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Commentary: Take Who’s Circling The Drain With A Grain

During this week alone, I’ve spoken to Skip Braver at Cigarette Racing Team, Randy Scism at Marine Technology, Inc. Terry Sobo at Nor-Tech Performance Boats and Paul Fiore at Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats. No big deal—the high-performance powerboat world is my beat, and I’m a reporter. That’s what reporters do, talk to people in their beats.

So why do I mention it? Because in the past two years, I have heard that each of the companies above is one account payable away from closing its doors. Note, I said “heard,” not “told by a reputable source.” Who starts these rumors—from competitors to dissatisfied customers to folks who just live to spread inaccurate news—really doesn’t matter.

What matters is—they’re rumors. Nothing more. And usually a whole lot less.

If I had a dollar for every builder I’ve been told was “circling the drain” in the past two years, I’d have a lot of extra dollars. And yet sadly, at least for me, I don’t have those extra dollars.

None of the people I spoke with this week understated the challenges of surviving in today’s economy. But they’re all surviving and introducing new products at the Miami International Boat Show Feb. 11-14.

What’s more, everyone I spoke with this week reported solid production levels. No one was overly optimistic, exuberant or confident.  But all were grateful for the business they had. All had what I call proper perspective.

Good news. Without question. After all, it’s Friday.

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