Selling Boats with American-Made Components to U.S. Boat Buyers

Galeon Yachts

Much like the American automotive industry, boat manufacturers rely heavily on a strong network of suppliers with innovative product lines that help advance boat building and accelerate growth in the U.S. recreational boating industry.

Today’s boaters are demanding the latest innovations as they invest in boats and boating accessories… and this desire has created a big opportunity for innovative manufacturers of American-made products that enhance the boating experience.

Boat builders are realizing that quick adoption of innovative new boating features is essential for selling more boats – particularly if they can tout that they are using American-made components.

Value of U.S. Manufacturing

The Buy American mantra is more than just a marketing trend. Buyers are seeing clear value in American-made products in terms of quality and U.S. economic growth.

Studies have shown that even if the product costs more, American consumers are willing to pay a premium for products made in the U.S. – often driven equally by the desire to make a patriotic purchase and invest in quality products.

Over 80% of Americans are willing to pay more for Made-in-USA products, 93% of whom say it’s because they want to keep jobs in the USA, according to a survey released in November 2013 by Boston Consulting Group.

Of course it is even easier for consumers to make a patriotic purchase if the cost is lower – and in many, many cases U.S. made components do cost less and save companies money in production time.

It turns out that consumers love the Made in the USA brand… and we should be proudly promoting it.

Boat Builders Touting American-Made

The recreational boating industry is one of the last, true U.S. manufacturing industries. American boat builders and American component suppliers share a vested interest and commitment to growing the industry.

Boats are made in America: 95 percent of powerboats sold in the U.S. are made in the U.S – National Marine Manufacturers Association

At SureShade, we are extremely proud of the fact that we equip over 50 different boat brands with our retractable sunshade systems – with about 80% of them based in the U.S. Manufactured and assembled in our Philadelphia headquarters, we are quick to tout that our shades are American-made (and even Philadelphia-made with our frequent use of #PHLMade).

Equipping U.S. boat builders with a quality, American-made product has been an important aspect of building our OEM relationships in the U.S. But we have also found that “American-made” has become increasingly important to international builders.

International boat builders looking to attract a market for specific boat models in the U.S. are actively pursuing quality American-made components and marketing these models as such.

Azimut 40 VerveRecently, Italian boat builder Azimut held a world debut for their new 40 Verve at the 2016 Newport International Boat Show and placed quite an emphasis on the use of American-made components.

Trade Only Today noted how Azimut-Benetti USA president Federico Ferrante’s highlighted American-made components of the 40 Verve during the launch:

“Ferrante touts the boat’s many American-made components, such as the SureShade retractable shade over the boat’s massive aft entertainment area, which can be easily converted into multiple configurations; the Seakeeper gyro; the Kenyon grill; the Raymarine displays; and the Mercury engines and controls, among others.”

Other international boat builders have taken the same approach to using USA-made components that appeal to a U.S. boat buyer. We have seen builders like Galeon (Europe) and Whitehaven (Australia) make big U.S. introductions of new boat models proudly showcasing our American-made shade.

The U.S. recreational boating industry has made a big comeback over the last 5 years, and it’s exciting to see that manufacturing in the U.S. – from builders to component suppliers – are leading the way with quality, innovative, American-made products today’s boat buyers are actively seeking to buy.

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Dana Russikoff

Business Leader & Co-Founder at SureShade
As the Business Leader and Co-Founder at SureShade - The Shady Side of Boating, Dana is responsible for all business development with boat builders and dealers. Installed on over 35 different boat brands globally and available as a factory-install feature or aftermarket upgrade, SureShade is the new standard for shade in the marine industry.