Boating Industry magazine announces the 2011 Top 100
MINNEAPOLIS – When it comes to buying a boat, prospects are given an endless number of resources to make the best decision. When it comes to choosing the right dealership – an equally important decision – consumers have lacked this same guidance. But thanks to Boating Industry magazine’s seventh-annual Top 100 Dealers program, buyers now have insight into the most dependable and professional dealerships with which to do business.
While powerboat unit sales continued to decline in 2010, the Top 100 Dealers, added together, increased their revenue nearly 9 percent to $957 million – $1.51 billion, if you include Top 100 Dealers Hall of Fame Members MarineMax Inc. and Galati Yacht Sales. Together, those dealers account for more than 15 percent of the boating market, and they collectively boast almost 300 retail locations and 5,079 employees.
Although this group of dealers is quantitatively impressive, their feats go beyond the numbers. Overall business operations, customer service, marketing and professionalism have not only kept these dealers in business while so many of their peers have fallen, but also allowed them to excel and grow market share.
“Boating Industry’s Top 100 Dealers Program is not about the dealers that sell the most marine products and services,” said Liz Walz, editor-in-chief of Boating Industry. “Rather, it’s a resource for consumers looking to have the best boat ownership experience, from boats, parts and accessories sales to service, storage and more.”
Topping the list for the second-consecutive year is Prince William Marine Sales, Inc., based in Woodbridge, Va., followed by, also for the second consecutive year, Austin, Texas-based Sail & Ski Centers and Gordy’s Lakefront Marine, Fontana, Wis. Rounding out the Top Five is M&P Mercury Sales, Ltd., Burnaby, British Columbia, and South Portland, Maine-based Port Harbor Marine, respectively.
To honor the 2011 Top 100 Dealers, more than 380 people joined Boating Industry at a black-tie celebration Wednesday, Nov. 9, at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Orlando.
The celebration capped off the Top 100 process, which began when more than 4,000 applications were distributed to dealers throughout North America last spring. In all, 233 applications were reviewed by Boating Industry’s editorial staff, assessing answers to questions that were both of a quantitative and qualitative and addressed all aspects of marine dealer operations.
“Inclusion on the Top 100 Dealers list is a marketing tool that can be leveraged to drive new consumers into a dealer’s showroom or service shop,” explained Mike Davin, senior editor of Boating Industry magazine, “and boost the confidence of prospects who are trying to determine where to spend their discretionary dollars.”
Boating Industry recognized five Top 100 Dealers with a Best In Class award, acknowledging their top ranking in one of five categories. Destin, Fla.-based Legendary Marine (ranked 16) was recognized as the Most Improved Top 100 Dealer. George’s Marine & Sports (ranked 19) of Ottawa, Ontario, received a Best In Class award for Best Marketing Plan. The Best Lead Fulfillment award went to South Portland, Maine-based Port Harbor Marine (ranked 5). Lynnhaven Marine (ranked 20) of Virginia Beach, Va., was recognized with the Best Employee Incentives & Recognition award. The Best Technician Compensation Plan award went to Seattle-based Seattle Boat Co.
To help bring the Boating Industry Top 100 to life, Good Sam Enterprises, the magazine’s parent company, created the Leadership Alliance, an elite group of the marine industry’s leading suppliers. These companies were invited to participate because they possess, as one of their corporate values, a true belief in and commitment to raising the bar of professionalism across all marine industry sectors, and particularly for dealers.
The 2011 Leadership Alliance members include:
Boating Industry magazine, an 83-year-old business-to-business publication owned by GS Media & Events, a subsidiary of Chicago-based Good Sam Enterprises, is the most authoritative and widely respected magazine serving the marine industry. Visit www.boatingindustry.com to learn more about the Top 100 and view past years’ winners.
