NauticStar Boats Gets an Iconic Owner

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Nautic Starweb

NauticStar Boats has a new owner just weeks after the builder of offshore center consoles, hybrids and bay boats was facing an uncertain future.

Iconic Marine Group (IMG) purchased NauticStar Boats from MasterCraft Boat Holdings, a NASDAQ-listed company that produces the MasterCraft, Crest and Aviara brands. MasterCraft announced it was “evaluating strategic alternatives” for NauticStar in early August, and Fred Ross and Iconic Marine Group wasted little time in getting a deal done.

“We moved at breakneck speed to acquire NauticStar,” said IMG Managing Partner Fred Ross in a statement. “From the time we got wind of a possible deal with the previous owner MasterCraft, it took less than 45 days to put it all together.”

NauticStar will join Fountain Powerboats and Donzi Marine, builders of center console and offshore boats, in the Iconic Marine boat division. Based in Amory, Miss., NauticStar had sales of $70 million in 2021. The builder will offer 19 models in 2023 from deck boats to center consoles

NauticStar targets buyers in the 18- to 28-foot market, while Fountain and Donzi sees buyers in the 32- to 43-foot market, Ross said. Appealing to IMG is NauticStar’s dealer network, which has more than 100 dealers including One Water and Marine Max.

MasterCraft Boat Holdings acquired NauticStar in late 2017 for $79.8 million. The amount of the latest acquisition was not disclosed.

Fred Brightbill, chief executive officer and chairman of MasterCraft Boat Holdings, said the sale will better position MasterCraft for profitable growth.

“NauticStar will benefit from a new strategic owner dedicated to the future success of the brand,” Brightbill said in a statement.

Ross, who purchased Fountain and Donzi in 2016, has built a reputation as a marine industry turnaround acquisition specialist.

“Stay tuned. We’re not done yet,” Ross said.