2016 Miami International Boat Show Recap Video

Watch our recap of the 2016 Miami International Boat Show at Miami Marine Stadium Park & Basin! See 5 days in 4-minutes…it will be like you were there.

From Fishing for Profit to Nonprofit Angling: Southern Fishing Charities

“We are naturally giving and like to make sure people are taken care of. Deserving people deserve good things.” – John Mitchell

With nationally televised events, competitive fishing has made its way into the mainstream. The average viewer now has a look at what fishing tournaments are all about…or do they?

While events like the Bassmaster Elite Series have prizes in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and people tuning in to follow the event from around the world, the majority of fishing tournaments don’t offer life-changing rewards or even cash prizes of any size. To most competitive fishing teams and individual anglers, it’s about much more than financial gain, trophies, or publicity gained from being shown on television.

Southern Fishing CharitiesJohn Mitchell and John Jackson (JJ) are part of a close-knit group of friends who are also successful businessmen and avid fishermen. One evening, the group was sitting around having food and drinks while discussing what was wrong with the current structure of local fishing tournaments.

Events were poorly planned, poorly attended, and did little if anything at all for local nonprofits that were in desperate need of support. The entire group of friends all felt that there was a much better way to support anglers with a passion for giving to others who also wanted to participate in a great event.

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The group worked to transform local amateur fishing tournaments into a chance for competitive friends who love being out on the water to get together and compete while raising money for a charity. After partnering with Tito’s Handmade Vodka to become  their official fishing team, John and JJ created Southern Fishing Charities (SFC) along with Tito’s Market Manager Grant Portier. “We looked at how the fishing community could give back to not just the anglers and their families, but local charities that could benefit from that,” John Mitchell says. The nonprofit they created, Southern Fishing Charities, organizes events and coordinates efforts to support local charities directly with the proceeds from each tournament.

John, Grant and JJ give all of the credit for their efforts to the man who helped introduce them to Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Scott Terry, a close friend who passed away a short time ago. John states that “Scott will forever be remembered and an important part of our team.” To honor Scott and continue his legacy, they participate in an honorary walk to benefit Lauren’s Kids, a nonprofit dedicated to preventing childhood sexual abuse.

Lauren’s Kids, which provides help and support to victims and preventative measures to prevent future abuse, was chosen by the team to serve as the primary benefactor of the SFC’s 2015 season. The organization had a direct impact on Scott Terry, which allowed him to give his best to others.

Asked what drives him to pursue so many different efforts in addition to his business, John Mitchell said that it’s the ability to give back. “Personally, I feel like I’ve been very fortunate in my life to do what I’ve done and see what life has given me. Anytime you can help somebody and give somebody a fighting chance; I believe they deserve that.”

JJ said his motivation stems from channeling his competitive drive to do good for others. “Competition has driven me to do many things, and this has given me a chance to turn it into something positive that can help a lot of great people.”

This group of friends has done just that. Through the Bluewater Babes Fish for a Cure event, the Tito’s Handmade Vodka team along with the support of Tito’s Handmade Vodka recently donated a check for $15,000. The hard work they put in is worth every bit of the payoff to the team. “We will spend every day every weekend waking up at 2am until 7pm at night in 6-foot waves in the worst conditions possible to do things like that because we believe in helping people,” said John Mitchell.

The Tito’s Handmade Vodka team encourages other people to get involved, whether that means reaching out within their local community to find causes they care about or reaching out to them about Southern Fishing Charities. “Everyone should get involved. Volunteers make what we do possible,” said JJ, who stated they are always in need of help for events.

If interested in getting involved, contact John Mitchell at john@southernfishingcharities.org or John Jackson at john@teamtitos.com. To find out more about the Tito’s Handmade Vodka Fishing Team, follow them on Facebook and southernfishingcharities.org.

2016 Miami International Boat Show Experience Recap: Frigibar Industries

The 75th Miami International Boat Show is over, but we’ll be enjoying the experiences, connections, and memories from the show for years to come. This year’s show, which took place February 11-15, marked the 50th year Frigibar took part in the event as an exhibitor. According to the Miami Herald, over 1,200 new boats were on display and over 100,000 attendees were expected for the five-day show.

Frigibar was in Booth 554 in Tent C, right next to Brownie’s Yacht Diver. “They were great booth neighbors and brought a crowd to the area,” said Oletzky.

