Contact: Liz Walz, Editor-in-Chief, Boating Industry magazine, 315-692-4533
MINNEAPOLIS – As current boaters and prospects gain confidence in exploring purchase decisions, it is increasingly vital that they are directed to trustworthy and professional dealers for boat sales and service.
Thanks to Boating Industry magazine's sixth-annual Top 100 Dealers program, consumers now have access to those best of the best dealers at their fingertips.
Port Harbor Marine, South Portland, Maine, ranked 6th on this elite list, which recognizes the best-of-the-best of the more than 3,000 marine dealers in North America.
“Our editorial staff was extremely impressed with this dealership’s ability to provide an engaging and rewarding environment for customers and employees,” said Liz Walz, Boating Industry magazine’s editor-in-chief. “For example, the dealership features an employee focus group that meets six to eight times a year to introduce best practices that benefit both crewmembers and customers’ experiences at Port Harbor.”
The Top 100 marine dealer ranking has resulted in an incredibly powerful group that collectively generates more than $879 million in annual retail sales – and $1.56 billion, if you include the two members of the Top 100 Dealers Hall of Fame. This makes up 2.9 and 5.1 percent of the overall U.S. boating market, respectively. That market has fallen more than 30 percent annually for the past few years, yet the revenue that the Top 100 Dealers have generated is off an average of just 14.5 percent.
While the numbers this elite group posts are impressive, indeed, the Top 100 is not merely a ranking of the largest, volume-driven dealers. Rather, it recognizes those marine dealers that are unsurpassed in overall business operations, customer service, marketing and professionalism. Collectively, the 2010 Boating Industry Top 100 employ nearly 3,900 people and operate 244 retail locations across North America.
“Whether today’s boaters are finally ready to upgrade their vessel or are maximizing their enjoyment of their current model, Boating Industry’s list of Top 100 Dealers is a much-needed guide to those dealerships that provide their boating community with an industry-leading sales and service experience,” said Matt Gruhn, Editorial Director and Publisher of Boating Industry.
Boating Industry's editorial staff reviewed 224 applications, culled from more than 3,000 nominations. The applications asked both quantitative and qualitative questions regarding all aspects of marine dealer operations.
“As consumers seek out the many benefits of the boating lifestyle, marine dealers need to leverage all of the tools at their disposal to attract them into their businesses,” explained Walz. “Six years after its inception, inclusion on Boating Industry’s Top 100 Dealers list delivers real results to leading dealers, allowing them to set themselves apart from their peers.”
To help bring the Boating Industry Top 100 to life, Affinity Media, the magazine’s parent company, created the Leadership Alliance, an elite group of the marine industry’s leading suppliers. These companies were invited to participate because they possess, as one of their corporate values, a true belief in and commitment to raising the bar of professionalism across all marine industry sectors, and particularly for dealers.
The 2010 Leadership Alliance members include: BRP/Evinrude; GE Capital Solutions, Commercial Distribution Finance; BoatTrader; Volvo Penta; Manheim Specialty Auctions; Global Marine Insurance Agency and the Marine Retailers Association of America.
“While most industry awards are given to those dealers that sell the most boats, our Top 100 program is much more qualitatively focused,” said Matt Gruhn, Editor-in-Chief of Boating Industry, “thereby leveling the playing field for all dealers and directing consumers to those dealers that can best deliver on the dream that boat ownership promises.”
“Port Harbor Marine’s focus on customer satisfaction is evident throughout its organization,” said Gruhn. “Underscoring its customer-centric philosophy is its unique initiative to provide its technicians with cell phones so that they can be in constant communication with customers, thereby exchanging information and easing concerns.”
“The Boating Industry Top 100 has, in short order, become the most coveted award in the marine market,” explained Tammy Galvin, Group Publisher for Ehlert Publishing Group's trade magazines. “Marine dealers are on the front line with consumers every day, and this is one way we can help provide much-needed benchmarking information for all other dealers to measure themselves against.”
More Port Harbor Achievements:
~In August 2007 On The Water Magazine featured an article written by our own Captain Jeffrey O. Irish along with photos by Jenni Ricci. The article and photos were on the topic of shark fishing.
~Port Harbor electronics installers have once again become Raymarine certified! Starting in January of 2005 Port Harbor Marine crewmembers have taken the extra training and tests required to become Raymarine certified.
~For the fifth year in a row the Port Harbor Marine store is a Shimano Top Shelf Dealer.
~2005 Boating Industry Top 100 #13-one of only two dealerships in all of Maine to make the list.