The Outlook For 2012

Published in the January 2012 Issue January 2012 News

Extended swim decks. Synthetic teak flooring. Entertainment centers. Double rear facing lounge seats. Power packages. These are just a handful of catchphrases you'll find in the pages of this year's Buyer's Guide. But these are actually more than just buzz terms. They are the result of a consolidated effort by our industry to bring you the very best in quality and value. At the end of the day, that really means one thing: having an unforgettable day on the water.

Read closely and you'll see innovation at every turn. What excites us most here at the magazine is the new design concepts with cutting-edge construction that can be found across the board from established manufacturers with multiple lines to startups now making waves. For you, the buyer, this means more choices and better quality.

But it's not just the number of different boat lines you'll need to consider, of course. You'll also need to take a closer look at available options. That's where it gets really fun.

I've seen stereo systems that will blow your mind, including iPod hookups, satellite capabilities, large sub woofers under the seats and more. Plus the safety and amenity features on these boats have also made great strides, with high seat backs and extra tall sides or railings. Not to mention new sun decks, umbrella tables, electric faucets, pop-up changing rooms, portable heads and more.

These boats are made to stay on the water and are built for your enjoyment. They hold their value and they stay in one piece. For years now some have been a bit more frugal and are holding on to their used boats for another season or two. Well, perhaps now it's time to make a move. The industry has more to offer now than ever before.

Along with our own extensive boat tests, we have also been able to sample and scrutinize numerous aftermarket products: tubes to pull, fishing equipment, automatic covers, performance propellers, trailers-the list is endless.

There's no arguing the fact that the past few years have been financial woeful for a lot of people. But here we are, still dreaming of that perfect day on the water in the season to come. As a die-hard boater, you're probably an optimistic person, just like me. I'm always looking at what good can come from a bad situation. All of us have had to make some lifestyle adjustments to some degree. We've had to make some uncomfortable choices that we never thought we'd have to make. Kids get a little less, we give up a little more, but you know what? It's okay. There is good that comes out of everything. I look at it as a cleansing-a forced hand to make us step back and reevaluate what really matters. It makes you reflect on true happiness as well as focus on value.

The boating industry has had to make some of the same uncomfortable adjustments as a whole. We have seen companies disappear completely, some downsize considerably and some close their doors for a period of time to weather the storm.

Just like the boaters they serve, builders have also taken notice of the things in life that offer value. They have stepped up to provide you with great product, great value and have worked hard to continue to find ways to get you on the water.

It is time on the water; after all, that drives this market. Within these pages you'll find the vehicles and accessories to get you there. The rest is up to you.

So let the shopping begin!

Greg Larsen
PDB Publisher

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