Tuesday, April 1, 2008

NBOA and SeaRay

Press release today:

KNOXVILLE, Tenn., March 31, 2008 – Sea Ray Boats, the world's largest manufacturer of superior quality pleasure boats in business since 1959, has announced their “Platinum Partnership” with the National Boat Owners Association, also known as NBOA. It is only natural that Sea Ray partner with NBOA, an organization with a history of being one of the largest U.S. agencies to specialize in marine insurance. NBOA takes great pride in providing their customers with unparalleled rates. [click here for complete release]
Please note that I pulled the press release from the Brunswick corportate website. Here is a screenshot of all their marine brands:

Now, if NBOA can leverage the SeaRay deal deeper into the Brunswick line-up, could it have an effect on Boat/US and SeaTow's memberships? I doubt it, because if you tow an NBOA member, you will charge them up front, and they have to seek re-imbursment. Boaters have fully embraced the no hassle, no hourly charges, "just tow me I'm a member" concept offered by SeaTow and BOAT/US.

NBOA doesn't have any towboats, so what service are they trying to market?

The “Platinum” insurance package including exclusive rates, free towing
coverage, discounts on boating safety products and more. The customary towing
program, for example, is a favorable feature of the new partnership, offering
members $1,000 in additional on-water coverage, as well as $150 on-road towing
assistance, guaranteeing members complete coverage

How does $1000 of on-water coverage guarantee complete coverage? How far is $1000 going to tow the average 40' SeaRay?

Well, the deal is more about hull insurance than towing coverage, I guess. We've seen these deals before. I remember in 2001 when Vessel Assist Asso. announced their participation in MercuryCare; every Mercury (a Brunswick brand, by the way) product came with a free membership. Didn't SeaTow announce a partnership with Genmar a few years ago?

So, all in all, this press release is just a big yawn.