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  Sarasota and Stuart, FL sponsored events?

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Author Topic:   Sarasota and Stuart, FL sponsored events?
Tohsgib posted 03-05-2008 12:51 PM ET (US)   Profile for Tohsgib   Send Email to Tohsgib  
Anyone know what the gig is? I looked on Whaler's site and only the Bahamas and the Keys are listed so far. Anyone have a contact at Stuart Marinemax? I will try Sarasota and see what they say.
L H G posted 03-05-2008 01:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for L H G    
In this economy, why should Brunswick/Boston Whaler/Mercury put on expensive events for the ContinuousWave crowd?

We complain about the price of gasoline (a key component of boating affordibility), we don't bowl, we buy mostly pre-Brunswick Classic Whalers (the cheaper the better), and all we hear here is that Evinrude E-tecs are the engine of choice for repowering our old boats. We also question their judgement in forcing the sale of Mercury 4-stroke engines on us, EVEN IF WE WERE TO BE A BUYER, while at the same time running down the Optimax 2-strokes and Verados, saying nobody repowers with either an Opti or a Verado.

These Whaler dealerships would have to be crazy to continue to entertain us. Nothing in it for them at all.

Maybe the new Boston Whaler Owners Club is going to replace these kinds of events.

Tohsgib posted 03-05-2008 02:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
Then maybe they should pull out of all boats shows around the country as well Larry. You did not have any problem sipping their Harpoon beverages in Miami did you? Considering you did not even attend the great lakes function a couple weeks ago after bitching about how you founded it etc....this post is no suprise to me.

Many people here buy new whalers, if you attended a function you might see that. Just because I have not bought one new since 1982 does not mean continuouswave participants have not done so. Out of our "regular" crowd, I know fno dropped a pretty dime a few years back on a 210 outrage and Cmarques has a spanky 160 Dauntless along with Lakeman in their 180 Dauntless, inhernet in his 170 Montauk, etc. Brunswick spends more money on toilet paper then they do on these events...marinemax picks up most of the bill from what I understand. Without enthusiasts like ourselves, I doubt Whaler would even exist.

Tohsgib posted 03-05-2008 02:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
PS-we pay $25 a head to attend these functions as well. That gives me and anyone else the right to do or say what we please. Because of these functions they have also changed or added features to their lineup because of our comments, etc. If you are so upset about it, why did you attend Stuart a few years back?

Anyway a mute point...looks like Whaler has backed out or is doing something different this year and Sarasota/Hyatt show is nolonger. They 'may' do one at the Sarasota dealership but not sure if or when. My contact also 'thinks' Stuart is combining their event with the one in the keys but is not sure. If anyone can confirm this it would be wonderfull.

Guess no Lobsta and ugly T-shirts this year for $25!

L H G posted 03-05-2008 03:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for L H G    
Nick - Wasn't picking on you at all, or dirrecting my comment at you, but I do appreciate the personal attack back!

I was only reporting on what I have seen at these events (and I have attended many in the last 18 years or so), and the current boat sales situation. These are, after all, SALES EVENTS, paid for by BW's Marketing Dept and the Dealerships involved. The cost is higher than you might imagine. My guess is that they would need to generate at least two boat package sales from one of these, or at least a couple of loose Mercury engine sales, and that doesn't appear to be the case.

Boston Whaler has a very unusual situation regarding the Classic boat owners, with pre-1991 designs, as situation most other boat companies don't have. First of all, Brunswick made no money selling them originally, unless they are like mine, rigged with Mercs. Secondly, old Boston Whalers are highly regarded, very popular and last and last. Thirdly, practically NONE of the classic boat owners would EVEN CONSIDER buying one of the new Whalers (myself included), not because they are not great boats, but because they simply prefer the earlier designs, or don't have some of the features we like and need (like Mills canvas systems, teak trim, etc). Cost is also a factor. You can get an old Whaler relatively cheap and fix it up with Sweat Equity. New Whalers cost a fortune. So ContinuousWave Classic Whaler owners are not a good market to prospect for Boston Whaler, unless they are Post Classic owners. They might be good prospects. So when an expensive factory/dealer event like these are held, and most of the people showing up are classic owners, (with OMC and Yamaha engines no less!), intent on partying it up with old CW friends, the chance of selling a new Merc powered Whaler are about ZERO. Even if one of us decided, after driving a Verado powered Whaler, that we wanted to re-power with Verados, the event dealer would probably not get the sale. We'd go home, and shop around the internet for the best deal we could find from someone else! That's just the way it is with tight money these days.

