Somewhere between California and Florida at 37,000 feet above sea level, it struck me that—for the first time in my professional life—I actually was looking forward to covering a high-performance powerboat dealer meeting. Forget the 3:30 a.m. wakeup call for a 6 a.m. flight, the first of two airborne legs it would take for me to reach Cape Coral, Fla., my final destination by 7 p.m., or that this was my fifth weekend- killing cross-country trip of the year. Forget that I had to put in my ear buds, open my laptop and start working to drown out the snores of the guy next to me.
Sharing a common goal, Nor-Tech dealers celebrated the brand—and learned more about its future—in late April at the company’s dealer meeting in South Florida. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden.
None of that mattered.
Invited by the director of dealer development for Nor-Tech Hi-Performance Boats, Geoff Tomlinson, I was flat-out stoked to be going to the second dealer meeting in the 29-year history of the Fort Myers, Fla., company. Yes, I said stoked. To be going to a dealer meeting. Stoked.
Here’s why: Dealer meetings no longer exist in the high-performance powerboat industry. Once a celebration of brands where the dealers who distributed them could learn about new models and place orders, the events began fading out in the early to mid 2000s. The recession of 2007 and decimation of the go-fast powerboat market that followed finished the job. Dealer meetings disappeared.