Sea Ray announced the launch of its all-new SLX 260 and SLX 260 OB, the company’s first boat designed by an all-women team and the first sport boats to showcase the new SLX design language. Led by Sea Ray Senior Design Manager Carrie Fodor and Brunswick Boat Group Senior Industrial Designer Kristin McGinnis, the vessel further highlights Brunswick’s culture of diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace and the positive impact that creating opportunities for women can bring to the marine industry.
“This launch not only sets a new benchmark for design, but further celebrates the advantages that a diverse workforce brings to the marine industry,” said Aine Denari, Brunswick Boat Group president. “Carrie and Kristin are rising stars in our industry, and I am thrilled to see their success.”
Fodor grew up on the Great Lakes in a boating family and joined the company in 2008. Throughout her early education, she developed a passion for drawing and art. While exploring career paths as a student at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, she discovered that boat design could offer her the ability to use her talents to create exciting and impactful products for the marine industry.
“This SLX 260 project has been a long time in the making and I’m so excited to finally be able to share this new boat with the world,” said Fodor. “For any woman or minority that didn’t realize a career in the marine industry or the ability to design a boat was an option, this is proof that you can do something great.”
McGinnis, for her part, never intended to be a designer. Growing up, she originally planned to pursue a law degree. Inspired by famous women designers that came before her, and embracing her love for cars and drawing, she returned to the University of Cincinnati for a design degree at the age of 25. An internship with Brunswick Boat Group brands Sea Ray and Boston Whaler led to her hiring in the summer of 2016 as part of the company’s design engineering team.
“I was surprised to learn that a career in boat design existed and how closely connected it is to the automotive industry,” said McGinnis. “Designing a boat is an amazing career where you can make a huge impact in a short amount of time. I am very excited to have had the opportunity to be a part of this team and grateful for the trust Brunswick placed in me and my colleagues.”
Together with their SLX 260 design team, they combined feedback from in-person customer interviews and surveys, inspiration from the elements in architecture, fashion and nature, and all-new Sea Ray design language to produce this vessel.
“We are proud of the exceptional work our designers have brought to this and so many other projects,” said Denari. “This team epitomizes our commitment to maintaining diversity in our leadership ranks, inspiring underrepresented groups to work in the marine industry and transforming marine culture into a more inclusive and inviting community.”