Brownie's Yacht Diver Booth

On the Friday of the show, the Tito’s Handmade Vodka Fishing Team stopped by the Frigibar booth to host a small reception to raise money for their charity, Southern Fishing Charities. What was planned to be an hour and a half gathering lasted over three hours and turned into a highlight of the show for many. The reception received a surprise visit from NMMA President Thom Dammrich, Outdoor Channel reality star Carter Andrews of The Obsession of Carter Andrews, and many others. The event raised $500 for the charity and was something exhibitors and attendees talked about for days afterward.

Liquid Fire Fishing Team

The Liquid Fire Fishing Team and Frigibar President Shuly Oletzky

The booth also got a visit from the red-hot Liquid Fire Fishing Team. The team was recently named the sports story of the year by the Tideland News. Read more about Liquid Fire and their great team in our interview with team captain Mark Henderson.

“This was a spectacular event, and we’re glad we were able to be a part of it. It’s hard to imagine all of the hard work that was done behind the scenes to pull this off just 16 months after it was first announced that the event would be coming to Miami Marine Stadium,” said Oletzky. The stadium was last used in 1992 and was renovated to bring the Miami Boat Show to the venue for its first event in over 20 years.

The venue did not disappoint. “My favorite aspect of this year’s show is that we were actually on the water! It felt like a real Florida boat show where everyone could enjoy the beautiful views of the beach, and the boats were in the water. It was something missing from previous shows and it added a special element to this year’s show,” said Oletzky.

There were many other firsts experienced by attendees and exhibitors at this year’s show. Organizers invested in free land and water shuttle services for attendees and there were over 10,000 available parking spaces. “There was a relaxed feel to the whole event even with it being so busy. The show was easy to navigate, there were tons of food options, and the NMMA (National Marine Manufacturers Association) staff was working directly with exhibitors and attendees to quickly help when any help was needed. The show got better each day,” said Oletzky.

During a pre-event interview on AM 880 The Biz, which aired Tuesday, February 9, Cathy Rick-Joule, NMMA Vice President of the Miami Boat Show said, “We believe we’ve found the future home of the boat show for many, many, many years to come at Miami Marine Stadium Park and Basin.” We’re excited to see how the show takes advantage of the great space and location Miami Marine Stadium provides.

NMMA Vice President Cathy Rick-Joule announced her retirement at the show. “Cathy means so much to me and is the reason I’m so involved in the show. She’s caring and thoughtful, and really helped in my transition to President of Frigibar and making sure our family-owned business would still be involved in the Miami Show, there are no words to express my gratitude for her guidance and friendship over the years.” said Oletzky. Rick-Joule will provide guidance in a consulting role to ensure a smooth transition going forward. Frigibar would like to thank Rick-Joule for her support and amazing work with the NMMA and Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show.

Next up, Frigibar President Shuly Oletzky will be visiting the 31st Annual Palm Beach International Boat Show (March 17-20). After exhibiting for the five-day Miami show, Shuly will be able to speak with exhibitors and attendees at the show as an attendee herself. “The Palm Beach Show is such a fun show and will be a great time. It’s always great to exhibit at a show, but this will be a refreshing opportunity to get out from behind the booth and network with all of the exhibitors and see the whole show,” said Oletzky.

“If you didn’t get a chance to come this year, come next year (to the Miami Beach International Boat Show). It’s only going to get better,” said Oletzky to end our post-event interview. Dates for the 2017 Miami International Boat Show have not yet been released. Follow the show on Facebook for updates and news.

About Frigibar Industries, Inc.

Frigibar Industries, Inc. is one of the longest established manufacturers of marine refrigeration. Frigibar was started in 1971 by Founder and President Sheldon Oletzky, a twenty-one year veteran of the United States Navy and experienced aerospace engineer. In 2011, Sheldon’s daughter Shuly Oletzky took on the role of CEO and President of Frigibar and strives to grow the company’s legacy of providing the best in marine refrigeration. These freezers have taken on a secondary meaning; on-deck fiberglass freezers are referred to by boat builders and owners worldwide as Frigibars. Frigibar provides hand-crafted, marine refrigeration systems of the highest quality.

Follow Frigibar on Twitter, Instagram, and like our Facebook page to keep updated throughout the year and see what we’re up to.

