Before a crowd of media at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show in October 2014, Sea Ray’s president, Tim Schiek, uttered three words, “Dedication. Focus. Investment.” Over the past year, Sea Ray, a division of Brunswick Corporation, has launched 11 boats in four categories including the new L Class and the customizable SPX series. This was only the beginning for a company on the move.
Since 1959, Sea Ray has been a leader in technology and quality manufacturing processes for the pleasure boat market. It was the first boat builder to use fiberglass and other high-tech composite materials in the construction of pleasure boats. Today it continues to bring innovations in style, performance and technology. It is no wonder that Sea Ray is the world’s top boat manufacturer and top searched brand on the internet, according to data trackers.
Brunswick Boat Group president, Andy Graves, challenged each of the company’s brands to “lead their segment in innovation and product value.” In 201, Sea Ray launched seven new boat models including the National Marine Manufacturers Association Innovation Award winner, the 370 Venture. This Sport Cruiser featured the all new Concealed Outboard Propulsion™ design with the engines hidden under a fiberglass hood that doubles as seating, expanding the living space while keeping noise and vibration to a minimum. The 370 Venture was a prime example of Next Wave thinking, an “intensive commitment to enacting major innovation across all Sea Ray platforms.”
Sea Ray continued with the debut of the L650 Fly at the 2014 Miami International Boat Show. The L650 Fly is part of the new luxury line manufactured at the Palm Coast, Fla., facility. With the launch of the new luxury class, Sea Ray plans several infrastructure improvements and anticipates adding 100 more jobs to the facility.
Schiek spoke passionately about investing in the employees at Sea Ray, many of whom have been at the company for over 20 years. “It is the investment in our people that makes our company,” he said.
The L-Class is “not just about the boat,” Schiek said. “It’s a new approach to the market that includes product along with a completely unique sale process and post-purchase experience.” L-Class customers will have access to special services and equipment such as customer service phone lines, prioritized remote service, a sales concierge to optimize the buying procedure, captain training and a three-year bow-to-stern warranty that includes engines and components.
The new products kept coming at the 2014 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, with the debut of the all new SPX series. The SPX 19 is the largest boat in its class, optimizing the space, providing comfortable seating for up to 11. With the affordable price point of $26K, and five-year bow-to-stern warranty with a limited lifetime structural hull warranty, this boat is a game changer.
In total Sea Ray debuted 11 new boats in 2014, and has no plans to stop there. Speaking at their end-of-year Yacht Expo in Captiva, Fla., Sea Ray senior vice president of marketing and planning, Brad Anderson, provided a glimpse into the future. “We’ve introduced a tremendous amount of new products across a broad portfolio and will continue to do so. We plan on introducing 10 to 12 products next year and we would like to see that cadence of new-product introduction be 10 to 12 every year.” To put this into perspective, the amount of new products Sea Ray has introduced in the past few years is more than the total number of products some competitors carry in their complete portfolio.
Riding the success of the L590 Fly in 2014, Sea Ray will debut the L590 at the 2015 Miami International Boat Show in February. From the entertainment space to the helm, this three stateroom luxury cruiser was designed with the owner/operator in mind. True to Sea Ray’s philosophy; No compromises. No qualifiers.