Selling fishing boats took Beach Blvd Motorsports to the next level.
In 2007, when Andy Kent opened shop at Beach Blvd Motorsports in Jacksonville, he had no idea how immersed in the fishing world he would become.
Beach Blvd began as a pure powersports dealer, selling and servicing ATVs, motorcycles and dirt bikes. With a company-wide ethic of doing right by the customer, it grew into the area’s leading motorsports purveyor. But things really took off in 2012, when Beach Blvd took on fishing boats.
“Everyone seems to have something in common when it comes to talking fishing, it doesn’t matter if it’s inshore, offshore or freshwater,” Kent said over the phone while drowning a shiner in the St. Johns River. “Good people fish, and most people who fish are good. It’s just a good kind of customer to have. Fishermen are enjoyable to be around.”
Today Beach Blvd sells about 45 Tidewater and Ranger boats a year. They service Mercury and Yamaha outboards and provide the kind of ongoing support that earns loyalty from their customers. The dealership got involved in the fishing community, sponsoring inshore tournaments, and this ethos allowed them to expand.
The tides turned in 2018.
In 2018, Kent and his partner Greg Lingris purchased St. Johns Powersports a few miles off the St. Johns River in Palatka. They took a struggling powersports dealer and turned it around. Now Kent is looking forward to providing freshwater anglers with the same customer experience that grew the mostly saltwater customer base in Jacksonville.
With a 15-year-old son, Carson, who fishes the Bassmaster High School tournament series, bass fishing is built into family life for the Kents. They understand the wants and needs of freshwater anglers, whether it’s for serious bass tournaments or weekend outings to load a cooler with speckled perch.
Obviously, Ranger Boats are a good way to begin filling those needs. Kent envisions a separate building dedicated to fishing boats and accessories, with the most fishable aluminum boats on the market as well as the high-performance fiberglass bass boats every angler covets.
“We’re bringing Ranger to Palatka,” Kent said. “We’re looking forward to getting involved by bringing Ranger pros down for open houses and the Ranger Cup Program, which pays tournament anglers for winning if they’re fishing from Ranger boats.”
Earning trust from the community.
Beneath it all is the desire to earn the trust and friendships critical to a community dealership, and especially in the fishing industry. Kent tipped his hat to his staff for their success.
“I owe it all to our staff,” he said. “Customer service is No. 1, and everyone on staff knows it. Each one of them operates as if they owned the place.
“It’s not always about price,” he continued. “We always want to give everyone the best deal on the best boat for them. And part of that deal is the support. We want to provide the kind of service that makes customers want come back when it’s time to upgrade.”
By CAM Staff
Check out Beach Blvd Motorsports at BeachBlvdMotorSports.com.
The website for St. Johns Powersports is StJohnsPowerSports.com.