Joe Galati, Darren Plymale, Jay Dee Jackson, and I just returned to Florida from our trip to Wisconsin for the 2014 Cruisers Yachts Dealer Meeting. Having been a Cruisers Yachts dealer since 1983, the four of us were excited to represent Galati Yacht Sales and celebrate 32 years of partnership.
The entire team at Cruisers and KCS International put on an incredible event packed with a new model release, vendor meet-and-greets, breakout sessions, factory tours, and an awards ceremony and dinner. We had many great opportunities to interact and collaborate with other Cruisers Yachts dealers and the management team at Cruisers and KCS International. Cruisers has adopted the theme of “Power UP!” this year and is applying it to all of their efforts, including R&D, sales, and customer service. We left the event excited to see what the coming year brings for Cruisers Yachts and the dealers that represent the company.
After an easy trip from Tampa, Florida to Green Bay, Wisconsin with a quick layover in Detroit, Michigan, we arrived at Stone Harbor Resort & Conference Center in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. We made our way to the vendor booths and spoke with several vendors that have partnered with Cruisers Yachts and were sponsoring the event, including Raymarine, Volvo Penta, Mercury, GE Capital, and more. We participated in a dockside reception where we met and greeted dealers from across the country and around the world, a unique opportunity to gain insight into other markets. After dinner, everyone in attendance was asked to once again gather outside on the docks for an introduction to two new models in the Cruisers Yachts lineup, the 328 Bow Rider and the brand-new 390 Express Coupe. The 328 Bow Rider, having enjoyed great success in the Cruisers Sport Series lineup and having been awarded Boating Magazine’s Boat of the Year in 2013, has been moved into the Cruisers Yachts lineup to allow Cruisers Yachts dealers, including Galati Yacht Sales, the opportunity to share in that success. The 390 Express Coupe is a brand new model for Cruisers Yachts and is sure to be a hit with its great performance and ride on a C. Raymond Hunt designed hull and an incredible layout for entertaining family and friends on the water.
When we arrived at breakfast, it became clear that the buzz surrounding the 390 had not subsided and everyone attending the event was very excited to learn more about the boat on sea trials and walkthroughs. We had the opportunity to sea trial both the 390 Express Coupe and the 328 Bow Rider and came away even more impressed, as both boats performed admirably, even in a confused chop driven by the previous night’s cold front. After lunch, we sat in on two breakout sessions organized by Cruisers Yachts. The first session operated as a moderated discussion between the Research & Development team at Cruisers Yachts and the dealers to discuss the 390 Express Coupe, as well as several other future models. The most immediate future model is the upcoming 58’ Cantius, which is also certain to be a success and appears poised to take its class by storm. Our next breakout session was an introduction to the Cruisers Yachts iPad app, which primarily serves as a resource for dealers and their sales teams to better present the product to customers. Everyone came away from the session impressed with the app and its ease of use, and we all look forward to testing it over the next few months. The day concluded with yet another amazing dinner, and most importantly an awards ceremony. Both Cruisers Yachts and Cruisers Sport Series recognized their top 5 respective dealers, though every dealer in attendance was recognized for their efforts this year. Galati Yacht Sales is proud to have been recognized as the #2 Cruisers Yachts dealer in the world this year, and we look forward to continued success over the next year!
During our final day in Wisconsin, we made a short trip to Oconto to visit the Cruisers factory. Our first stop was the R&D building, where there is no shortage of activity. While there was plenty going on, we were most anxious to tour the mockup of the 58’ Cantius. Having never seen a mockup on that scale, it was an awe-inspiring experience to see how well a plywood mockup of both the upper salon/galley and lower accommodations could convey what the finished product will feel like. There is plenty of work remaining on the 58’ Cantius, but after seeing the mockup, the Galati Yacht Sales team and the other dealers we toured with came away looking forward to the introduction of the new model in 2015. We were then taken to the main production factory where we made stops in the upholstery, lamination, and rigging shops. Cruisers has embraced vacuum-infusion for key components on several models, which is a cleaner and quicker process than traditional methods and will serve to increase quality and decrease production times. We walked through several boats in various stages of production that Galati Yacht Sales customers have ordered. We will provide those customers with pictures and updates of their boats during the build, something few boat owners ever have the opportunity to see.
Attending the dealer meeting was an incredible opportunity and provided a unique perspective into the product and the company that stands behind it. Having seen the dedication that Cruisers Yachts shows to constantly innovating and striving to exceed customer expectations, I have no doubt that Galati Yacht Sales and Cruisers Yachts will enjoy a continued successful partnership for many years to come.
Originally Published By: Josh Olsen & Jay Jackson