Preparedness is Key

Bill Fenech

CEO, Barletta Boats
Bristol, Ind.

 After more than 30 years in the recreational vehicle industry, Bill Fenech made the jump to an industry that he had been a consumer in for a long time, and created Barletta Boats.

“I was growing tired of the RV industry and I needed a new mountain to climb,” Fenech said. “As a longtime boat owner of various boats, and the vast similarities between the pontoon industry and the RV industry, it just made sense.”

Fenech said that his goal right out of the gate was to create a pontoon that wasn’t just another “me too” product, mirroring other pontoons out on the market.

“No one in the segment is giving the consumer the whole package, unless it’s an option, making it confusing for both the dealer and buyer,” Fenech said. “We’re taking everything that improves the quality of the boat and making it standard.”

Fenech’s first task with the new company was compiling a team that he could entrust with the business and production of creating a premiere pontoon brand and boat.

“I can’t build a boat, but I can build a heck of a team, so that’s what I started to do in the beginning,” Fenech said.

After putting his team together, Fenech and the Barletta crew focused on creating the best product they could, taking ideas and inspirations from both the RV industry and automobile industry. 

On every level of the business, Fenech has worked to be as prepared as possible for all situations Barletta could potentially face, including looming tariffs on aluminum. 

“We locked in very early on aluminum pricing and availability for a prolonged period,” Fenech said. “However, we’re not completely immune to it. I’m hoping for a quick resolution industry-wide, but time will tell.”

In another effort of preparation for the future, Fenech said Barletta has invested in the long term, with initial spending on a full site plan for its 37 acres. 

Lastly, Fenech has tackled a large problem facing the pontoon segment of not having enough pontoons to supply every dealer. “If you can’t supply who you already have, why sign new dealers?” Fenech and the Barletta team closely monitor their production output against when they’re signing new dealers. “We will be in every major market,” Fenech added.

The future of Barletta holds a variety of new models, new features, and much more, Fenech said.

“People haven’t seen anything yet from Barletta,” Fenech added.