Discussing the Miami International Boat Show on AM 880 THE BIZ Entertaining Business with Frigibar & NMMA

“The 75th Anniversary of the Miami International Boat Show has a new home – back in Miami where it started in 1941,” said Cathy Rick-Joule, VP of the Miami International Boat Show for the NMMA (National Marine Manufacturers Association). The show was previously located at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Rick-Joule and Frigibar President and NMMA member Shuly Oletzky joined Nora Adler and Jesse Stolow on AM 880 The BizEntertaining Business to talk about the upcoming Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show. Listen to the full interview here:

“We’re gearing up for the Miami International Boat Show, which is a consumer show. We’re looking forward to having the opportunity to meet with our customers to have them have a hands on opportunity to touch, feel, and see our products,” said Oletzky. When asked to explain what her company does, she said, “Frigibar Industries is the manufacturer of fiberglass marine refrigeration equipment. We make freezers, refrigerators. We also do dry storage options (including) dock boxes and deck boxes. We also build for boat builders and (superyacht) refit yards as well.”

Frigibar Freezer

Frigibar Captain Freezer

The upcoming show will showcase many new activities, opportunities and attractions for attendees, highlighted by their new location — the newly renovated Miami Marine Stadium. This will mark the first time in 46 years the Miami International Boat Show is hosted in a new location. “We finally have the opportunity to provide enough parking not only for attendees, but for vendors,” said Rick-Joule, who also mentioned that over 10,000 parking spots will be available for attendees. “I remember going to the stadium (Miami Marine Stadium) when I was a kid watching concerts and boat races. That was the place to go – it was an event to go down for (to be there),” said Oletzky.

The show brings a lot more than boats and attendees to Florida and the city of Miami. “This is a $600 million economic impact event. About 25% of our customers come from outside of the state of Florida. Many of them are international. We have a very significant South American influence. Out-of-towners spend $80 million while they’re here during their visit. The product sales result in about $30 million of sales tax for the state. Two-hundred thousand hotel rooms are filled, and I think most importantly – the people that come to the show take away a very positive memory of a beautiful paradise that we are lucky enough to live in,” said Cathy Rick-Joule.

The 75th annual Miami International Boat Show also marks a significant milestone in the history of Frigibar Industries, Inc. “This is our 50th year participating in the show, which we’re very excited about. We’re in Tent C Booth 554. Anybody that would like to come down, we’d love to see you. Come and enjoy a fantastic experience,” said Oletzky.

Attendees 15 and under receive free admission to the show. To learn more and to get your tickets, visit: www.MiamiBoatShow.com. If you would like to learn more about Frigibar visit www.frigibar.com. Come out and enjoy the show (February 11-15).

Additional interview quotes:

  • “It’s the gathering of the marine industry.” – Cathy Rick-Joule
  • “You have the opportunity to control your experience when you come to the show…You can have your parking ticket in hand, know where everything is before you leave your house. That wasn’t possible before. You don’t have to hope for that one parking spot.” – Cathy Rick-Joule
  • “We believe we’ve found the future home of the boat show for many, many, many years to come at Miami Marine Stadium Park and Basin.” – Cathy Rick-Joule
  • “We are fortunate to have wonderful, mindful, kind business owners like Shuly participate in our events. They build a wonderful product; they stand behind their product. She stands shoulder to shoulder with many other manufacturers that run the same type of business. We have an association of members that are absolutely fantastic.” – Cathy Rick-Joule

About Frigibar Industries, Inc.

Frigibar Industries, Inc. is one of the longest established manufacturers of marine refrigeration. Frigibar was started in 1971 by Founder and President Sheldon Oletzky, a twenty-one year veteran of the United States Navy and experienced aerospace engineer. In 2011, Sheldon’s daughter Shuly Oletzky took on the role of CEO and President of Frigibar and strives to grow the company’s legacy of providing the best in marine refrigeration. These freezers have taken on a secondary meaning; on-deck fiberglass freezers are referred to by boat builders and owners worldwide as Frigibars. Frigibar provides hand-crafted, marine refrigeration systems of the highest quality.

Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and like our Facebook page to keep updated throughout the year and see what we’re up to.

 

Frigibar Exhibiting for 50th Time at Miami International Boat Show

The 2016 Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show, February 11-15, will mark the 75th year for the event. For Frigibar Industries Inc., this year’s show marks the 50th consecutive year being involved in the show. Asked what the 50th year of Frigibar’s involvement in the show meant to her, Frigibar President Shuly Oletzky said, “To do anything for 50 years is amazing, and I think it speaks volumes to the relationships we’ve built with those that have supported us along the way.”

