Let’s be honest: When Statement Marine released its first model in 2008, the St. Petersburg, Fla., company’s timing could not have been worse. The high-performance marine industry was heading into its worst tailspin in history—the mainstream marine market wasn’t faring much better—and finding a loan for a go-fast boat was next to impossible. To compound matters for Statement, which was founded by former offshore racing world champion Todd Werner and his business partner Nick Buis, the 42-foot Ultimate V-bottom was a high-end custom model, complete with an a unique air-suspension cockpit, that priced out in the mid- to high-six-figure range. Even buyers who could afford one were, thanks to the economy, in no hurry to buy.
But that didn’t stop Werner and Buis from taking the 42-footer on what amounted to national promotional tour at poker runs and offshore races around the country. Outfitted with a pair of now-discontinued Mercury Racing 1075SCi engines, the boat might not have attracted many buyers—to date five reportedly have been built and sold—but it did attract a lot of attention and through hands-on guerilla marketing Werner and Buis put Statement on the high-performance powerboat map.
Continuing with its “Go big or go home” new-model introduction and marketing strategy, Statement unveiled a twin-turbine-powered 50-foot catamaran, complete with a functional spa tub filled with bikini clad models, at the 2010 Miami International Boat Show. To date, the company has built two 50-foot cats including the model at the show. (The spa tub in the show model was for display only and was removed after the event.)
At the 2012 Miami International Boat, the company took a far more conventional approach, at least in terms of a new-model introduction. During the past year, Statement entered the high-performance custom center console market with the release of a diesel-powered 37-footer and an outboard powered 34-footer. At the 2012 Miami event, Statement pulled the sheet off yet another center console, this one dubbed the 368 SUV Crossover. To be sure, the new triple-outboard model, with a slew of goodies including a forward lounge with a power-raised backrest, was very much a Statement offering in terms of amenities and build quality. But next to the 42-foot V-bottom and 50-foot catamaran, it was pretty tame.
Statement’s display at the show, however, was anything but. The exhibit included not one but two brand-new 42-footers suspended above a “weathered” tin-roof bar. Even in a show where “over the top” is a matter of course, the Statement exhibit stood out enough for it to be named Best Display of the Show by the event’s organizers. And it appears that the company’s display efforts paid off big-time in terms of sales as well.
“As of Sunday night, the launch of the new 368 SUV Crossover had yielded a total of six orders,” said Mike Flanigan, Statement’s vice president of sales and marketing. “We’ve also sold a 34 SUV and a 42 Ultimate, and have several other deals currently in play. We’ve signed three new dealers, and are in talks with a few others, so we will have another announcement with final show results coming shortly, but even at this early stage we can easily call this Statement’s best-ever Miami show.”
Werner and Buis said they were thrilled with the traffic and business during the show, and were proud to receive the “Best Display” award.
“The whole Statement family pulled together to make this year’s show a total success in every way,” said Buis. “There are so many great companies displaying great boats here in Miami. To be chosen as the best of them all is a huge honor, and to go home with a stack of retail-sold orders to build is icing on the cake. From our customers who inspire us to keep raising the bar, to the way our team rallies behind great ideas to execute them with perfection, many people had a part in our success and we’d like to thank them all.”