FYI: June 2001 Page 2

FYI — June 2001
FYI — June 2001
By Brad Dunn

 More of this Feature
• Part 1: Great Lakes Limbo, and more
• Part 2: From Saturn To Neptune, and More!
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Cynthia Trudell, the first woman to run a major U.S. auto company, is going to sea. In April the 47-year-old chairman and president of the Saturn division of General Motors took control of Sea Ray.

Trudell succeeded William J. Barrington as president of the Sea Ray Group, which includes Sea Ray, Baja, and Boston Whaler. The 5,000-employee company is based in Knoxville, Tennessee. Barrington now heads the U.S. Marine Group, maker of Bayliner, Trophy, and Maxum, for Sea Ray's parent company, Brunswick. "We are extremely pleased to have an executive of Cynthia's caliber and accomplishment," says George W. Buckley, chairman and CEO of Brunswick.

That same month Brunswick announced U.S. Marine was cutting 170 jobs and suspending production at eight plants for one to five weeks. "Suspending production was the only way to bring inventories down to acceptable levels," Barrington says.


This month PBS begins airing "Cruising America's Waterways," a 13-part series that explores interesting destinations and activities for boaters. The program's three cast members, who include singer/songwriter Jonathan Edwards, travel in everything from a 30-foot cruiser to a luxury liner to rediscover America's canals, lakes, rivers, and oceans. The show's itinerary includes the Florida Keys, Champlain Canal, Thousand Islands, and Finger Lakes. ...In March Fairline opened a new 45,000-square-foot factory in Nene Valley, England. Joining chairman and managing director Derek Carter were members of the press, Fairline dealers, and the Duke of York, who toured the plant and spent time aboard a Squadron 65. Carter told the audience the facility helps Fairline meet demand for its boats both at home and overseas. ...Also in March the U.S. Supreme Court threw out a case concerning whether boatbuilders are liable for injuries or deaths caused by propellers. Rejecting an appeal by Stephen G. Lady, who lost a leg in 1995 when his PWC crashed into a pleasureboat, the High Court let stand a decade-old U.S. Coast Guard decision that boat manufacturers are not required to equip their vessels with propeller guards.

To commemorate the strict new rules for public companies that he launched as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Arthur Levitt named his new fishing boat Full Disclosure. It's fitting: The SEC rules prevent leaks of corporate data from which investors might profit; Levitt's new 27-foot Jupiter will hopefully be just as free of leaks.

Bombardier announced in March that it was recalling all 1999 and 2000 Evinrude FICHT 200- and 225-hp outboards. Some engines have been found to have fuel leaks that could result in fire or explosion, the company said in a letter to its dealers.

In February Bombardier bought the Outboard Marine Corporation (OMC) engine brands Johnson and Evinrude, after OMC filed for bankruptcy. Bombardier said it would absorb all the costs of the recall and in April created a new entity, the Boats and Outboard Engines division, that includes its Sea-Doo sportboat and Evinrude and Johnson.

After notifying dealers of the fuel leaks, Bombardier began contacting owners about repairs and upgrade kits. In a letter to dealers, Bombardier chairman Roch Lambert wrote: "This is a top priority. ...We intend to work correct this safety-related problem and get [the engines] back on the water as quickly as possible."

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This article originally appeared in the May 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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