News & Events

"We want to be your only boat manufacturer"!

This was recently told to an assembled group of TIARA dealers at the annual dealer meeting here in Holland, MI. It's not new or is it exclusive to Tiara Yachts. Boat dealers are asked to buy boats on "spec" for inventory, hoping to be able to sell them for a reasonale profits are often told that they need only put all there eggs in OUR basket to be successfull. It seldom works. 


A boat manufacturer cannot be all things to all boaters. Some have tried, lord knows they have tried, cruisers, motoryachts, sport fisherman, center consoles, dual console, multi-purpose bow riders, until finally we get one of those shoulder shrugging models where the only reaction is HUH? 

Even Tiara Yachts, an excellent manufacturer, has it's Pursuit Fishing Division. So maybe they mean we want to be your only boat manufacturerS. 

Then there is traditional style vs modern style. Not here to tell you what is best just what IS. Each manufacturer has it's own style. It comes from ownership, designers, area of expertise and more often than not localtion of the plant.

What we get from Maine is different from what we get from Miami. 

But back to being your only manufacturer. Can it work? Yes I think it can, but boat builders have to crack the mold (not that mold) and start a new partnership relationship with their dealers/agents/brokers/service centers to earn confidence so these independent business people will break walls down to get their boats!

Then and only then will builders get to be "only manufacturers" to their dealers.






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Official USCG Report of the Edmund Fitzgerald

Read about it here:

marine accident report ss edmund fitzgerald - U.S. Coast

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November 10, 1975, Edmund Fitzgerald sinks in Lake Superior

Forty years ago today, the Lakes largest went down with all hands. 

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News from FLIBS! Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show

1. The new big & the new small yachts: 

Just an observation, the new big yacht has become the 35'-45' Center Consoles with 3 & 4 and soon I'm sure 5 or more large outboard engines! More Center consoles than ever before at FLIBS and in addition more Dual Consoles!

The new small yachts are those that can be handled by the "boomer couple" (60-80's) for extended cruising, whether it's the "loop", Alaska, Mexican coastS, island hopping or commuting from north east/midwest to south and back. These yachts must handle easily, must be sea worthy, must have "liveability", must be efficient and must have some cache!

Not an easy set of parameters to get in 40-60 feet, but the demand is there so the yachts will follow.

2. New players old names:

Hatteras a new 70' (wowza), Tiara the Q-44' Adventure vessel, Grand Banks banking on their past to carry them to the present with new ownership, design & performance, yes performance!

Chris Craft introduces a dual console outboard & admits they are going larger. And speaking of larger there has never been a FLIBS with more 100' plus vessels to see at one place. 

Speaking of larger, Pininfarina, Italian design firm, introduces the 279', 85' Meter Ottantacinque (Eighty Five in Italian) with 2 pools, 5 decks, 7 private guest cabins and 11 cabins for the crew of 33! It designed to have 6,000 nautical range and well it's just gorgeous or at least the drawings are!

It's always a great time at Ft. Lauderdale, lots of boats, accessories & nautical innovation, plan on making it a part of your boating experience!



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Great Fall Cruising

Early September & the occasional chill hits especially early in the mornings. Some of the best time to take a "mini-cruise" & enjoy the great lakes. 

Marinas are still welcoming & open, colors are beginning to change to "spectacular" & there are no lines at restaurants or docks for service.

Try a fall cruise here in the Great Lakes you will never forget it! In fact it may become a habit before putting your boat away for winter!

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Change of seasons

Here in Michigan we don't need to look at the date to determine the change from summer to fall is about to happen. It was 58 here this morning. 

Just off the phone with a customer that is listing his boat who said, "well it won't sell until April-June now anyway". Whoa was the answer. Don't think that.

Our late summer business is great. Buyers usually have their minds made up to get another boat by now for next season. They are planning ahead to "personalize" the new vessel. 

Warm weather boat shoppers are looking hard at our fresh water beauties to determine which one to get before it goes into storage & how to take it south, truck it's own bottom or combination of both.

Some fall advice for sellers; 

1. Keep your boat in water as long as possible.

2. Make arrangements ahead of time with your storage facility to have your boat stored at a door so it can be launched again should it sell.

3. Especially keep it detailed & spotless at this time of year when the tendancy is to skip a wash or waxing.

4. Get the mechianical service done now, oil changes, filters, belts & hoses, plus those nagging "I'll get around to it" repairs you have been puptting off. 

Be prepared to sell your boat & guess what? It will!

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From our vantage point in HOLLAND

From our vantage point in HOLLAND, MI, the stunning "day boat" effect could not be more evident than in TIARA'S recent launch of the Q-44. It's in the water & being tested, shown to prospects & evaluated as the next TIARA Hit.
<br>Guess what? It just might be.
<br>Our thirst for larger & larger day boats, FORMULA builds 35' Bow Riders, is just getting started so this Q or QUE will find some followers!
<br>Watch for some photos or visit TIARAYACHTS.COM to see it up close!

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Late Model Boats

We are often asked to find a late model vessel for a customer. In years past that would mean a boat 2-5 years old. Today "late model" has changed significantly because of the numbers of boats built. Today a late model includes the 2-5 year olds, but we now drop back an additional 5 years simply because the number of boats built from 2008-2013 is dramatically less.


