Covid 19 and the famous nautical victim: Evinrude

It is certain that Covid 19 will have a heavy impact worldwide on the single habits and on the economy of companies. It is early to delineate its boundaries and consequences but the first effects are emerging in all sectors.

In the world of the nautical industry, the first victim of Covid 19 has been announced, and it isn’t an insignificant name.

The Evinrude brand of outboard motors – the first one which began producing outboard motors in 1907 – will close down.

A historical brand so disappears, the one which wrote the history of the outboard boat and is perhaps the best known even to those who are inexperienced in boating.

And it is also known by the youngest: who doesn’t remember the Evirunde dragonfly from Walt Disney’s “The Rescuers“?


In the press release from the Canadian company BRP (Bombardier Recreational Products), owner of the brand, a specific reference is made to the Covid 19 epidemic as the cause of the shutdown even if problems came from further away.

Evinrude was the only brand left to build two-stroke engines, when other manufacturers had switched to four-strokes that more easily conformed to emissions regulations.

The Evinrude E-Tech series engines, characterized by high torque at low revs and brilliant accelerations while respecting emission regulations, stood out for quality and for an attractive look too.

The decision to continue in the “two-stroke” tradition, however, penalized the brand a little, which, anyway, significantly hold the position on the market especially in North America, Italy and Norway.

The BRP group, known for having built the See Doo watercraft until a few years ago, will continue the production of small recreational boats by relying on a partnership with Mercury Marine for the engines production.

At the moment there are no critical issues from other large producers – or at least they are not expressed.

Benetau, the largest European group with a range of brands largely based on automotive, declares a relatively low number of order cancellations and cautious optimism for the end of the season.
The good liquidity of the company made it possible to face the closing periods in the various producing countries, but the share price on the stock exchange saw a significant decline.

The American Marine Max, the world’s largest boat retailer, also shows optimism despite the fact that the stock market has lost 16% compared to the beginning of the year.


In Italy Sanlorenzo, a manufacturer of large luxury yachts and listed on the stock exchange since last December, thanks to a safety protocol signed with the unions, has resumed the production in Liguria and Tuscany since mid-April and should not have any delays on yachts to be delivered by July.

However, the company has launched a cost containment plan and has decided to allocate the 2019 profit to the legal reserve.

And the small business?
Small producers, artisans, storage and maintenance yards have undergone the lockdown in various ways and are now hoping for a restart.

The first indications are not completely negative.

Owners of small and medium sized boats, those who make up the largest number of Italian yachtsmen, seem to see the boat as a “refuge” for the summer. Safer than the hotels and crowded beaches, far from the so much demonized crowds.

So let’s say yes to small maintenance – aimed more to repair than to replace – and to those jobs that are still necessary.

Stuck – at least for now – the most expensive jobs and the market of new vehicles, while some signs come from the second-hand market, even here with low to medium budgets.

We are all waiting to know how much Covid 19 will have made us poorer.

And, in the meantime, we are all paying more attention to our wallet.

Which is, perhaps, not a bad thing!

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