An interesting look at the boating industry from the AP.
Note US Star Olympian John Dane’s role in it.
Fuel prices are soaring and credit markets tightening,
but the super-rich are still lining up to pay tens of millions of dollars
for mega yachts.
The well-heeled buyers of the floating mansions are increasingly coming
from emerging economies — in the Middle East, Russia and South
America. The source of their wealth runs the gamut — technology,
venture capitalism, new industries. And, yes, oil.
"There are a lot of people with new wealth looking for relaxation
and enjoyment," said John Dane III, president of privately owned
Trinity Yachts, the largest U.S. builder.
These days, the biggest problem at Trinity’s shipbuilding yards is
having enough workers to handle the 24 custom contracts the company
currently is working for the luxury vessels.
"Nobody is buying these yachts because they need them," said
William S. Smith III, Trinity’s vice president. "They’re buying
them because they want them."
Another builder, YCO Deuxil PLC, has nine yachts under construction
— more than double from last year. Sales for the first five months
exceeded the entire amount for 2007, the London-based company said. Read
West Marine, Inc. said net sales for the thirteen weeks ended
June 28, 2008 were $226.7 million, a decrease of $20.4 million, or 8.3%,
from net sales of $247.1 million for the same period a year ago, primarily
due to a $16.4 million decrease in comparable store sales. Comparable
store sales for the second quarter decreased 7.8%.
Net sales for the twenty-six weeks ended June 28, 2008 were $339.9 million,
a decrease of $32.9 million, or 8.8%, from net sales of $372.9 million
for the same period a year ago, primarily due to a $25.8 million sales
decrease in comparable store sales and a $7.0 million sales decrease
attributable to stores that were closed in 2007. Comparable store sales
for twenty-six weeks ended June 28, 2008 do not include net sales of
$9.2 million from new stores and $3.7 million from remodeled or expanded
stores. Comparable store sales for the twenty-six weeks ended June 28,
2008 decreased 8.4%.
Net sales attributable to the stores segment for second quarter of
2008 were $198.6 million, a decrease of $20.1 million, or 9.2%, compared
to same period last year. The sales decrease primarily was due to a
$16.4 million decrease in comparable store sales and $4.1 million of
prior-year sales at closed stores. Port Supply (wholesale) segment sales
through the distribution centers for the second quarter of 2008 were
$12.8 million, a decrease of $0.6 million, or 4.1%, compared to the
same period last year. Port Supply sales to wholesale customers through
retail store locations are included in the Stores segment. Net sales
in the Direct Sales segment for the second quarter of 2008 were $14.3
million, a decrease of $0.8 million, or 5.1%, compared to same period