Background & Experience

Recently Ricardo Ruelos, the founder of Madison Bay Holdings served as CEO of Westship World Yachts.  Westship was a world recognized manufacturer of Super Yachts ranging in size from 105 ft. to 140 ft.  Mr. Ruelos also served as Vice President of North American and Asian sales for Sealine Yachts.

Introduction to the marine and Recreational Industry began retailing water sports equipment and accessories while competing as a tournament water skier and participating in boat racing and water ski shows. Additional earnings were generated as a result of promotion and management of water ski tournaments, boat races, ski shows and ski school.

While competing in water ski tournaments and boat racing a relationship was formed with Herb O’Brien the founder of OBRIEN INERNATIONAL, HO SPORTS, and JOBE SPORTS. This led to an active involvement in the sales of OBRIEN and extended to management and participation in all aspects of the business during the inception, start up and growth era of the company.

Initial involvement began retailing skis and establishing wholesale accounts for O’BRIEN. Ultimately assumed a management position as Vice President, and secured stock options as an original shareholder of O’BRIEN, which is still one of the leading a prestige brands of water sports products in the world.

During the following years, became involved in all areas of corporate development and growth, including overall corporate strategy, finance, product development, manufacturing, marketing and sales. This included specific involvement in the development of products utilizing injection-molded plastics, compression molded fiberglass, vinyl coating, apparel design, neoprene wet suit design, water skis, bags and accessories.

Traveled throughout the world developing new markets as well as hiring and training sales personnel. Extensive International and domestic experience was gained in global sales and marketing. Hired, trained and supervised an International sales force of 12 to 15 sales agents. Established a distribution network that was recognized as one of the best in the Marine and Sporting Goods industry. The distribution network encompassed several channels of distribution, such as:

Virtually every major Marine Dealer and chain account in the United States and Internationally. Total outlets including sporting goods dealers exceeded 2,000. The Dealer and Distribution network was one of the largest and broadest in the Marine and Sporting goods industry and included:

All major national and regional sporting goods chain stores
Independent specialty sporting goods and ski retailers.
Independent Boat Dealers throughout North America and Internationally

A market share in excess of 65% -70% was gained during this period. Operated as Vice President of O’BRIEN until the company was successfully sold to the COLEMAN CORPORATION in 1976.

Throughout the years developing O’BRIEN, maintained an ongoing involvement with various boat companies as a sales and promotional agent, and consultant. Subsequent to the sale of O’BRIEN, formed Solar Sport Corporation which was the predecessor company to Madison Bay Holdings as a finance, consulting and marketing company with the emphasis to provide direct sales services and consultation to boat manufacturers and various recreation companies.

In 1977 Solar Sport developed a beachwear division that designed and manufactured men’s beachwear or Surf Trunks that were cross marketed to the water ski and water sport industry. Solar Sport became a leading company to be one of the first companies to market Surf Wear and Beachwear to mainstream retailers such as Nordstrom, Big 5 Sports, independent sporting goods outlets, marine accessory stores, and boat dealers.

In the following year Solar Sport acquired a US Coast Guard Approval and Underwriter’s Laboratory Listing that made Solar Sport one of only two manufacturers of Type III life vests on the west coast and the only manufacturer of Type III life vests north of Los Angeles. Solar Sport also became the sole supplier of life vests as an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) to every major water ski manufacturer in the United States and also supplied prestige boat companies such as Sea Ray Boats, Supra Boats, and MasterCraft with private branded promotional life vests and beachwear. Sales increases in excess of 200% annually were achieved during the first three years as a start up organization.

