Poised to Grow
If a company is forced to close locations, shift product lines and restructure operations, growth might seem unlikely. But for the three companies featured here, steady growth and increased production were indeed possible.
In 2011, demand for recreational boats began to increase. Revenues for the global marine composites market were more than $940 million in 2012 and that figure is expected to reach approximately $1.5 billion by 2018, according to the Frost & Sullivan study Strategic Analysis of the Global Marine Composites Market. As the economy slowly bounces back, increases in the marine composites market will rely on renewed boat building activity as well as an increase in confidence of the use of composites.
“We had a very good 2012-2013 fiscal year and we have successfully introduced new models every year,” says Frederiksen. Viking will introduce a 52-foot convertible yacht and two 42-footers in 2014, just in time to celebrate its 50th anniversary. The company also will unveil a new 92-foot convertible yacht and a 75-foot motor yacht.
“Customers are finding us again!” says Kopp. Maritime Marine and Southport Boats are blending the offshore fishing boat with comforts a family seeks. “Owners need a boat that is versatile enough to be fishing in the morning, hitting the beach in the afternoon, and then pulling up to a dock for dinner in the evening,” says Kopp.
JRL Ventures prepares for the future by studying its changing customer base. “Baby boomers are retiring and a new generation of boaters will be different, meaning we must focus on fuel efficiency, lighter engines and plugs for iPads and iPhones,” says Chambers. “Lighter boats that perform well with composites is where we can make a great impact.”