Catamaran Sales Growing
Twin Vee Powercats has experienced strong sales and orders despite the current economic slowdown, said Roger Dunshee, president and CEO of the boatbuilder, in an interview with BIIOnline on Wednesday, 2 October.
"Our business has been substantially strong since day one," said Dunshee of the nine-year-old company.
Due to demand outpacing supply, the company has pursued a planned growth business model, which Dunshee said was a factor in his company's success.
To keep up with demand, Dunshee said he plans to expand his company's Port St. Lucie, Florida-based facilities from its current 12,200 square metres to 30,500 square metres with two 15,250-square-metre buildings.
The first step toward that goal is to gain approval from the city for a 4,000-square-foot addition, which, once in place, will help shorten
"We have such a tremendous backlog … right now." Dunshee said in a Palm Beach Post article on 23 September. "People who order boats today, we deliver in March."
Preparing for the future
Dunshee said it isn't just his business strategy that is responsible for his success.
"Power catamarans as a category of boats is one of the fastest growing markets," Dunshee told BIIOnline.
Although catamarans represent only 2 percent of saltwater boat sales in the United States; in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, they represent about 40 percent of the market, Dunshee commented.
The business, however, is not suited to every boatbuilder, said Dunshee.
"There has been a couple of V-hull manufacturers who introduced catamarans, but quickly removed them when their V-hull sales went down," Dunshee said, who noted that the catamarans took sales away from the V-hulls when competing for the same buyers.
Company not impacted by 11 September
Another reason for the company's continued success is that Twin Vee was well positioned for the market aftershock of the 11
September terrorist attacks on the United States.
"When 9/11 hit we had so many orders already in we really weren't affected," said Dunshee. "The boating industry recovered rather quickly and it rather caught some of the suppliers off-guard."
One potential problem on which Dunshee has kept an eye has been the strike of dockworkers and longshoremen along the West Coast that has virtually shut down all the ports from Washington state to California.
"A high percentage of outboards come thru those ports," Dunshee said. "All the Johnson/Evinrude motors come in through those ports. Mercury and Johnson could be in very short supply if the strike continues for long."
Dunshee, however, noted Twin Vee was well prepared for such an eventuality.
"We were anticipating this problem, and we over-ordered on our engines so we have a good supply for a while," he said.