When we got word about a new houseboating company that had been established, it was time for celebration. But this company isn’t entirely new; it’s a merger of powerful forces in the houseboating community. Thoroughbred Houseboats and Stardust Cruisers have formed Trifecta Ventures, which is a joint venture consolidating the manufacture of the three premier houseboat brands. Stardust Cruisers, Sumerset Houseboats and Thoroughbred Houseboats will now be built in an expanded manufacturing facility located in Monticello, Ky. Each brand will keep its own identity, but will be able to pull their power in the industry together. Jerry Harden will head up the company as the president.
The reason behind this merger is to lower overall cost of manufacturing by consolidating purchasing, manufacturing, service and delivery. Unlike previous economic downturns, these companies have seen the cost of raw materials and manufactured goods used in the construction of houseboats continue to rise instead of adjusting to our current economy.
These rising costs make building boats more expensive which is frustrating not only to the buyer, but to the manufacturers as well.
What does this merger mean for you as the consumer? This consolidation of manufacturing under the Trifecta Ventures umbrella has already reduced input costs and will continue to optimize the manufacturing process. This creates a better product at the best possible price for the houseboat customer, which is good news for all of us, no matter your income level. Even if you think this doesn’t apply to you because you only buy used, it does. Building more new boats will add inventory to the used market, which creates more choices there as well.
This merger is a sign of good things to come for the industry. Each brand will keep its trademark design features but will be able to incorporate the best of what each company has to offer. You’ll still see Thoroughbred, Stardust and Sumerset houseboats heading to lakes near you.