Almost 390 people representing 207 dealerships across North America broke out the champagne at the Smoker Craft Inc. dealer meeting as the New Paris, Indiana-based company – manufacturer of Starcraft, Smoker Craft, Sylvan and Sun Chaser boats – celebrated a trio of brand longevity milestones.
In welcoming the dealers, President Doug Smoker noted that the 2014 model year will mark the 110th anniversary of Starcraft boats, the 90th anniversary for Smoker Craft Inc., and the 50th anniversary of Smoker Craft producing aluminum boats. To mark the event the company introduced a number of new models in its Starcraft and Smoker Craft lines, as well as additional new models in its popular Sylvan and Sun Chaser pontoon brands.
"We're very proud to be able to celebrate these important milestones with our dealers,' said SVP of Marketing, Peter Barrett. "For four generations our family-owned business has worked closely with our dealer network to make boating a part of life for families all over North America. We're very proud of that heritage, and we look forward to building new relationships as we move forward into 2014.'
Dealers at the event enjoyed the opportunity to examine a total of 154 different boat models displayed on dry land and in the water at nearby Lake Wawasee. New aluminum fishing models for 2014 included an all-new Starcraft 176 Starfish with a huge front casting deck, offering elbow room for multiple anglers plus enormous interior storage space, as well as a special Anniversary Edition of Smoker Craft's popular 172 Ultima model featuring unique paint and interior treatments, unique seats and a snap-in Sea Weave floor coverings.
Smoker Craft Inc. also showed a number of new pontoon models in its Sylvan and Sun Chaser lines. The all-new Sylvan S-series, featuring RPT tubes, an optional wakeboard towers and a sporty, aggressive look, consists of 23- and 25-foot models built with water sports in mind, as evidenced by their extended rear platforms and high horsepower capacities. Dealers driving the new models at the dealer meeting's on-water facility topped 50 mph in test runs. Enhancements to 2014 Sun Chaser models include all-new designs featuring elegantly formed D-rail construction details in the external fencing.
The dealer meeting also witnessed renewed interest in fibreglass runabouts, highlighted by an all-new Starcraft 1918 Limited I/O model that was available for in-water evaluations and sea trials.
A total of five Canadian dealerships were included as the company honored its Top 20 dealers for 2013, including: Marine Management, Edmonton AB; Duhamel and Dewar, Whitefish ON; Enns Brothers, with eight locations in southern Manitoba; Marsh's Marina, Waubushene ON; and Pine Service Centre, Prince Albert and Nipawin, SK. The Harold A. Schrock award was presented to Vick's Sports Center, Kent, OH, while the Barney Smoker award was presented to Miller Marine, St. Cloud, MN.