SeaRey’s success

Dan Johnson, president of the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association, is an expert on Light Sport Aircraft.

Progressive Aerodyne and its popular SeaRey amphibian represent a current-day success sufficient to generate envy in most airframe sellers. Consider these results: The company delivered 31 kits in 2010, an average of 2.5 per month during a lousy year. Plus, in the three weeks after the Sebring LSA Expo, another 14 Sea­Rey kits were ordered, upping the monthly average to four.

In less than three years, sales director Darrell Lynds (formerly with Sportair­USA) took the company from one kit a month to its current pace, along the way building a list of 1,700 very interested potential buyers. He says his 2011 orders are cash-in-hand and projects a solid year for the amphibious seaplane producer. This adds to a remarkably loyal following of 600 SeaRey aircraft builders. How can the central Florida manufacturer be doing so well?

SeaRey amphibian

Naturally, orders flow due a variety of factors, one of which is plain old salesmanship: Greeting people cordially, getting them a demo flight, and methodically following through. Another factor is a good price point. No matter how thick your wallet may be, price is always important and Darrell reports you can build a nicely equipped SeaRey for “in the $70,000s.” A SeaRey “Superkit” — meaning a Rotax 914 turbocharged engine, full glass panel, and all desirable options — will cost “in the $90,000s.” Naturally, your labor is added to these out-of-pocket costs.

Over the last two and a half years the company says two-thirds of those contacting the company express a preference for a ready-to-fly version. Indeed, the Tavares, Fla.-based company has been hard at work preparing its first SLSA for ASTM certification. Progressive Aerodyne expects to enter the factory-built market later this year. It is presently targeting a loaded model in the $120,000s, at which price SeaRey would be one of the best-priced seaplanes available. Designer Kerry Richter also has been busy, adding a folding wing option after a request from a wealthy customer who wants to carry his SeaRey on his 200-foot yacht.

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