It is difficult to put an exact number on how many less because manufacturers do not give out that information and rightly so. The thinking is let's not put more fear into the market place than is already there.


Safely we can estimate that new vessel, large boat sales are off 20-60% from the hey days of the early 2000's, 2000-2007. A few companies are doing better, but very few.


Armed with 6-7 years of low production it is easy to see why we have shifted our vision of "late model" boats. To get an accurate handle on which brands and models of that brand are popular give STARBOARD YACHTS a call. We can research that and help you through the maze of "late model boats."

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"Remember the basics still apply..."

Our phone message refers to the basics of boat in "Starboard Yachts understands this very difficult market, remember the basics still apply."


Basic #1. Own a brand name vessel & popular model in the line. Example; Sea Ray, model Sundancer.
Basic #2. Keep that boat like it was your first love. Spotlessly clean, shiny, repair every squeak, creak and groan. Service it, use it carefully and keep records of what you have done.
Basic #3. Price it accurately, and guess what? In any market it will sell.


We could go on and on about if #1 is not quite right what the consequences are to #3 or #2. Or if #2 is not up to par, the consequences to #3 are evident.


It's not rocket science folks, it's Boat Marketing 101. But it still amazes us how many of you think it's Rocket Science!


So remember the basics and your boat will sell!

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2012: What's happening in the pleasure boating business?

It is easy to say that the pleasure yacht industry is in the doldrums. For some it is. For others, if these are bad times, let's keep them rolling.


Why the difference? Not easy to analyze yet not too hard for us to look at the facts to determine the polar opposites of those selling boats and those surviving and trying to sell boats.


First, there is not one reason, but multiple.


We always say the 3 BASICS apply to any boat sale. 1. Brand name that is desirable. 2. Condition (must be immaculate). And 3. Price. If a vessel is not "priced right" it will not sell whether new or used.


Many new boat manufacturers cannot see themselves in numbers 1 or 2. After all, we are desirable, aren't we? And our boats are new so condition is, well, new.


Logical argument. But when you "manage by walking around" you have to accept that your boat building company may not be doing all that is possible in this economy to produce the right boats.


How many times have I heard that "it took us a year to straighten out all the factory mistakes"? In fact, on some brokerage lists that is a positive for getting a used boat. The listing will state "all the new boat bugs are out." What kind of message does that send to a prospective buyer? Why should that even be a discussion, but it is. Oh and by the way, one will never spend more for a boat than when it is new.


Price is always tricky. But always a factor in the purchase of a pleasure yacht. Perhaps we should use the term "perceived value" whenever we discuss the price issue. As long you the buyer "perceive" value, the price gets paid. Simple as that.


We know that boat prices do not go up. Oh we kid ourselves into thinking that the prices have stabilized or that values are good because the supply is low, but reality is and I know that this will be a shock to some of you, "boats go down in value." It's how you maintain them that determines how much they go down.


With used or brokerage boats, the same 3 basics apply. Used boats present a special situation because of, supply, condition, and price. Here one has to determine that the brand is desirable #1, plus that the model of that brand is desirable. All manufacturers have produced their "Edsel" (that was a car named after Henry Ford's son, produced in 1958, 59 and 60 that was an epic failure). It maybe the easiest question to answer. Call the manufacturer and ask how many of this model did you produce? Low number=low desirability. Stay away unless price is SUBSTANTIALLY lower.


Also with used boats, a survey will help determine value AND you have the option of really negotiating price unlike new vessels that have a fixed margin which is very hard for a dealer to go below.


So why are some boats selling well and others can't buy an order? There is no one answer, but multiple reasons.


Use a good yacht broker that knows the market for their area and will help you. It's quite easy to separate the "salespersons" from the helpers with just a few minutes of conversation.


Call us, we are helpers: Starboard Yachts Inc. (616) 796-0505.

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Ft. Lauderdale Show synopsis

Once again Ft. Lauderdale show has come and gone. Some are very happy, some are happy and some are saying what happened?


Quickly here's what did happen that is.
1. Attendance was up; but the show promoters, in their wisdom, either do not keep records of attendance or don't want us to know the numbers.
2. Pent up demand was evident and buyers were cautious, tough, and well-prepared. Ah, the internet is getting easier for buyers to use. Good for them.
3. Left over inventory got sold; Hatteras, Tiara, Maritimo, Viking (lots of new orders), Sea Ray to name a few.
4. Brokerage was a buyer's delight. If you were willing to listen to offers, you could sell. If not, the buyers walked down the dock to find another.
5. Perhaps there is a little more confidence in govt not spending willy nilly since the election. If so, that bodes well for our industry.
6. Prediction: Another tough year for new boat builders and dealers. Consolidation will occur, the industry will shrink farther, newer more fuel efficient vessels will emerge to take over an even larger segment of the market.


Zeus drive for a single engine application? Long over due and it will be well received. Watch Back Cove and others get on board! And watch the baby boomers bring us out of the doldrums, they have money and are not afraid to use it!

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