by Bob Wonders
Florida-headquartered Regal Marine Industries has long been recognised as an innovative boat manufacturer, currently producing a 30-model range comprising bowrider, cuddy cabin, deck boat, express cruiser and sport yacht designs.
’’The Yacht Room’’, where Regal’’s ’’heavyweights’’ through to the imposing 52’’ (15.84-metres) Sport Yacht are on display.
Innovation in boat design is one thing, but innovation in marketing is a different tack altogether.
One dictionary explanation of the word suggests innovation means ‘using or showing new methods.’
Well, Regal has certainly done that, establishing within its Orlando head office its own spectacular showroom with every model on display.
It has now been 12 months since this most innovative (there’s that word again) feature of the Regal plant was officially opened.
When I was a guest at the plant back in 2007, I found one aspect of the Regal attitude surprising to say the least; the company had an invitation, by way of a prominent sign clearly visible to passing traffic, for all to visit the plant, from 9am, Monday to Friday.
Now many boat companies are happy to show prospective owners through their manufacturing facility and many dealers happily arrange for their buyers to take a close up look at their boat being built.
But I don’t know of another company that issues as open invitation to you’re their plant in such a free and open manner as Regal.
Known as ’The Sportboat Room’, this section of the’ superb showroom displays the company’s range of sportboats from sleek bowriders to express cruisers.
Since the ‘in-house showroom’ was opened, more than 2000 people have toured the plant and according to one of the company’s sales executives, Christopher Spindler, the showroom as proven to be a 'valuable resource’ for dealers and visitors alike.
'Regal built the showroom facility to allow its worldwide dealer network to have an alternative location where prospective buyers can see the models not specifically carried on the dealer inventory,' Mr Spindler explained.
'With so many choices available, shopping for a new boat can often be seen as an overwhelming task.
'Now, with the full Regal collection, ranging from 19' 5.79-metres) to 52’ (15.84-metres) on display, our guests can take their time and board every boat on display.
'It’s easy to see why so many have taken advantage of this outstanding venue,' he added.
The Regal showroom is open to all from 10.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday and 10am to 4pm on Saturdays.
It’s only 10 minutes from Orlando International Airport and is easily accessible to visitors.
Captain Frank Stoeber, a Regal factory tour guide, said a visit to the showroom was also the final stop in the behind the scenes tour of the Regal production facility.
'After seeing every step of the boat building process, the showroom is the perfect ending for visitors to see the finished product,' he said.
'With 26 models beautifully presented, the Regal showroom is like a private boat show exclusively for our Regal guests,' he added.
Regal Marine Industries today remains the family-owned company established by the late Paul and Carol Kuck (pronounced Cook) in 1969.
I had the pleasure of meeting Paul Kuck before he passed away in 2006 and he was, to say the least, an impressive man.
His sons, Duane and Tim and daughter Pam remain at the helm of the company which now produced boats for a worldwide dealer network encompassing 45 countries.
A key member of the Regal team on the international front is Bonnie Frenkel, the company’s hard-working international sales manager.
Bonnie racks up plenty of frequent flyer miles, I assure you; she attended the 2010 Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show and I will be looking forward to seeing her again this year at the Sydney International Boat Show.
She will be here supporting Australia’s prominent Regal dealership, Sydney-based Premier Marine.
Regal Marine Industries now rates as one of the world’s largest family-owned and operated boat manufacturers in the world.
Its two factories, Orlando, in Florida and Valdosta, in Georgia, boasts more than 650,000 square feet of production space and employs in excess of 700 skilled crafts people.
'We are well equipped to build some of the best boats in the world,' Regal CEO Duane Kuck declares.
'Daily, we strive to build ‘best boats’ and to provide exceptional customer satisfaction to our clients around the world,' he added.
For further information contact Premier Marine, Rose Bay, Sydney, telephone (02) 9328-0999 or visit the Regal website, www.regalboats.com