Buckda posted 03-05-2008 04:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Of what value are classic Whalers, and by extension CW participants, to the current Boston Whaler company?

We don’t buy new boats in large numbers, we re-power with non-Brunswick owned motors…we’re a cancer to the company!

Or are we?

Every time a shiny classic Whaler cruises by the breakwater jetty, a person recognizes the brand. Every day, at marinas and launch ramps around the world, there is a guy or his son/daughter in another brand boat looking lustfully at a classic Whaler.

Each of those people is a potential customer for buying a NEW Boston Whaler boat. If the boats are so desirable at 30 years old, then buying one new gets you in for tomorrow’s classic/desirable hull.

As a kid, seeing a 1970’s 17’ SuperSport ignited the flame that burned even brighter when I purchased a 15’ Sport and later an 18’ Outrage. I am a potential customer for a NEW Whaler hull. Seriously. I pay attention to the new models, and I’m patiently saving, waiting and watching. My next boat is likely to be a Conquest of some size, or a Cuddy Cabin model.

In the meantime, I am a brand champion. Here on the Web, my Whaler (thanks to this site) is a featured boat – and I can talk about the benefits of my Whaler to thousands of visitors who may or may not yet own a Whaler. Those that don’t are aspirational owners – and brand champions in their own right, as they want to be an owner.

A strong used boat market for a given brand is a good thing for the new market as well. Strong resale values and reputation for quality drives new vehicle sales. Just ask Honda and Toyota.

I submit that groups of owners are a very important and valuable brand asset. Chris-Craft, Grand Banks and other high-quality boat builders have similar loyalists that are important to each company.

Remember though, that this is the “old school” way of looking at business, and what built many of the mega-companies of America to what they are today: this is a long-term approach. Owners events and support of loyal owners groups are a long-term investment to the future success of the company. Legacy building. It is not inexpensive, and it is hard to measure over the short term, but it does have value. Brunswick is reaping the legacy built by other management. A roadmap has been left, written in fiberglass, foam and smart marketing. It wasn’t inexpensive to build. In fact, it pretty much bankrupted the company (see Whaler’s history). Was it worth it? Brunswick seems to think so, and so do a lot of new Whaler owners who are buying the new boats today.

SpongeBob posted 03-05-2008 06:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for SpongeBob  Send Email to SpongeBob     
Dave you are right on (did I really say that?).

This is true with another American success story, Harley Davidson. They haven't made a Knucklehead for close to 60 years, a Flathead for 50 years, a Panhead for 33 years, 1st generation Shovelhead for 38 years. Yet Harley continues to embrace these old models because it has a sense of history and a savvy business outlook. Harley realizes that it's present day success is in large part a result of the awe and mystique of it's older models and those who rode them. They are a big part of the sponsorship of Daytona Bike Week, Sturgis, Laconia, Myrtle Beach Run, and countless smaller events. They realize as Dave alluded, that every old Harley that blasts by reinforces the dream. There are fewer and fewer Classic Harleys out there and this forces the new wannabees to the dealership for a new one. Doctors, lawyers, and probably Indian chiefs as well. Here's another parallel, most of the owners of Classic Harleys would not consider a newer Harley. Yet Harley embraces them with open arms because they know their value to the brand. Every successful organization or brand most often owes the hardcore zealots more than they are willing to admit, not Harley. They are the ones who are there through thick and thin. The hardcore didn't abandon Harley when AMF took over, even when the quality went to hell. They were the ones who, with Willie G. spearheaded Harley's rebirth. Whaler could take a lesson. CW is where the Whaler the zealots reside and on the whole I believe we exert a pretty positive force. Whether we purchase new boats and motors or not does not alter effect we have. Whaler should be happy with our bunch. In comparison to the Hells Angels and the outlaw biker expansion during the late '60's and '70's that helped fuel Harley's mystique, we're a pretty tame and respectable bunch.

Jeff

SpongeBob posted 03-05-2008 06:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for SpongeBob  Send Email to SpongeBob     
That's 43 years for Panheads.

Jeff

an86carrera posted 03-05-2008 06:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for an86carrera  Send Email to an86carrera     
Porsche is the same deal. I get invited once a month to a free breakfast at the local Porsche dealer and it would not matter to them what year or model I own. There are many other freebies also, polo games, races, etc..

It is for the same reason that all of the special interest brands do it.

