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Boating Industry Showing Signs of Life in the V.I. and P.R.


CHARLOTTE AMALIE – Denison Yacht Sales of Florida has opened its second office in the Caribbean, a sign of the rebound underway in the boating industry.

The company launched a locale on St. Thomas at American Yacht Harbor in Red Hook, on the island’s East End. The new office is led by Wiley Sharp, an experienced charter captain.

The expansion taps a popular market for catamarans in the Virgin Islands, an area long known for yachting because of its clear waters, white sand beaches and abundant cays.

The St. Thomas location compliments Denison Yacht’s recently opened office in the nearby island of Puerto Rico, said Bob Denison, president of the fast-growing company, which now employs 85 people in sales and service in 13 offices worldwide.

Boat sales are rebounding, thanks in part to U.S. economic recovery and more aggressive marketing online and globally by yacht sales companies, according to industry reports.
In the U.S., the National Marine Manufacturers Association forecasted five percent growth in new powerboat sales for 2015, the third straight year of sales growth coming out of the recession.

The Denison family began in Fort Lauderdale’s boating industry in 1948, launching Broward Marine first to repair boats and later to build them, too. The family now offers yachting services globally, from sales and charter to new construction and yacht management.

Denison Yacht Sales, which sells both new and pre-owned boats, has offices beyond its home base in Palm Beach Gardens, St. Petersburg and Naples in Florida; Montauk in New York; Marina del Rey, Newport Beach and San Diego in California; Holland in Michigan; Charleston in South Carolina; Seattle in Washington; Fajardo in Puerto Rico; and Antibes in France.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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