Emphasis over the past twenty-five years has been with the boating segment of the marine and leisure product industry. During this period worked directly with the senior management and founders of several prestigious and successful boat companies, including:

Yachts, Cruisers, Sport Fishing

Westship World Yachts

Sealine Yachts

Sun Runner Yachts
Mainstream Runabouts

Performance Boats

Water Sports & Tournament Ski Boats


Services and Involvement with Leisure Product and Water Sport Companies Include:

O’Brien International
Fuqua Industries-Stinger Water Sports
O’NIELL Wet Suit and Sportswear
Gerry Outerwear & Ski Wear
ICONN Sports
CASAD Tow Pylons & Tow Ropes
Solar Sport Beach Wear & Life Vests

Extensive experience and knowledge in the boat business has been gained as a result of ongoing involvement and representation of these world-class boat manufacturers. Initially introduced MasterCraft and Marlin Boats nationally and regionally during the inception stages of these two pioneering companies. MasterCraft was an unknown start-up during an era which marine dealers did not believe there was a significant market size or future with inboard tournament ski boats. MARLIN was a new manufacturer of family runabouts and specialty performance boats. In spite of their lack of reputation within the boating industry specific accounts and market penetration was created and both companies became prominent and respected brand names within the marine industry.

As part of the services provided by MADISON BAY HOLDINGS, an involvement with FUQUA INDUSTRIES was developed as a consultant and regional manager for the marine and water sport division. FUQUA was a diversified conglomerate that owned several boat manufacturers and sporting goods companies, which included THUNDERBIRD BOATS, FORMULA BOATS, and PACEMAKER YACHTS.

FUQUA grew from a $500 million entity to over $2 Billion through merger and acquisition during three-year period of involvement. During this period and extensive knowledge of overall corporate strategy, merger, acquisition and operations were developed.

Madison Bay Holdings continues to leverage the experience and knowledge gained over a thirty-five year involvement in the leisure product, recreation and marine industry. In the past three years Madison Bay Holdings was directly responsible for the negotiations and completion of the acquisition of four boat companies, which were subsequently merged with other client companies to allow for extensive growth and revenue for both Madison Bay Holdings and the companies within the mergers.

In 2002 Madison Bay Holdings secured a Letter of Intent to acquire Olympic Boats and Skagit Orca Boats. At the same time Madison Bay provided services to C-Dory Marine and secured an equity position in C-Dory. Madison Bay then assigned the rights to acquire Olympic and Skagit Orca and provided ongoing services to increase the revenues of all three companies by securing commercial inventory financing and increased working capital financing. The dealer network was expanded and sales increased over 300% within two years.

2004-OSPREY Boat Company:
Participated and arranged a private loan for Osprey Boat Company and secured an option to acquire the company. Ultimately acquired the stock of Osprey Boat Company and liquidated the position for a lucrative return on investment.

2004: KCS Industries-SHAMROCK
During 2004 negotiated the acquisition and merger of SHAMROCK Boat Company. In 2003 communications began to aquire SHAMROCK from the parent company KCS Industries, Inc. KCS at the time owned and operated CRUISER’S Yachts, SHAMROCK and RAMPAGE Sport fishing Boats, with annual sales in excess of $150 million. KCS had closed the SHAMROCK factory in Cape Coral, Florida and consolidated operations into their North Carolina factory, which also produces CRUISERS and RAMPAGE Yachts up to 56 feet in length.

It was determined by KCS that SHAMROCK did not fit into the production mix and an acquisition was completed with the services of Ricardo Ruelos and Madison Bay Marine Development (MB/RR). KCS provided direct compensation to MB/RR for services and completion of the sale of Shamrock.

Industry experience has provided an expertise in many areas of the marine and recreation industry with specific emphasis on finance, corporate development, merger and acquisition, sales and marketing of various categories of fiberglass boats, ranging from cruisers and yachts, mainstream runabouts, fish boats, performance boats and tournament ski and wakeboard boats. Added experience includes a number of business ventures in the sportswear, clothing and accessory sector of the recreational and marine industry.

The involvement with a variety of prestige companies within the industry has led to an expertise in developing companies, crisis management, corporate turnarounds, merger and acquisition, bankruptcy and Chapter 11 proceedings, corporate structure and the complexities and legalities of successor liability.

Leave a Reply