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Optimism will be the driving force in 2021 - Australian newsletter

by Peter Rendle 7 Jan 14:00 PST
Discover Boating © Nick Gallop

As we begin the year among further border closures and tightening rules and regulations aimed at reducing the risk of Covid-19 community transmission, the announcement today that vaccinations will begin as early as February is a cause for optimism. Announcements that airlines are planning to recommence international flights in June, to destinations undisclosed at this point, is evidence that normality is in sight albeit not tomorrow or the next day!

The last 12 months have resembled war time conditions, unprecedented for most of us, and lessons across the whole spectrum of government and the electorate will have been noted allowing us to be better prepared should there be a reoccurrence.

The boating industry has struggled in some quarters but overall intuitive solutions via Zoom and Skype, plus digital platforms such as the Sail-World group have enabled the message to reach the marketplace. Evidence that boating has received increased attention during 2020 is provided by statistics from National Marine Manufacturers Association in the United States who reported today that retail unit sales of new powerboats in the U.S. increased last year by an estimated 12 percent compared to 2019. More than 310,000 new powerboats were sold in 2020, levels the recreational boating industry has not seen since before the GFC in 2008. It will be interesting to compare our results when available.

In Australia the outlook is bright. Unemployment numbers have increased in all states though the pent-up demand caused by the restriction on movement during 2020 will increase trade as soon as the shackles are off and from all reports the industry is geared up to meet that demand.

From our own perspective we have enjoyed record numbers of readers accessing our global websites that encompass sailing, powerboating, fishing and of course the marine industry. This has meant that many readers who may not normally have referred to a digital website for their news are now regular visitors. Numbers have increased across all of our global websites and augers well for our readers and advertisers during 2021. We will continue to focus on bringing as much coverage of the marine spectrum as possible in the fastest possible time.

To that end and during this traditionally 'quiet' period we have news of industry expansions already. Beginning in January 2021, Seakeeper, a leader in marine stabilization, will include Asia in the Pacific territory managed by Distributor and partner, Twin Disc Pacific. All of Seakeeper's current Dealers and OEM boat manufacturing partners in the region will now be supported by Seakeeper's largest distributor for all sales, service, and marketing functions.

"We are ready and excited to expand our relationship with Seakeeper by growing our territory to include Asia," said Twin Disc Pacific Managing Director Glenn Frettingham. "We look forward to welcoming new Dealers to our team and finding creative ways to support them to grow their businesses, as well as building new relationships with the boat builders offering Seakeeper as standard or optional equipment."

The MarineBusinessWorld platform provides the industry with the opportunity to update our readers with all aspects of their developments. Expansion, amalgamations, new personnel, new products, new premises, financial results, new sales. We are here to provide a media outlet for companies to advise and communicate their news for the benefit of other industry members and potential buyers. We post news unconditionally with the only proviso that it is of interest.

So, let's look forward to 2021 with renewed optimism and energy to ensure that there will never be another twelve months that even closely resemble the past twelve.

Stay Safe,
Peter Rendle

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