The Complete Highs and Lows From 2012

Around the holidays, we asked 12 of the industry's most-respected individuals to give us their Highs and Lows from 2012, and here's what they came up with.

Click on the names to jump to each person's Highs and Lows:
Mike D'Anniballe, Skip Braver, John Cosker, Steve David, Mike Fiore, Dave Hemmingson
Jeff Johnston, Fred Kiekhaefer, Scott Price, Wayne Schaldenbrand, Scott Sjogren, John Tomlinson

Mike D'Anniballe


Sterling Performance principal Mike D’Anniballe had hoped his company’s first 1,700-hp turbocharged engines would be showcased this season in 2012 at poker runs and major high-performance powerboat events such as the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout. But for whatever reason, the Skater catamaran powered by those monster motors didn’t make the go-fast boat scene this year, so D’Anniballe picked up a Skater cat of his own (Read the story) that he plans to outfit with another pair of 1700s and send to major events around the country in 2013. Here’s what the founder of the Milford, Mich., company had to say about the highs of lows of 2012.

High: Our high is that, knock on wood, our business is doing very well. When you combine our engine business with our product durability testing business we, knock on wood again, are having a banner year.

Low: The low is the uncertainty of the future related to the economy. Are people going to keep buying upper-level boats? What’s going to happen with Obama Care? All of it. To accomplish anything is just going to be more difficult.

Read more: The Complete Highs and Lows From 2012

The Highs and Lows From 2012: Scott Price


In a year highlighted by the introduction of a turbocharging kit lineup and the addition of Rapid Prototype 3D Machinery to Hardin Marine’s arsenal, Scott Price, president of Hardin Marine, had a positive outlook on the year as a whole. He called 2012 a great year for the refurbishing and resurrecting of many boats, and was even more optimistic about the year ahead.

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The Highs and Lows From 2012: Wayne Schaldenbrand


For Wayne Schaldenbrand of Sunsation Boats in Algonac, Mich., 2012 was a year full of good times on and off the water. Much of the company’s efforts focused around building the new 34-foot center console, which Schaldenbrand said will debut at the Miami International Boat Show. At the same time, the company increased its workforce in order to produce its venerable 28- and 32-foot sport boats in conjunction with the new model.

In a phone call on New Year’s Eve, Schaldenbrand explained that he has double-digit orders for the 34-footer, “and not a one has rod holders in it,” he said alluding to the fact that “center console” doesn’t necessarily mean “fish boat” any longer. We can all guess what his high is for 2012.

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The Highs and Lows From 2012: John Cosker

Currently in the paint booth after an accident last summer, My Way could be the Top Gun favorite for the 2013 Lake of the Ozarks Shootout. Photo by Robert Brown

To say Mystic Powerboats owner John Cosker has been busy in 2012 would be an understatement. Not only did his company finish its first 50-foot catamaran with twin Mercury Racing 1350 engines and build the Qatar Team’s new turbine-powered offshore race boat that will debut this season, Cosker and crew designed boats for many companies and manufactured boats for Powerboat P1, Powerplay and GTMM.

While running through his highs and lows, Cosker said that 2012 marked the first uptick in business he’s seen in a while and that 2013 looks like it should be even stronger.

Read more: The Highs and Lows From 2012: John Cosker

Highs and Lows From 2012: Skip Braver


From the debut of its strong-selling 42’ Huntress performance center console at home and abroad to its first owners’ Rendezvous in the fall—the posh event will be featured in the Smokin’ magazine issue available at the 2013 Miami International Boat ShowCigarette Racing Team never stopped moving forward in 2012. Hush-hush upgrades inside the iconic boat builder’s plant in Opa-Locka, Fla., are only part of the continuously evolving story. Company owner and chief executive officer Skip Braver says the company will offer more surprises in the upcoming year. Here’s what he had to say, in terms of highs and lows, about this one.

Read more: Highs and Lows From 2012: Skip Braver