Frigibar Booth at MIBS 2016

Frigibar at MIBS 2016

Frigibar has been in the Oletzky family for the past 45 years, previously known as Frigibar Marine. The company manufactures luxury marine refrigeration products in Miami, Florida, and has kept manufacturing in the United States for the entire existence of the company. Frigibar will showcase high-quality marine freezers and refrigerators in front of the 100,000+ attendees of the five-day event as an exhibitor.

The Miami International Boat Show is one of the largest shows in the world and presents a unique opportunity for companies like Frigibar. Without a retail location, Frigibar utilizes boat shows to interact with customers and give people a chance to see and touch refrigerators and freezers that can add value to their boat or yacht. “I don’t know anywhere you could put a pop-up store and get 100,000 people to visit you,” said Oletzky.

Frigibar at the 2016 MIBS

Due to the participation of hundreds of boat builders, shipyards, independent boat owners, and other marine industry companies, the show brings the entire industry together in one location. “Because of the setup of the show, I’ve been able to show a customer exactly how one of our units would fit in an exact replica of their yacht because the company they purchased their vessel from is an exhibitor as well. This adds tremendous value to what Frigibar is able to provide for our customers,” says Oletzky, who isn’t shy about how much she enjoys the Miami International Boat Show. “I love it! I love that people are there have a good time and sharing the experience with their family or spouses.”

This year’s show will bring thousands of boats and exhibitors together with fans and customers in South Florida at the Miami Marine Stadium Park & Basin. There will be over 10,000 available parking spaces with free shuttle bus and water taxi service. To purchase tickets in advance or for more information about the show, visit MaimiBoatShow.com.

To meet with Frigibar President Shuly Oletzky at the show, contact Frigibar ahead of time, or just stop on by during the event. Frigibar will be exhibiting in the C Tent at Booth C554.

About Frigibar Industries, Inc.

Frigibar Industries, Inc. is one of the longest established manufacturers of marine refrigeration. Frigibar Industries, previously Frigibar Marine, was purchased in 1971 by Sheldon Oletzky, a twenty-one year veteran of the United States Navy and experienced aerospace engineer. In 2011, Sheldon’s daughter Shuly Oletzky took on the role of CEO and President of Frigibar and strives to grow the company’s legacy of providing the best in marine refrigeration. These freezers have taken on a secondary meaning; on-deck fiberglass freezers are referred to by boat builders and owners worldwide as Frigibars. Frigibar provides hand-crafted, marine refrigeration systems of the highest quality.

Follow Frigibar on Twitter, Instagram, and like our Facebook page to keep updated throughout the year and see what we’re up to.

Recap of the 9th Annual Get Down to Business Lunch to Benefit Easter Seals Florida

On January 20th, the 9th Annual Get Down to Business Lunch to Benefit Easter Seals Florida took place at the Kravis Center Cohen Pavilion in West Palm Beach. The sold out crowd of over 340 business leaders, philanthropists and entrepreneurs joined together for a day to support a great cause, network, and learn from others.

The event was highlighted by bestselling author of The Fred Factor and keynote leadership speaker Mark Sanborn. “Out of all of the years I’ve done this, there was something extra special about this event. The biggest thing I took away from Mark’s (Mark Sanborn) message is that you never know the impact you can have on someone by doing your best,” says Frigibar Industries, Inc. President and Easter Seals Florida Board Member.

From CEOs to entry-level employees, each person who represents a company can make a significant impact on others by going above and beyond what is considered to be a standard level of service. Mark gave examples of this through the story of Fred, a postman who was more concerned about people’s mail than those who were receiving the mail. His passion and hard work developed into the admiration of all the people he provided services for.

Leadership is often misunderstood as forceful commands by a person in a position of power. “Management is power over people. Leadership is power with people,” said Sanborn, empowering the audience to positively influence employees and others instead of using forceful management.

The theme of working together to accomplish mutual goals was also exampled by the organizing team. “It’s a great and rewarding representation of the power of people working together for a cause greater than themselves in a community,” says Oletzky about the event. Asked what the most rewarding aspect of the event was, Oletzky replied, “seeing everything come full circle and watching how much people enjoyed and got out of what we helped to put together. This event is unlike anything else in the area.”

