In an interview with BYM News, Genmar boss Irwin Jacobs talks about his come back plans for the bankrupt boat builder.

Irwin Jacobs: It’s my plan to be the acquirer of all the [Genmar] assets. I’m in the process of doing that right now. I can’t speak other than what I believe, but I think you’ll see before the week is out; I plan to be the high bid, that’s my plan.

BYM News: Won’t you have an uphill struggle, once you acquire the assets, since boat sales are not exactly booming?

Irwin Jacobs: Well no they’re not, but I have great confidence in our companies, our people, our dealers; I can only tell you that this is not a turn around in five minutes situation, but we’ll have enough capital in there to put a lot of plans in place. The industry has changed for ever and we want to change with it. We’ve lowered our overheads, we’ve had to lay off a lot of people, but when it’s all said and done I have great faith in the industry and it will come back stronger than ever, some day down the road. In the meantime we have to manage our business in accordance with the industry.

BYM News: Will you be focussing on a particular type and range of boats?

Irwin Jacobs: We will be very aggressive in our entry level boat, all the way up to our large Marquis yachts and everything in between.

BYM News: Surely some boats must be selling better than others?

Irwin Jacobs: Positively, although I must tell you that I just received information from Statistical Surveys, they’re the third party people that do all the retail analysis of boats for the whole United States, and whilst we’ve been in bankruptcy for the last 90 days, we picked up 6% market share, where all our competitors were actually down. That was across the board in our total company.

BYM News: You introduced VEC technology some years ago, does that still play a major part in manufacturing Genmar products?

Irwin Jacobs: Very much so, that’s one of the most important parts of our business and we’ve come out with a new entry level product, called Fincraft. It’s a 17, 18 and 19 foot boat, a fishing boat that will compete against the aluminum market as well as bring new people into the industry; people are not promoting entry level products anymore because they want bigger, bigger boats.

BYM News: One of the things that killed the industry.

Irwin Jacobs: I agree and we’re going back and we’ve spent a lot of money in developing this entry level product and we’ll be launching it next spring. I will tell you that this product will be anywhere from 3 to 8 thousand dollars less than our competitors in the aluminum business and it will have a lifetime warranty that’s transferable to the next owner. This is with our VEC technology; people don’t keep a boat for a lifetime, but they want quality, they want to know that the trade in value is strong enough when the pass it on to the next person. We’ve got to bring the people in and we believe that you could end up buying our 17 foot single console with less than $150 a month payment, that’s $5 a day to own a boat. That’s in America, obviously it would be more in other countries, but the dollar is so cheap that overseas dealers should do wonderfully with this boat and we’ll be targeting the whole world with it.

Marian Martin

The above article was reported by BYM Product and Industry News,