Len

Buckda posted 03-05-2008 06:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Jeff -

I'm used to being right on...it's having others agree with me that is a little unusual! :)

Larry (L H G above) is right though regarding the outlook from most executives' perspectives. There are very few companies that reward behavior that may cost money today in a "hope" that it will pay dividends 20-30 years from now.

SpongeBob posted 03-05-2008 07:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for SpongeBob  Send Email to SpongeBob     
Dave I meant I thought I was having a '60's-'70's flashback.

Jeff

Tohsgib posted 03-05-2008 07:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
I would buy a 190 montauk! Period!

I do enjoy these shindigs and so do others. At last years Sarasota event they sold 2-3 345 conquests...enough to pay for 10 years of these events. I like the Harlkey reference..it works!

Buckda posted 03-05-2008 08:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
I don't know for certain, but one of the strategies for setting up the BWOC site was probably to have current owners "catch fire" from the zealots. To mix us all together. Not a bad idea from a company perspective. Despite the significantly long shelf-life of the product this company makes, I believe that the high demand for classic boats is good for the new hulls...the more demand there is for the classics, the higher the demand for the new hulls as well from folks who are unable to obtain the classics. As the serviceable life of these hulls wears out and there are fewer and fewer classics available, brand fans will have no choice but to buy newer hulls - even if they are used, which will continue to drive demand for the brand.

This is a much more strategic level of establishing a "need" for your product than the average product manager has opportunity to operate on. Usually they are focused with the short-term and generating that need on a fairly short incubation period. Generational brands like Whaler and Harley have opportunity to go deeper - to operate at a more strategic level with their customers and fans and capitalize on the goodwill and "legend" that exists in their customer universe.

As is repeatedly said at boat shows all over the country: "We're as good as a Whaler"...even the competition is acknowledging and placing BW at the top of the heap in terms of an aspirational brand for small center console sport/recreational boats. If you're Boston Whaler, that is a good thing!


Like it or not, we classic Whaler owners exert an influence on new boat buyers simply by providing a steady supply of older boats still in service after most of the competitors boats have hit the bone yard (and in some cases, from before those competitors even made boats).

Tohsgib posted 03-06-2008 11:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
Actually many classic owners have bought new models. Frank(fno) had a 16' blue and bought a 2003 210 new. I see a lot of members selling their classic montauks and buying a new 190 Montauk or outrage to replace it with. I thnk many classic owners for the first time are starting to look at the new models mainly because Merc has offered dependable and desirable engines. Back in the 2001 most were not thrilled by the fact they had no engine choice and a optimax was not exactly enticing for most. Now that they have award winning Verados and the new Verditos, I think the Merc stigma has begun to lift for us diehard OMC or Yamaha fans. I know I would not have an issue owning one but you could not give me an Opti or free a few years back.

Many make good points and sorry I jumped on you Larry, I guess I read it the wrong way. If Whaler did not care about us "Classic" people, they would not be pushing the 50th anniversary so much. Especially making the blue hulls.

Brian7son posted 03-06-2008 11:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for Brian7son  Send Email to Brian7son     
Tohsgib,

That's a bummer if the Stuart gig is cancelled. I had planned on attending that this year. I went to the Bimini event last year and I do plan to go to North Bimini in June.

It seems like you did a great job orchestrating the Homasassa gathering. If you want to plan a central east coast gathering(to replace the Stuart function) let me know. I have an older 285 Conquest and have 2 other buddies with newer 285 Conquests that would come in a heartbeat.

You west coasters gotta drive across the B-Line (SR528) to go to Stuart anyway. Why not plan something over here, but no that far down. Maybe Sebastion?

If you or others have interest, let me know. We can shoot for April or May. A Saturday/Sunday gig.

This is one suggestion for location, but I'm certainly wide open. It's close to the inlet and lots of islands to either beach it on or raft off near.

http://www.hirams.com/

Brian

Tohsgib posted 03-06-2008 12:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
I was thinking something around Ft Pierce so we could all go to that marine surplus joint there that supposably has a bunch of Whaler stuff. If not maybe someplace south of Daytona or ???. We have all done Stuart so no need to rehash that area again so maybe more north or more south even to Ft Lauderdale but that gets $$$ with dockage and hotels. Let us know or start your own on where you think a good intercoastal(with inlet) area would be a hoot to see. Nice blue water and a cheap waterfront hotel would be a plus.
Brian7son posted 03-06-2008 12:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for Brian7son  Send Email to Brian7son     
Ft. Pierce sounds great to me. That's the next inlet south of Sebastion inlet and "a much friendlier" inlet to navigate in sloppy conditions. The gulf stream is also very close to shore there. That's roughly a 1.5-2 hour boat ride from my dock, so that works all day long for me.
There is a large marina with a tiki bar on the west side of the ICW near the Cswy that I stopped at enroute back from the keys. It was very nice. Ft.Pierce City Marina.

