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Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       02-06-2004, 1:16 PM Reply   
The local shop, St. George Marine, is going out of business after 17 years. They handled Centurion, Sanger and Reinell boats.

When I was in the market for a boat, I couldn't find a good reason to buy from them. I was just learning what I wanted and the attempt to convince me I needed what they had was subpar.

About 18 months ago the head mechanic left and started his own repair shop. It's booming for him. He doesn't sell boats yet but hopes to soon.

I guess I'm posting to ask why did it happen. I'm far from the inner workings of the place and don't know all of the details, but many folks here are pleased with their Centurions and Sangers, and the Reinell is generally considered a decent I/O. Our county contains 100K people and we have 3 decent reserviors within 25 minutes drive, and Lake Powell and Lake Mead both within 2 hours drive. The weather is warm from April to October.

I see poor sales and the loss of repair service the main problems - When other dealers have went out, what caused it?

(Message edited by talltigeguy on February 06, 2004)
Old     (levi)      Join Date: Feb 2001       02-06-2004, 2:17 PM Reply   
That is difficult to say...there can be so many reasons for a company to go under. You can even be too successful and that can cause you to go under if you believe that. If you grow too fast you can run out of cash and get caught in the middle. But that doesn't sound like your case. I think that a service shop is pretty key. It seems like it is definitely not the rule, but the exception to have a good boat mechanic/service if someone does have a good one then they'll most likely nab most of the biz in town. The economy does play into it some also as I think a lot of people probably didn't buy as much over the past 2 years.... How was the water situation down there last year? I know northern UT was hurting so maybe people bagged getting a boat because of that? I'm not a business owner so I'm sure there are many on here that are more knowledgable...but I think if you are reasonable in your business practices and you give great service then you should do pretty good. But boat sales in places where there is a winter definitely make it tougher if you don't carry snowmobiles and other stuff also.....

I had a boat dealership owner tell me something funny a while back. He said that only way to make a million dollars in the boating industry is to start out with 2 million! :-)
Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       02-06-2004, 4:36 PM Reply   
Good point about the water. Even though we have plenty to boat on, people routine act surprised that I wakeboard and ask 'is there any water out there?'

I'm sure some new buyers have been turned off by the severe drought.
Old    wakeboard_iraq            02-06-2004, 5:51 PM Reply   
I heard a similar statement from a sponsor about racing cars (back in the day for me). "the only way to make a small fortune in racing is to start with a large one".
Old     (justridin)      Join Date: Oct 2002       02-06-2004, 5:54 PM Reply   
Success in the marine business is usually based upon demographics and plenty of hard work, not how much water is in the vicinity or how long the season is. Add a well run business to a significant sized population with money to spend on toys and you have a fighting chance. Take one or more of those things away and it does not take long for the creditors to get nasty. 100K people is an small market, the economy has not been great plus the loss of a good service guy just would not be good for the chances of survival. In today's big box store world it always sucks to see another independent small business close their doors.

Do your local shop a service and tell them what they need to do to get and keep your business. If they listen, it might help out everyone.

P.S. Telling them to get a huge store, stock more, sell below cost, stay open seven days a week, and accept returns on everything at the end of summer just would not be helpful. LOL.

Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       02-09-2004, 10:23 AM Reply   
I forgot to mention what sucks most is they are the only Hyperlite dealer within 120 miles!
Old    bryce_04            02-09-2004, 3:57 PM Reply   
Yeah dude, I just heard they were goin out of business. That's crazy. We live in Hurricane so we took our boat to get serviced there. We now go to Roger's Performance Marine. It's a good thing he started his business or we would be SOL. If St. George were to get another dealer I hope it's Correct Craft. That would be nice since that is what we own. We had to make a trip to Cali to buy a few CC accessories.
Old     (graphik)      Join Date: Feb 2003       02-11-2004, 8:36 AM Reply   
This is a funny little story.... I'm in Canada, so there is only a 4 month boating season, and in some area's here, the sales industry is booming. I had a little jet boat before I got the Tige, and it never really ran right. Then it would start only half the time, and never in the water, so we took it to the local guy. He said there was nothing he could find, so I drove it home, put it in the water and it wouldn't start. This happened about 4 or 5 times. I kow some of these things can be tough to diagnose, but it also seemed that they didn't really have time for me, and I'd already dropped 3 or 4 hundred on them. I eventually took it somewhere else, and it got fixed the first time, Ran great until we sold it. I think it's all about the customer service. I'd never leave the mechanic I'm with now!!!
Old     (aneal000)      Join Date: Feb 2002       02-11-2004, 9:57 AM Reply   
Another thing to consider with any business is the needs of the owner. I have seen hole-in-the-wall business stay around for years. When you know the owners are living in a double wide and as happy as can be. They might consider themselves successful and happy to live off of $30K/yr. Where a 3 line boat dealer that puts in 70 hours a week and only clears $100K/year might consider themselves failing. Depending on the owners background it might be eaiser for them to go get a 9-5 somewhere and make the same money.

Just a slightly different perspective, success is extremely subjective and plays a key role in business.


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