With a good year coming to a close, key members of the high-performance marine industry weigh in on what went right—and what challenges lie ahead. Photo courtesy/copyright Cigarette Racing Team.
Any way you look at it, 2015 was a strong year—perhaps the strongest year since the early 2000s—for the high-performance marine industry. Yes, we have a much smaller industry than we had in the early 2000s, but any go-fast boat, engine or product builder still in business will tell you that the recession that began in 2007 simply accelerated—albeit at a horrific pace—what had been happening since the late 1990s. Even back then, what kept industry insiders up at night was the fact that more consumers were leaving the go-fast powerboat world than entering it.
But it is what it is, as they say, and while the industry still struggles to attract new customers, performance-oriented center consoles have at least stemmed the tide of existing go-fast boat customers completely abandoning the industry. And nimble, smart business people have seen the trend and capitalized on it.
What follows are interviews with five notable members from various segments of the high-performance marine industry. We started each interview with two simple questions:
How was 2015 for your company? What are the biggest challenges the industry as a whole faces moving forward?