By Adam Quandt
Whether related by blood or not, Quality Boats is all about creating and maintaining a family within the four-location dealership. That family extends from all of its team members to its customers and everyone who falls in between.
“We offer a family atmosphere,” said co-owner Dan Bair. “We are the longest-tenured family-owned and operated boat dealership in the Tampa Bay area.”
Quality Boats’ primary location in Clearwater, Fla. sits on roughly 3.2 acres of land and features two side-by-side properties. The properties feature a combined 15,500 square feet of indoor showroom space, along with a 1,500 square foot boat detailing and storage building and 1,200 square foot open-air covered boat shelter.
The dealership’s primary service location is the original location for the dealership, founded in 1974 by Ted Bair. The location offers boat and engine service repair, parts and accessories sales, boat detailing, fiberglass and gel coat repair, bottom painting, custom boat lettering and graphics design and installation, custom electronics installation, and boat delivery services.
The primary locations, along with the two other locations work together to bring a family experience to all who interact with the dealership, especially within its own team.
“Our ownership and management work alongside the rest of the team every day,” Bair said. “We truly are a hands-on operation. There is no absentee ownership.”
Bair said all of the family dedication stems from his father, Ted when he founded Quality Boats with “$40,000 and a dream.”
“His dedication, hard work and ethics laid the foundation for all others to follow,” Bair added.
The dealership’s family-based core values navigated it through the 2008 recession with no employee layoffs and have continued to
maintain a debt-free operation rising to continued success.
“While everyone seems to promote ‘the boating lifestyle,’ we focus and promote the importance of the ‘family boating lifestyle’,” Bair said.
Bair, his co-owner and brother David, and the Quality Boats family continue to push the dealership forward in relationships, growth and success, all while remaining rooted in their beliefs as a group.
Leading up to the dealership’s jump on the 2018 Top 100 to the No. 8 spot (from No. 11 in 2017), it made a number of improvements and changes through 2017. From adding new product lines in boats and engines, to new marketing tactics and digital shifts, Quality Boats consistently moves to better itself.
With new products, additional personnel and aggressive planning from the Bair brothers and management, Quality Boats rose to an almost 26% revenue increase in 2017 over 2016.
Even with continued growth, the dealership continues to set high goals for the coming years aimed at even more success.
Aside from not just maintaining position, but continued climbing of the Top 100 ranks, Bair said that he wants the dealership to also continue being rated among the top 10 dealers in sales volume for all of the dealership’s flagship boat lines: Grady-White, Pursuit, Regal and Tiara.
Yet, the team’s goals don’t stop there. Short- and long-term goals include expansion and improvements in locations, and nothing but 100% in all dealer satisfaction ratings. However, the No. 1 goal that remains for the dealership all throughout: continue building the Quality Boats family, from staff to customers.
“Trust is formed at the intersection of character and competence. We hold ourselves to the highest standard of quality and service,” Bair said. “However, as our tagline states, ‘The difference is quality, the foundation is family’.”