Marine Connection, Boating Industry Top 100 Dealer of the Year in 2021, has begun the new year by acquiring the majority interest in Boaters Exchange, a successful 20-year retail dealership with two Central Florida locations including Rockledge and New Smyrna Beach.
Marine Connection now owns and controls 80% ownership of Boaters Exchange, with 20% split between former partners and co-owners Jerry Butz and Paul Berube, both of whom remain onboard to manage operations of the $30M retail dealership and its 42 employees.
“We have been focused to expand our Florida footprint in Central Florida because of its tremendous growth potential,” said Marine Connection co-owner Danny Goldenberg. “We have been very strategic and selective in this effort and are extremely pleased to have acquired an outstanding dealership organization with an impeccable reputation and strong management team in place.”
The acquisition brings Marine Connection to nine Florida locations, now with more than 100 employees and $100M+ in sales.
“We believe there are many distinctive advantages and benefits to this acquisition and expansion, both for our customers as well as for our team,” added Marine Connection co-owner John Kutuk. “Our customers statewide enjoy the benefit and resources of working with a top sales and service organization, with locations from Key West to the Central Florida and Daytona Beach area, with plans for continued future expansion into northern Florida. In addition, the Boaters Exchange team brings strong leadership to our organization, along with a wealth of experience in specific market segments including pontoons and jetboats.”
Boaters Exchange will retain its brand name due to strong customer awareness in the marketplace. It has ranked in the Boating Industry Top 100 for 11 consecutive years, earned the “Best Industry Advocate” in the 2020 Best in Class awards, and boasts a 98% CSI rating. It is a Top 5 dealer for both NauticStar and Everglades, including a Customer Service Excellence award for the latter. Other brands represented include Yamaha, Bennington, Avid, Maverick, Hewes, Pathfinder and Cobia. Boaters Exchange is also a Yamaha Key Dealer and is Five Star Gold Certified. The dealership has been nationally recognized as a “Best for Vets Employer” by Military Times Magazine, while earning local recognition by Florida Today including “Best of Brevard” for boat sales and service, and “Best Watercraft Dealer.”
“We are also very excited to combine forces with a strong, well-respected dealership like Marine Connection to take Boaters Exchange to the next level, while serving a wider range of customers in Central Florida,” added Boaters Exchange founder Jerry Butz.