Jan 23, 2018

Andy Adams and Ron HuibersBoating Industry Canada had the opportunity to sit down and interview Ron Huibers, President and CEO of Volvo Penta of the Americas, Fred Lachlan, National Marine Sales Manager of Volvo Penta Canada, and Chris Chapman, Canadian Dealer Sales Manager of Volvo Penta, at the Toronto International Boat Show. Ron Huibers said that he believes the best days lie ahead for the marine industry.

Volvo Penta has been following a steady path of innovation and product introduction that now includes four different lines of IPS models, engines up to the 1000 hp D13, a recent Innovation Award win for a D13 shaft drive boat that had been upgraded to joystick docking and then their 2017 move into outboard power with the acquisition of Seven Marine.

The Seven Marine 557 and 627 hp outboard engines seem outrageous until you see how many new boats are being rigged with triple and even quad 300s or 350s so it's obvious the market has an appetite for big power.

The market also wants big thrust. That's where Volvo Penta's new Forward Drives are making significant progress. In 2017, 23 different boat models were using the Forward Drive and that has expanded to 40 different models for 2018. The market is still growing for this and as Huibers pointed out the Forward Drive has almost created a new market.

People are finding that the Forward Drive can deliver a great wake surfing experience while at the same time handling and running like a more conventional stern drive boat when you're not doing tow sports.

The group also talked about self-driving and electronics. With so much media attention focused on self-driving cars, it's amusing that electronic navigation equipment and auto helm systems gave us self-driving boats years ago.

Still, the Volvo group is very active in electronic mobility, especially given their big footprint in the trucking industry. It's very logical that the glass helm integration that Volvo has been working on for a number of years will continue to progress.

Ron Huibers teased us with the news that there would be a major announcement in Connectivity from Volvo Penta at the Miami International Boat Show in a few weeks.

We'll be there!

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LCI INDUSTRIES SUBMITS OFFER TO BUY LEWMAR

LCI IndustriesLCI Industries (NYSE: LCII) has announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary Lippert Components, Inc. (“LCI”), a supplier of a broad array of highly engineered components for the leading original equipment manufacturers ("OEMs") of leisure vehicles and mobile transportation, and the related aftermarkets of those industries, has reached an agreement with the board of directors of Lewmar Marine Limited (“Lewmar”), a supplier of leisure marine equipment, headquartered in Havant, United Kingdom, on the terms of a recommended cash offer for Lewmar by LCI, pursuant to which LCI would acquire the entire share capital of Lewmar. 

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BOATING ONTARIO LAUNCHES THEIR ABANDONED BOATS PROJECT

Boating Ontario LogoBoating Ontario announces the official launch of the Abandoned Boats Project Awareness Campaign aiming to increase boat owners’ awareness of their responsibilities, including proper management of their boat at the end of its life.

Boating Ontario was the recipient of a grant under Transport Canada’s Abandoned Boats Program assisting in the removal of abandoned or wrecked small boats posing a risk to Canadian Waters.  The program will help to educate small boat owners about how to responsibly manage their boats and support research on boat recycling.

 

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