Harris FloteBote was recognized Thursday at the Miami International Boat Show by J.D. Power and Associates for earning the highest in customer satisfaction for pontoon boats.
Bass Cat, Cobalt, Correct Craft, Grady-White and Regal rank highest in customer satisfaction in the 2007 Boat Competitive Information StudySM released in the other categories.
Independent, single-brand boat companies appear to be particularly dedicated to optimizing quality and satisfaction, J.D. Power reports. In fact, these companies have led the rankings virtually every year since the study was first launched in 2001.
"These companies tend to be more nimble than the larger builders in making changes, correcting problems and adopting new technologies, whereas larger companies naturally face challenges in implementing the same processes." said Todd Markusic, senior director of the powersports practice at J.D. Power and Associates.
Now in its sixth year, the study measures owner satisfaction with new boats among 76 brands in seven segments: ski/wakeboard; fiberglass bass boats; small runabouts (16 to 19 feet); large runabouts (20 to 29 feet); coastal fishing (17 to 28 feet); pontoons; and express cruisers (24 to 33 feet).
Overall customer satisfaction index scores are based on performance in nine categories: cabin; engine; ride and handling; helm and instrument panel; design and styling; sound system; maintenance; water sports; and fishing.
The J.D. Power rankings are as follows:
With substantial year-over-year improvements in customer satisfaction, Harris FloteBote receives its first award in the study, leading the pontoon boat segment. Bennington, Premier, G3 Sun Catcher and Parti Kraft, respectively, follow Harris FloteBote in the rankings.
For a third consecutive year, Bass Cat ranks highest in the bass boat segment. Triton, Ranger and Skeeter, respectively, follow in the segment rankings.
Grady-White ranks highest in the coastal fishing segment for a sixth consecutive time. Next is Boston Whaler, which had the greatest year-over-year improvement in the segment, followed by Scout and Century, respectively
Having made substantial improvements in the study during the past two years, Regal ranks highest among express cruises. Sea Ray follows Regal in the segment rankings.
Regal ranks highest in the small runabout boat segment for a second consecutive time. Crownline, Sea Ray, Stingray and Chaparral, respectively, follow in the segment rankings.
Cobalt ranks highest in the large runabout segment for a sixth consecutive time. Regal, Sea Ray and Four Winns, respectively, follow in the segment rankings.
Correct Craft ranks highest in the ski/wakeboard segment. Next in the rankings is Malibu, which records considerable improvements in overall satisfaction from 2006.
The 2007 Boat Competitive Information Study is based on responses from 12,140 owners who registered a new boat between June 2005 and May 2006.