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Fox Business Network reports on Miami show

MIAMI BEACH — Fox Business Network ran hourly spots from the Miami International Boat Show and Strictly Sail for a cumulative air time of at least half an hour.

Fox Business anchor Cheryl Casone interviewed several industry stalwarts from the Sea Isle Marina on Friday during intermittent rainfall, highlighting the traction in sales the industry has gained over the past year and giving viewers a glimpse of what the show is about.

Casone interviewed National Marine Manufacturers Association president Thom Dammrich, Brunswick Corp. CEO Dustan McCoy, Chaparral president Jim Lane, MarineMax CEO William McGill, yacht builder David Marlow and the man who bought the largest boat in the NMMA Miami show (built by Marlow Yachts), Alejandro Capriles.

As she did, facts blipped across the screen, such as, “During the show 2,000 companies showcase more than 3,000 vessels,” and boat show and Sea Isle Marina graphics were featured along the way.

“The economy’s improving, the housing market is improving, and the more the housing market improves, the more that middle range comes back” to boating, Dammrich told Casone when she asked about the 10 percent industry increase Friday.

Chaparral president Jim Lane told Casone in another segment that the introduction of an entry-level line (the H20, which debuted just a few years ago) helped boost the company’s bottom line.

“We build boats 18 to 42 feet, but the very top end of the market was very slow, so we wanted to ... build an entry-level product, and as a result our revenue is up 40 percent,” Lane told Casone. “Profit margins are definitely off, but the real benefit is the people we’re selling to now will ultimately move into our higher product.”

Casone later interviewed McGill from a 370 Sea Ray Venture, which won the NMMA Innovation Award for its quiet, concealed outboards.

“This not only was your baby, but it is also boat of the year,” Casone said. (Brunswick Boat Group president and interim Sea Ray president Andy Graves thanked McGill for his vision during a Sea Ray press event in Miami later that day for the idea behind the Venture.)

“It’s outboard-powered, with enclosed and hidden outboards, so the swimmers are in the back, the propellers are out of the way and the engines are up and out of the water,” McGill said.

Alejandro Capriles, the man who bought 97-foot Cicori III, the most expensive boat at Sea Isle Marina ($6 million), said it was a bit nerve-wracking to make such a purchase, but it was worth it.

“We spend every single weekend on the sea, and on the beach and the sea, and if you love it, it’s worth it,” Capriles said. He added that the family boat primarily will be used in the Caribbean and between the United States and Venezuela, where Capriles is from.