BRP and Polaris Are Now In the Boat Business Thanks to Acquisitions

It seems like everyone suddenly wants into the boat business based on moves made by BRP and Polaris in summer of 2018. 

On June 28 2018, Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP), builder of Can-Am off-road vehicles along with Ski-Doos and Sea-Doos, announced that it was buying Alumacraft Boat, a long-time builder of aluminum fishing boats. Less than one week later on July 2, Polaris announced it was buying Boat Holdings, builder of pontoon, deck and cruiser boats sold under the brands Bennington, Godfrey, Hurricane and Rinker.

To accommodate the move, BRP has created the Marine Group, made up of Alumacraft and outboard engine maker Evinrude. Together, BRP is hoping that Alumacraft and Evinrude will thrive.

“This acquisition is a natural first step for our newly formed Marine Group,” said José Boisjoli, BRP President and CEO. “In the short term, we plan to focus on network optimization to leverage the strengths of both product lines and gradually reinforce our presence in the industry. Along with our recognized approach to innovation and design expertise, we hope to eventually transform this industry and do for the marine business what we have done for the powersports business.”

Bennington QX 25 I/O Swingback

As for Polaris, it said little about its acquisition, besides that the brand paid $805 million cash to buy Boat Holdings. This is Polaris’ first foray into the world of boats, adding another mode of transport to its portfolio made up of ATVs, side-by-sides and snowmobiles.

There was another interesting boat purchase in 2018 as well that’s worth mentioning. RV builder Winnebago purchased famous boat maker Chris-Craft.