GE Capital, Commercial Distribution Finance, Hoffman Estates, Ill., a recognized leader in the marine industry for more than 30 years, supports its customers with knowledgeable staff, focused on providing outstanding service and information. Its Commercial Distribution Finance unit takes the time to ensure that it understands its marine manufacturer and dealer customers’ needs and deliver financial products and programs to help them execute their business plans. Its array of financing programs and services include inventory financing, seasonal credit lines, pre-owned & pre-sold financing programs, and business planning tools. For more information about CDF, call 888/873-8232 or visit www.ge.com/cdf
The Alliance of Boat Trader and Boats.com, both operated by Dominion Marine Media, provide marine dealers access to a global network of boat buyers. Boat Trader, averaging 1.7 million visitors per month, is the pre-eminent U.S. site for buyers to connect with sellers, while Boats.com offers sites in eight languages and provides resources for the boat owner. Boat Trader and Boats.com have unique audiences that drive targeted results to dealers worldwide. Dominion Marine Media, a division of Dominion Enterprises, is committed to innovation and developing results-driven products for the marine industry. That commitment is reinforced in the leads and sales that Boat Trader and Boats.com generate for dealers, as well as the aggressive development of new products that help consumers more easily find and purchase inventory. For more information, visit www.dominionmarinemedia.com.
Volvo Penta, Chesapeake, Va., has become the fastest growing marine engine company in the world by constantly developing innovative new products and services. The company, founded in 1907, introduced its first outboard engine in 1922, the first in-line 6-cylinder diesel in 1946, the first sterndrive in 1959, the first duo-prop in 1982 and Electronic Diesel Control in 1995. Then, in 2005, Volvo Penta changed the face of marine propulsion forever with the Volvo Penta Inboard Performance System (IPS), followed by the Volvo Penta IPS Joystick. Today, more than 10,000 units have been produced and shipped to more than 100 independent boat builders worldwide. Visit www.volvopenta.com
Manheim Specialty Auctions, a division of 60-plus-year-old auction provider Manheim, offers auctions with sales dedicated to boats, motorcycles, recreational vehicles and powersports vehicles at 16 locations in North America. Benefits for dealers who participate in the auction process include a critical mass of buyers and sellers, credible pricing, market liquidity, affordable participation and technology applications. Customers can take advantage of on-site and online bidding using a variety of technologies such as Manheim Simulcast, which allows dealers to participate in live auctions online. For more information, call 877/704-4636 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Founded in 1989, the independently owned and operated Global Marine Insurance Agency (GMIA), Traverse City, Mich., is one of the most highly regarded marine insurance providers in the country. Global specializes exclusively in insuring a growing mix of marine products, from personal watercraft to mega-yachts to various commercial marine vessels. More than 60 percent of GMIA’s insurance business stems from business partnerships with marine dealers and lenders, ranging from small dealerships to multistate, multimillion-dollar dealerships. For more information, call 800/748-0224 or visit www.globalmarineinsurance.com
The Marine Retailers Association of the Americas is the leading not-for-profit organization aimed at promoting the recreational marine industry and the welfare of the marine retailer. The association raises the standards of retailing within the industry, provides its members a common source of information concerning all aspects of marine retailing and serves as the voice within the industry and in Washington regarding issues concerning marine dealers nationwide. Visit: www.mraa.com
Here is Boating Industry magazine’s list of the 2011 Top 100 Dealers:
Boating Industry’s 2011 Top 100:
