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For 10 years, the Boating Industry Top 100 has recognized the best boat dealers in North America.
Over the years, the Top 100 has changed as well, but one thing that hasn’t changed is the drive dealers have to be the best. On the following pages, you’ll find not only our list of the Top 100, but also this year’s Dealer of the Year – Gordy’s Lakefront Marine – and the Best in Class winners, Hall of Fame companies and Editors’ Choice dealers.
The Top 100 dealers have also shared some of their success secrets – best practices in marketing, service and more.
From the thousands of boat dealers in North America and hundreds of nominations, read on to see the best of the best in the boating industry. The Boating Industry Top 100 is not just about recognizing the best dealers in North America.
These are just a handful of the strategies the Top 100 has used to reach more than $2.1 billion in revenue in 2013. At Bosun’s Marine, Mashpee, Mass., the delivery process starts during the sales process, when potential buyers meet the delivery captains at boat shows or during sea trials.
Planning and tracking the budget is a total team effort at Maine’s Port Harbor Marine, involving input from directors, managers, salespeople and technicians from its five locations. Port Harbor uses a budgeting program called Budget Maestro, which allows the company to budget, compare with prior year’s performance and also make hypothetical assumptions and what affect it would have on the bottom line. The directors and managers use this to help drive their decisions and manage their areas of responsibility. Strong’s redefined the motto to its new purpose, mission and core values to reflect that emphasis. In 2013 Strong’s revamped its CSI surveys, inspired by Fred Reichheld’s “Ultimate Question.” Scores and comments are closely monitored and tracked in a log. The company has also invited a few recent owners to sit in the booth for a few hours and simply talk to prospects and tell stories of their time on the water.
Advantage has also combined booth space with SailTime bases in Boston and Rhode Island and with two sailing schools. Given that Advantage doesn’t sell many large cruising boats right at the shows, maximizing the return on a show requires that the sales team gets contact information from the hot prospects and has great reason to follow-up with them. Getting a service job done quickly is important, but not as important as having it done right, says Colorado Boat Center. The Johnstown, Colo., dealer has a bonus plan that puts $50 a week into each technician’s account. The service manager also receives a quarterly bonus for increased profits and maintaining a minimum CSI average.
A major goal of Traverse Bay Marine in 2013 and 2014 was to boost its social media marketing. The Traverse City, Mich., company contracted with its local NBC television station to give away a $9,500 Sea Doo PWC last year and repeated the process this year with the giveaway of a Lund fishing boat with a Mercury engine.

In the past year, Legend had one of its team members’ son use his Legend Boat for his wedding proposal and the operations manager use a pontoon for a wedding. When BMC Boats created its new vision statement in 2013 – “BMC Boats Creating The Best Boating Experience Possible” – the Longwood, Fla., dealer wanted to make sure it built all of its marketing and branding around that idea. One of the most effective sales strategies for Hagadone Marine Group in 2013 was a year-end sales contest. The contest was designed to eliminate older inventory and reward the salesperson for getting boats paid in full before the end of the year. Hampton Watercraft and Marine takes a detailed, aggressive approach to managing its turn rate. In addition to manage inventory turns, the sales team discusses the oldest inventory at weekly sales meetings and brainstorms strategies on how to sell the old inventory. Tactics such as featuring boats in the monthly e-newsletter, placing an additional ad in the newspaper, making a custom banner ad for the company’s website and other sites and increasing the commission on older boats have all proven to be effective strategies. Buying a superyacht - Boat InternationalBuying a Super Yacht, including using a broker, specifications, custom . Where To Buy - Digital Yacht - Light Years AheadLight years ahead in marine electronics technology, Digital Yacht - Light Years Ahead.
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The average Boston apartment resident moves 34 days after their Boston rental search — get your banking on the future new era of engagement banking now. In fact, this year’s competition was the stiffest in years – not only when measured by the number of applications received, but also by the sheer quality of companies that applied. On average, they increased revenue by 13 percent for the year – the third straight year of double-digit growth.

It’s also about sharing their best practices with other dealers to improve the entire industry. Service advisers, parts and yard managers and the shop foreman have incentive programs that tie in CSI numbers (manufacturer and internal) on a quarterly basis. Advantage Yacht Sales, Newburyport, Mass., has been making the most of its boat show space by partnering with other companies to showcase the boating lifestyle.
That position is also checking for accuracy after the job is completed and before the boat leaves the lot. With that in mind, Legend Boats, Whitefish, Ontario, implemented its “Live the Legend” boat loaner program this year, which allows employees to reserve and use a Legend Boat so they better appreciate the company’s mission to create memories, said general manager Jamie Dewar.
This new incentive proved to be a powerful tool that boosted 4th quarter revenue to a record level for the Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, dealer. The way to go about that was to sell non-current boats and have them paid in full before years end. I am purchasing a 43 Irwin in Curacao, it has ok electronics, but not good enough for Me. GO2 Global Yachting is committed to making it as quick and easy as possible to buy GO2, wherever you are in the world.
The Top 100, along with the four Hall of Fame companies, represents more than $2.1 billion in total revenue, an increase of more than 16 percent from last year. If there are specific concerns mentioned, the client’s sales or service contact will call to make sure they understand the full nature of the issue, acknowledge it and work to resolve it in a fair and open way. They provide credible information and advice to prospects and are better at telling their stories of fun, Giuliana said.
Additional bonuses and spiffs can be given at any time to reward a tech at management’s discretion. There are also 70 TV commercials as well as live mentions five times daily about Traverse Bay Marine and the contest by the NBC TV news anchor. Each brand of boat was assigned a point value, with non-current inventory being awarded double points, versus current 2013 models or 2014 pre-order boats. There would only be three winners out of the six sales people, so there was incentive to stay on top of the game to qualify in the top three.
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The cash prize was staggered for each place, with $5,000 for 1st, $3,500 for 2nd and $2,000 for 3rd. There were also additional points awarded for having the sold boats paid for before the end of December.

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