Over the past nine events, the Get Down to Business Lunch has raised more than $600,000 to directly support the local programs of the Igoe-Amar Child Development Center through Easter Seals Florida. Out of every dollar, 91 cents is used to directly support these programs in the West Palm Beach area.

February brings another opportunity to support Easter Seals Florida during the PGA’s The Honda Classic, which takes place February 22-28. American Honda Birdies for Children is a fundraiser that donates 110% of pledged gifts while fans of the tournament guess the total number of birdies made during the tournament. The winner will receive a brand new 2016 Honda. In the event of a tie, a blind drawing from all of the correct guesses will determine the winner. Additional prizes will be randomly drawn. Donations can be made on The Honda Classic website here.

For more information about Easter Seals Florida, please visit EasterSeals.com/Florida, or contact Heather R. Weisbrod at 561.471.1688 ext. 133 or email at hweisbrod@fl.easterseals.com.

About Frigibar Industries, Inc.

Frigibar Industries, Inc. is one of the longest established manufacturers of marine refrigeration. Frigibar was started in 1971 by Founder and President Sheldon Oletzky, a twenty-one year veteran of the United States Navy and experienced aerospace engineer. In 2011, Sheldon’s daughter Shuly Oletzky took on the role of CEO and President of Frigibar and strives to grow the company’s legacy of providing the best in marine refrigeration. These freezers have taken on a secondary meaning; on-deck fiberglass freezers are referred to by boat builders and owners worldwide as Frigibars. Frigibar provides hand-crafted, marine refrigeration systems of the highest quality.

 

Frigibar Exhibiting at Refit International 2016 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

The Refit International Exhibition and Conference, taking place January 28-29 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, is a new trade event from Professional BoatBuilder Magazine. The show will start a day after the International Marina and Boatyard Conference, also held in Ft. Lauderdale.

refitlogofinal

Refitting is the process of updating a used boat or yacht to fit the wants and needs of current or future owners. Refitting can include repairing, restoring, mending, and completely renovating a vessel. The Refit International Exhibition and Conference was created to share ideas, information and resources on boat refitting.

The two-day event runs concurrently with an exhibition area, which will include marine refrigeration manufacturer Frigibar Industries, Inc. and is free to attend. The exhibitors will give attendees, including boat builders and enthusiasts, an opportunity to meet with many companies that can help them with projects and restoration. “We want to make sure boat yards and boat builders know that we have products and services that can help them during the refit. We can do custom jobs for refits as well,” says Frigibar President Shuly Oletzky.

Manufacturing marine refrigeration products in Miami, Florida for over fifty years, many boats and yachts around the world proudly utilize Frigibar cockpit freezers, deck boxes, and more, many of which several decades old. Frigibar will discuss how to properly care for units, restore and fix them with the crews and builders at the show. “There are a lot of boatyards in the area that might not be aware that we do more than aftermarket products. We can help them to design and build a custom solution,” says Oletzky.

Not having a retail space, boat shows provide an excellent opportunity for builders and boat owners to meet with Shuly Oletzky and experience Frigibar freezers and refrigerators in person. “I love meeting boat owners and builders to network with and learn about their vessels,” says Oletzky, who learned about the event from US Superyacht Association (USSA) Association Manager Kitty McGowan. Shuly continued, “we invite attendees to come and visit us at Booth 229, and are really looking forward to the show!”

Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and like our Facebook page to keep updated throughout the year and see what we’re up to.

Frigibar to Participate in 11th Annual St. Maarten Captain’s Briefing and Golf Outing

January 25-26, Frigibar will participate in the 2016 USSA St. Maarten Captains Briefing and Golf Outing. The event will center around the superyacht industry, which is a $26B industry worldwide, and the current opportunities and issues related to it. Some of the world’s top Captains and Senior Crew members will participate in the event’s activities and will be available to network with.

This will be Frigibar’s first year participating in the event, and President Shuly Oletzky is excited about the opportunity to learn first-hand from the superyacht captains and their staffs who will be in attendance. “I’m really looking forward to having the opportunity to meet these captains and their Senior Crew members. While exhibiting in the superyacht pavilion at the METSTRADE tradeshow in Amsterdam this past November, I learned a lot about the superyacht industry and how our company can properly serve them. I’m interested in spending some time with the captains and crews, getting to know the other sponsors involved in the event, and having the opportunity to visit some clients while on the island,” said Oletzky.

st-marteenThe two-day event includes networking opportunities, captain’s round table breakfast, pick-up rugby, beach games, a golf outing, awards, and more. For a full schedule of events and to register to participate, visit the registration page here, or contact Kitty McGowan of the U.S. Superyacht Association at 954-608-6966. Email: info@ussuperyacht.com.

