Dealers join to form Boater’s Edge

CHAPIN, S.C. – The name Boater’s Edge will soon be attached to 37 boat retail centers in the United States in 15 states, according to a press release from the organization today. Formed under the auspices of parent organization Boat Dealers Alliance, each location will remain independently owned and operated while providing retail buyers with new services to enhance the boating experience. Priority service, Bow-to-Stern Extended Service Contracts, Certified Pre-Owned Extended Warranty, Competitive Retail Financing and Learn How-To-Boat Seminars are some of the items the dealerships will collectively be offering.

“All of our members are actively involved in the day-to-day operations of their dealerships,” states Bob vanVollenhoven, BDA executive director. “Unlike other business models, these owners aren’t looking for an exit strategy. Instead they enjoy providing personalized service, diversified products matched to each geographic area they serve and nimble management these challenging economic times require to succeed.”

Boater’s Edge dealers represent nearly 70 brands. Rather than rise and fall on the fortunes of a single brand, the group enjoys strong partnerships with industry vendors who also recognize the need for a nationwide marketing effort combined with individual best practices that develop from local entrepreneurial spirit.

“There are different boating needs in different parts of the country,” said Mike Hebert, owner of Texas Marine and Boater’s Edge group president. “We feel one of the challenges that the bigger conglomerates have come up against is a more limited product offering. Because our members are not tied to one manufacturer, we believe this will be an advantage for the group.”

“Boat manufacturers want quality retailers,” vanVollenhoven said. “That’s what Boater’s Edge will bring. All of our dealers were early adopters of 5-Star Certification and last year half of them were recognized as (Boating Industry)Top 100 Dealers. Our strategy is to grow the organization over the next few years while expanding the coast-to-coast services for customers who travel with their boat.”

When launched later this year, the group’s Web site,, will serve as a resource link to locate Boater’s Edge dealers, offer a comprehensive used boat listing site and include a social network for boaters to share destinations and boating tips. The site will be updated in phases.

To read more about the Boat Dealers' Alliance and Boater's Edge dealers from the June issue of Boating Industry magazine, click here.

Boater’s Edge Dealers

  • Alabama: Buck’s Island Marina, Southside
  • California: Bayport Yachts, Newport Beach
  • Connecticut: Boats Incorporated, Niantic
  • Georgia: Custom Marine, Statesboro
  • Florida: Thunder Marine, St. Petersburg/Englewood; Plantation Boat Mart & Marina, Tavernier
  • Illinois: Cope Marine, O’Fallon; Spring Brook Marina, Seneca
  • Maine: Port Harbor Marine, South Portland/Raymond/Holden/Rockport/Bucksport
  • Massachusetts: 3A Marine Services, Hingham
  • Minnesota: Wayzata Marine, Wayzata; Minnetonka Marine, Minnetonka
  • Missouri: Cope Marine, Branson; Smithville Marine, Smithville; Village Marina & Yacht Club, Eldon/Osage Beach
  • New Jersey: Irwin Marine, Red Bank
  • Ohio: Beaver Park Marina, Lorain
  • South Carolina: Outdoor RV & Marina World, Columbia/Myrtle Beach/Greer/Summerville/Chapin
  • Texas: Boat Town, Austin/Lakeside/San Antonio; Phil Dill Boats, Lewisville; Texas Marine & Brokerage, Texas Marine of Beaumont/Texas Marine of Houston/Texas Marine of Clear Lake/Texas Marine Yachts & Brokerage – League City
  • Utah: Robertson Marine, Salt Lake City
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