Why people will wait a year for an Intrepid — Page 8 Boat sales continue their late-season rally — Page 77 January 2014 Vol. LI, No. 7 ® $6.39 Safety net shrivels Benefits paid for every dollar invested in Social Security Source: The Heritage Foundation $2.12 $0.92 $0.84 WWW.TRADEONLYTODAY.COM $ 5.00 1960 1980 2010 2030 *Year beneficiary turns 65 Modest growth, big challenges Industry leaders expect 2014 gains, but know they face aging, affordability issues continuation of slow growth. It’s not an exciting forecast, but one that in-dustry pros are pleased to be able to make for 2014. “Recovery sure feels better than the mess that we and our customers have had to en-dure,” says MarineMax CEO Bill McGill. The consensus among the 23 industry lead-ers contributing to our annual economic out-look is that boat sales will continue to post modest increases. But most also recognize that there are major longer-term issues that must be dealt with. Boats must be more affordable, they say. The industry must reach outside its core con-stituency and attract a more diverse customer base. And most important, it has to find a way to slide far less affluent Gen Xers and Millenni-als into the niche that the aging baby boom-ers are vacating. Initiatives are in place to attack those prob-lems, and they should gain momentum in the new year. On a positive note, the economy is improv-ing. Interest rates remain low and housing prices are beginning to rise. Consumer confi-dence is up and the stock markets have rolled up impressive gains. “At the core the industry is fundamen-tally healthy, as boaters continue to go on the water at record rates and are high-ly satisfied with the boating lifestyle,” says Brunswick Corp. chairman and CEO Dustan McCoy. Pages 16-24 INSIDE A feast of learning The 614 dealers who capitalized on ed-ucational opportunities at the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo are home applying their newly acquired business acumen. It was the biggest — many say the best — MDCE ever. Page 25 A An upbeat METS Judging by the enthusiasm of the 20,500 industry pros at the Marine Equipment Trade Show in Amsterdam, the global boat business has adjusted to the new normal and is poised for a new round of growth. Page 28 An improving economy and rising consumer confidence are buoying the industry’s outlook. Seven-month run The upward trend in the U.S. broker-age market continued in November when sales rose for a seventh consec-utive month. Page 78 ADVERTISING SPECIAL Progress through innovation HEARD IT HERE FIRST “It’s not a steep curve, by any means. It’s a slow recovery , but the good news is that it’s a steady climb.” — MarineMax CEO Bill McGill The boating business continues to make significant progress as we enter 2014. Many of those strides are fueled by innovation and for-ward-thinking builders and parts manufacturers who are featured in our annual Corporate Profile section starting on Page 55.