RE: cheap hotels, you may need to do a little homework, but I'm you could find something. I have stayed at the Marriott at Hutchinson Island, south of there. Awesome marina, pool and tiki bar, but "not cheap". Ft. Pierce is a really nice area.

Looks like there is a boat show going on there 5/2 thru 5/4. That could be fun.

http://onhutchinsonisland.com/florida/ohi-news/ fort-pierce-city-marina-announces-2008-2009-schedule-of-events/

Brian

Brian7son posted 03-06-2008 01:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for Brian7son  Send Email to Brian7son     
This place has potential. Rooms $139, has marina with slips.

http://thesandhurst.com/amenities.html

Tohsgib posted 03-06-2008 02:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
Man that is nice...way too upscale for our crowd. Anyplace with a Hooka lounge and a bonfire pit?
Brian7son posted 03-06-2008 03:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for Brian7son  Send Email to Brian7son     
Okay, just tossing ideas out there and I dont mind if they are nuked. Anywhere from Port Canaveral to Ft. Pierce works for me. Try this. The Lexington Hotel, Indian Harbor Beach, FL. Rooms are about 90.00 per night. It is directly across the street from Telemar Marina, which has slips and a gas dock. There is a public boat ramp about 1 mile away and a 7-11 across the street(for beer/ice runs). The hotel has a huge parking lot that can accomodate multiple boats on trailers. It has a pool and a tiki bar and a casual restaurant that has chicken wings and cheeseburgers next door. This is located near Dragon Point, in S. Merritt Island, FL. where the Indian river Lagoon and the Banana River meet.

http://www.lexingtonhotels.com/LexingtonSpecialOffers.aspx

This place is about a 8 mile trip on the water from the spoil islands in the Indian River Lagoon. A fun place to beach boats or anchor and raft off for the bigger boats.

This "was" Dragon point, before the 04 hurricanes tore up our beautiful landmark.

http://www.schmidtfamily.com/dragon_point.htm

L H G posted 03-06-2008 03:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for L H G    
I never said that all of us, running around in our older Boston Whalers, weren't great advertizing for the Company.
As an owner of three highly regarded Whalers, I know the attention they get wherever I go with them, even when on the highway and at gas stops. We are all great advertizing for Boston Whaler, some of the best advertizing a Company can get.
But it is these attention GIVERS, who could become customers of the new boats. But they are not the ones who find their way to these company events. It's us, the owners of the old boats, as I have previously stated. And we are not hot prospects.

For several years now, I have thought of offering my 1971 Outrage 21 ribside to the Company, to be shown on the floor in a major boat show like Miami. They would probably not be interested, but having one your old rare and classic models on display, for prospective new customers to see, could be a great sales tool in many respects. It would sure draw in the people as a starter.

SpongeBob posted 03-06-2008 06:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for SpongeBob  Send Email to SpongeBob     
I'm still down, but how about the Indian River Lagoon area. Good fishing I hear but I don't anything else about the area except people have told it's beautiful.

Jeff

Brian7son posted 03-07-2008 08:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for Brian7son  Send Email to Brian7son     
I live directly on the Indian River Lagoon and it is beautiful. From my dock, I have caught redfish, trout, snook, spanish mackeral, mangrove snapper, bluefish, catfish and stingrays. There are dolphin swimming around just about every day. We see manatees all the time.

Tohsgib posted 03-07-2008 09:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
Larry...do you think owners of old blues had this conversation when BW went tan or to the "V" series in 1978? Probably.

Brain...that area and hotel sound great. Start a thread and ask for dates or do you want me to do it?

Brian7son posted 03-07-2008 11:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for Brian7son  Send Email to Brian7son     
Tohsgib,

I've seen your zeal at setting these things up. You take the wheel on this one. Feel free to call me or email me with any questions regarding logisitcs in the area. It's in my backyard, so we will have local knowledge going for us.

Thanks,

Brian

RE: Dates, I was thinking April or May. I can't do 4/26-27 or 5/10-11.

Tohsgib posted 03-07-2008 12:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
Thanks to all that cared which is none of you but..STUART IS OUT!

They are NOT doing their annual Lobsta gig and she is not sure about next year but I will check with her in 2009. So let's al scratch this thread and move on to another GCBWOA rendezvous instead...OK?

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