1. Prince William Marine Sales, Inc, Woodbridge, Va.
2. Sail & Ski Centers, Inc., Austin, Texas
3. Gordy’s Lakefront Marine, Inc., Fontana, Wis.
4. M&P Mercury Sales Ltd., Burnaby, B.C.
5. Port Harbor Marine, South Portland, Maine
6. Parks Marina, Okoboji, Iowa
7. Strong’s Marine, LLC, Mattituck, N.Y.
8. Buckeye Marine, Bobcaygeon, Ontario
9. Pride Marine Group, Bracebridge, Ontario
10. Singleton Marine Group, Dadeville, Ala.
11. Quality Boats, Clearwater, Fla.
12. Russell Marine, Alexander City, Ala.
13. Seattle Boat Co., Seattle, Wash.
14. Russo Marine, Medford, Mass.
15. Hall Marine Group, Lake Wylie, S.C.
16. Legendary Marine, Destin, Fla.
17. Woodard Marine Inc., Hydeville, Vt.
18. Lake Union Sea Ray, Seattle, Wash.
19. George’s Marine & Sports, Ottawa, Ontario
20. Lynnhaven Marine, Virginia Beach, Va.
21. BMC Boats, Longwood, Fla.
22. Kelly’s Port, Osage Beach, Mo.
23. Hampton Watercraft and Marine, Hampton Bays, N.Y.
24. Bosun’s Marine, Inc., Mashpee, Mass.
25. Action Water Sports, Hudsonville, Mich.
26. Vallely Sport & Marine, Bismarck, N.D.
27. Austin Boats and Motors, Inc., Lakeway, Texas
28. The Sportsman, San Benito, Texas
29. Rayburn’s Marine World Ltd., Kelowna, B.C.
30. South Shore Marine, Huron, Ohio
31. Hayes Marine, Appling, Ga.
32. Tobler Marina, Hayden, Idaho
33. Marine Center of Indiana, Inc., Indianapolis, Ind.
34. Boaters Exchange, Rockledge, Fla.
35. Spring Brook Marina, Inc., Seneca, Ill.
36. Gage Marine, Williams Bay, Wis.
37. Paris Marine Ltd., Peterborough, Ontario
38. Boats, Inc., Niantic, Conn.
39. Parker Boat Company, Inc., Orlando, Fla.
40. Colorado Boat Center, Loveland, Colo.
41. Reed’s Marine, Inc., Delavan, Wis.
42. Atwood Lake Boats, Inc., Mineral City, Ohio
43. Rambo Marine, Hazel Green, Ala.
44. South Austin Marine, Austin, Texas
45. Dry Dock Marine Center, Inc., Angola, Ind.
46. Wayzata Marine, Inc., Orono, Minn.
47. Boat Town, Inc., Austin, Texas
48. Town & Country Marine, Lakefield , Ontario
49. The Boat Shop, Tafton, Pa.
50. Oak Hill Marina, Inc., Arnolds Park, Iowa
51. WakeSide Marine, Elkhart, Ind.
52. B&E Marine, Inc., Michigan City, Ind.
53. Traverse Bay Marine, Inc., Traverse City, Mich.
54. Mount Dora Boating Center & Marina, Mount Dora, Fla.
55. Lodder’s Marine Sales, Fairfield, Ohio
56. Hoffmaster’s Marina, Inc., Woodbridge, Va.
57. Sea Ray of Cincinnati & Louisville, Cincinnati, Ohio
58. Redline Watersports, Madison, Wis.
59. Saratoga Boatworks, Inc., Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
60. Liquid Sports Marine, Orlando, Fla.
61. Candlewood East Marina, Brookfield, Ct.
62. Hardin Marine Arrowhead, Lake Arrowhead, Calif.
63. Castaway Marina LLC, Queensbury, N.Y.
64. Vincent Payne Marine Ltd., Pointe au Baril, Ontario
65. Clark Marine, Manchester, Maine
66. Don’s Marine, LLC, Lodi, Wis.
67. Texas Marine, Beaumont, Texas
68. Midwest MasterCraft, Crystal, Minn.
69. Port Sandfield Marina, Port Sandfield, Ontario
70. Deep Creek Marina, McHenry, Md.
71. Causeway Marine, Manahawkin, N.J.
72. Laurel Marina, Bristol, Tenn.
73. Baert Marine Inc., Middleton, Mass.
74. Gone Fishin’ Marine, Inc., Dixon, Calif.
75. Hurst Marina Ltd., Manotick, Ontario
76. Irwin Marine, Laconia , N.H.
77. Miami Nautique International, Miami, Fla.
78. Marine Specialties, Sparks, Nev.
79. Jet Ski of Miami & Fisherman’s Boat Group, Miami, Fla.
80. Shipyard Marine, Suamico, Wis.
81. Marine Center of Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nev.
82. Omaha Marine Center, Omaha, Neb.
83. Sundance Marine, Inc., F. Lauderdale , Fla.
84. Dockside Marine Centre Ltd., Kelowna, B.C.
85. Grand Pointe Marine of Lansing, Dimondale, Mich.
86. Performance Marine, Regina, Saskatchewan
87. Clear Lake Boats, Clear Lake, Iowa
88. Marina Fortin, St-Paul Ile Aux Noix, Quebec
89. Skyline Marina, Orillia, Ontario
90. Advantage Yacht Sales, Newburyport, Mass.
91. Farm Island Repair & Marine, Aitkin, Minn.
92. Ski & Sports, Inc., Rogers , Ark.
93. Power Boats, Inc., Hot Springs, Ark.
94. Marine Sales of Pickwick, Counce, Tenn.
95. Davey’s Marine Center, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
96. Cleveland Boat Center, Cleveland, Tenn.
97. Short’s Marine Inc., Millsboro, Del.
98. Dri-Port, O’Fallon, Mo.
99. Galey’s Marine, Bakersfield, Calif.
100. Williams Brothers Ski & Sports, Shell Knob, Mo.