Elan Overview

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  • Topic: Boat, Water sports, Waterskiing
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  • Published : March 10, 2013
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Elan and the Competition Ski Boat Industry

Overview

Ben Favret
Pro water skier
World, U.S., Pro-Tour Champion
Firsthand knowledge of waterskiing industry & boat-building capabilities of American Performance Marine plant (now Élan Boats plant)

Jay Blossman
Ben’s highschool tennis partner
Politician
Purchased American Skier
oPreviously owned by American Performance Marine
oPlant in Kentwood, Louisiana
oRecently filed bankruptcy
Lacks insider knowledge regarding the building, marketing, and selling aspects of the ski boat industry •Owner of Élan Boats
oMeans “vigorous spirit and enthusiasm”

Ski Boat Industry – History
Began in 1922: Ralph Samuelson was first American to invent water skis •1920’S – 1930’s: enthusiasm and interest spreads
1939: American Water Ski Association (AWSA) was formed & National Water Ski Championships were held oNon profit organization that promotes waterskiing
Open wooden towboat built with overlapping strakes & four-cylinder outboard engine was used •Recreational boat manufacturing was minimal during WWII
oNo championships held during war
oInterst and activity increased after war when the economy was booming •1940’s – 1950’s:
oChris-Craft & Century Resorters produced wooden inboard boats oPreferred by most water skiiers
oHowever, large wakes were produced by these types of boats, negatively impacting the performance of skiers oOutboard boats: small wake but not powerful enough until twin-rig was invented in 1950 •1950’s – 1960’s:

oTwin-rig boats dominated the industry and rapidly grew their popularity oMercury Marine, Evinrude, and Johnson recognized the potential market within the water skiing industry and invented the concept of promotional boats Promotional boats: manufacturers built boats that were optimally constructed and equipped specifically for waterskiing tournaments •1960:

oLeo Bentz: operated Florida ski school
Desingned and built an inboard boat
oFirst Ski Nautque was dispayed at Regional Championship
First inboard made of fiberglass with specially designed hull which produced a smaller wake Original marketed and sold by Glass Craft Company
Ski Nastique was then purchased by Correct Craft (following year) when Bentz approached the company’s owners to sell them his mold Correct Craft redesigned the Ski Natique resulting in the new design becoming the standard for competitors to emulate. •1968:

oRob Shirley: competitive skier
Noticed growing market and the lack of competition in the creation and production of ski boats Creator of MasterCraft
1970’s – 1980’s:
oCorrect Craft & MasterCraft dominated the market and lead to new innovations and technology •1980’s
oInboard boats were almost used exclusively in AWSA-sanctioned tournaments oMany small start-up companies attempted to compete with Correct Craft and MasterCraft, without much success oHowever, opportunity for outboard boats arose when other water ski activities became more popular Barefooting, kneeboarding, show skiing

Recent Trends

Market Size & Growth
2000:
oNational Marine Manufacturers Association had retail sales of $25.6 billion 15% increase of sales in 1999
oIndusrty estimate
16.9 million users of water ski boats
72.2 million participants of recreational boating activities oNational Sporting Goods Association (NSGA) performared an analytical study of the number of participants in waterskiing Number of participants dropped to 5.9 milling

18% from 1998 (7.2 Million)
Ranked motor boating & waterskiing at 13th & 40th (based on U.S) 66% of power boaters also waterskied
Michigan, California, and Florida ranked highest for the number of registered boats United States, followed by Canada and Australia, were the largest boating and water skiing nations in the world Demographic and Market Conditions

National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA)
oGathered data on the demographic...
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