With a new model unveiled in late 2014 and more new releases coming for next year’s Miami International Boat Show in February, Cigarette Racing Team’s Skip Braver is as excited about the prospects of 2015 as he’s been about those of any year in recent history. While Braver, the owner and chief executive officer of the iconic Opa-Locka, Fla.-based custom sportboat and center console company doesn’t give out unit sales specifics—a far from uncommon policy in the high-performance marine industry—he reports a “great response” and strong orders for the new 41′ Stern Drive 1040, Cigarette’s most recent creation. Taking its traditional holiday hiatus, the company is closed until January 5. Though work will resume that day Cigarette will not open for tours until after the Miami show, as top secret preparations for the event will be happening inside the plant.
What’s going on at Cigarette and what do you see happening for the coming year?
It’s been going great—we have a lot going on. Things are busy and we’ve had a great response on the new boat. One of the things we’re finding at Cigarette, with the way the industry has shaken out, is that more and more people putting down a $500,000, $600,000 deposit on a boat want to make sure the company is going to still be here in a few years. Our U.S. business is doing really well, but so is our international business. Europe is a little slow right now, but we’re still going to be at the Dusseldorf Boat Show in Germany with a 50′ Marauder and the AMG Electric Boat to support our dealer there.
Skip Braver: “We are going to have something new in addition to the 1040 boat in Miami, as well as something else derived from an existing model.” Photo courtesy Cigarette Racing Team
I think next year is going to be very strong for Cigarette. Right now, we are booked out until the end of May with orders. And that’s not even with the orders that will come out of the Miami show. I have some concerns about the Miami show in 2016 (when the convention center closes for renovation), but I know the organizers are working really hard to get that set up and have all the confidence in the world they will step up and get that done. We are very excited about our new distribution policy, and we have some great new partners such as Performance Boat Center. We are looking forward to a very positive year. Our customer base has been great in supporting us.
We are going to have something new in addition to the 1040 boat in Miami, as well as something else derived from an existing model. We’re really excited about it. Our AMG relationship has never been stronger, and we might even have a new partner in the show.
Editor’s Note: The Cigarette 41′ Stern Drive 1040 luxury performance center console is featured in the November/December issue of Speed On The Water digital magazine, which can be downloaded now at no charge by clicking here.