Few folks in the high-performance powerboat world, on both the industry and consumer sides, are better known than Craig Barrie. Now the past world champion offshore racer has joined Statement Marine, a St. Petersburg, Fla., builder of custom high-performance V-bottoms, center-consoles, and catamarans. He will head the company’s sales and marketing efforts in concert with Statement’s owners and founders Todd Werner and Nick Buis.
Barrie worked with Cigarette Racing Team starting in 1984 and served as its CEO from 1992 to 1999. While at Cigarette, he also owned and ran Hawk Power Marine, a go-fast boat engine company. Barrie later formed his own custom high-performance boat company, Dragon Powerboats. Now he's ready for Statement.
“I met with Todd and Nick," said Barrie. "We mulled it over a while after our meeting, and then they called me and asked, ‘Why don’t we do something together?’ I said, ‘You certainly have all the right ingredients,’ and that was it. At this point in my career, I am not into titles, but basically I am going to be the guy in charge of sales and, along with Statement’s marketing director Josh Stickles, who I got to know when we were both working for Donzi, developing our marketing program.
“Todd and Nick are hands-on owners who have built this company to the point where it’s ready to be taken to the next level,” he continued. “They have created a talented team, built an impressive product line, and they’ve delivered a surprising number of boats by selling them one at a time. We’re now creating what will be the very best dealer network in all of high-performance boating, to extend the reach of that hands-on approach to performance boaters worldwide.”
After Barrie sold Dragon several years ago, he took on the role of vice president of sales and marketing for Donzi Marine. His role at Donzi expanded significantly when the line was sold to an investment group that had also acquired the Fountain and Baja sportboat lines. Well-covered in the media, the litigation and resulting production stoppages that ensued after Donzi and Pro-Line were relocated to Washington, N.C., kept Barrie sidelined for most of the past two years.
According to Barrie, the No. 1 criterion for consideration as a Statement dealer will be industry expertise. “We’re going to add experienced dealers who know high-performance boating inside and out, and who place a strong emphasis on service,” he said.
Statement has already added new dealers Aqua-Mania of Alexandria Bay, N.Y.; Erickson Marine of Sarasota, Fla.; Fastboats Marine Group of Aventura and Pompano Beach, Fla., and Ocean Performance of Old Saybrook, Conn. The new dealers join existing Florida-based Statement dealers New Boats Direct and St Petersburg, Fla., dealer Pro Marine USA.
“Dealer interest in Statement has been extraordinary,” Barrie said, indicating that they are currently talking with several other U.S. and international dealers.