Top 100 Ideas: Women in Boating Courses
This is one of a series of ideas from the 2012 Boating Industry Top 100 dealers. To apply for the 2013 list, visit BoatingIndustry.com/top-100/application/.
For the last several years, Hurst Marina has offered boater safety courses and licensing programs through its Manotick, Ontario, dealership and marina.
In 2011, though, the company rolled out a series of wildly successful “Women in Boating” courses. Throughout the last two years, the company has continued to sell out its weekly classes.
“The students were absolutely delighted and garnered an entirely new perspective on boating,” said company president Peter Hurst. “We can see that deepening the competency and interest of the women boaters who took the course has also deepened their commitment to boating and increased the longevity of this activity for the couples that boat together.”
The Women in Boating seminar places 40 women into high-quality new and used boats for experience and training, exposing them to trade-up options, and consolidating the client/marina relationship. Many women attend because their spouse is interested in purchasing a boat or they already own one, but some are also looking on their own, Hurst said.
“We are confident that we will see more women buying boats on their own and over time this course will not only open up an untapped market, but also speak directly to women who may be shopping for a boat simply because their spouse is interested,” Hurst said. “As captains, the women will leave their sometimes typical role of passenger, be more confident on the water and will enjoy all the facets of boating life.”
The courses have already paid dividends by exposing more people to boating, with graduates of the courses purchasing and trading-in boats.