat buyers

Whether you’re thinking about buying a new boat or just shopping around, make sure you ‘re fully aware of what you are looking at. The boat industry is becoming a market geared towards the social status. Who has the best boat? Clearly, it’s not about the construction and fish-ability anymore. Don’t settle for less when buying a new boat.