About Frigibar Industries, Inc.

Frigibar Industries, Inc. is one of the longest established manufacturers of marine refrigeration. Frigibar was started in 1971 by Founder and President Sheldon Oletzky, a twenty-one year veteran of the United States Navy and experienced aerospace engineer. In 2011, Sheldon’s daughter Shuly Oletzky took on the role of CEO and President of Frigibar and strives to grow the company’s legacy of providing the best in marine refrigeration. These freezers have taken on a secondary meaning; on-deck fiberglass freezers are referred to by boat builders and owners worldwide as Frigibars. Frigibar provides hand-crafted, marine refrigeration systems of the highest quality.

Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and like our Facebook page to keep updated throughout the year and see what we’re up to.

How Frigibar Approaches Customer Service

“You’ve reached the wrong department, let me transfer you to someone who can help.”

“But I’ve already been transferred five times,” you say as you’re ready to cancel your service or return a product because of bad customer service. We’ve all been there before.

In January, President Shuly Oletzky published an article on customer service on the Huffington Post Business Blog titled “Using Customer Service as a Competitive Advantage: 5 Ways to Help Customers Love You.” In the article, Shuly explains her frustration with companies that avoid using customer service as a competitive advantage for their business. “There’s a big issue when it comes to customer service — many companies simply don’t provide it…,” says Oletzky.

“As a business or entrepreneur, if you truly care about your customers and their experiences with your company, customer service should be at the top of your ‘important things to do’ list, and not approached like an afterthought,” says Oletzky, who feels excellent customer service is just as important as providing a high-quality product. “Good service makes people feel important and valued. Keeping customers happy isn’t rocket science. It does take time and will cost money, but the return is what keeps you in business.”

Delivery of two new Frigibar freezer/refrigerators

Satisfied Frigibar Customers


Customer service means something different for each business. For Frigibar, it can mean driving several hours to inspect a Frigibar Freezer that may need maintenance, or personally delivering a new refrigerator unit to a new customer. The image above was taken after Shuly Oletzky drove to Marco Island (roughly two hours away from Miami) to meet with new customers and hand-deliver their new freezers.

Frigibar works with each person we come into contact with as if they are a customer we’ve known for decades; putting their needs first, even if that means referring them to a different company to find their perfect solution. “If another product on the market suits their needs better, I’ll refer them elsewhere without hesitation. Exceptional customer service includes being a good resource and looking out for your customer’s best interest no matter what. Just because someone may not be the right customer today, doesn’t mean they won’t be in the future.”

Read “Using Customer Service as a Competitive Advantage: 5 Ways to Help Customers Love You” on the Huffington Post Business Blog here!

Whether you’re looking for a fish box for your competitive fishing team’s boat, a cockpit refrigerator/freezer, or something completely different, we invite you to contact Frigibar. We are happy to help.

Building the Perfect Boat: Interview with Jeff Rhodes of Coastal Craft

“The most valuable lesson I’ve learned has been to truly listen and understand the needs and wants of the customer.”

Jeff Rhodes, Founder of Coastal Craft Welded Aluminium Boats Ltd., has built much more than quality aluminum boats and yachts over the past couple of decades; he’s built one of the most admired boat-building businesses in North America.

Twenty years ago (1996), Jeff started Coastal Craft with the vision to “design strong, safe, and hardworking aluminum boats.” Based in British Columbia, Coastal Craft has won several awards and titles, including the 2014 AIM Editor’s Choice for Best Motoryacht in the 60-69’ category.

Jeff Rhodes of Coastal Craft

Yacht purchases are often in the millions and the buyers put a significant amount of time and care into their decision. When building a boat for the specific wants and needs of luxury customers, there are hundreds of moving parts and considerations. According to Jeff, the hardest and most important part of the process is going through the design phase of a project with the future owners. “Sometimes working with them through the education process is needed to make sure there is a solid understanding of what they want and how we can create that. Sometimes you’re debating constructively to make sure you won’t disappoint in the end,” says Jeff, who stresses going above and beyond for each customer.

Recently, Coastal Craft built a custom 65’ Concord that includes an interior elevator and exterior lifts, both of which the company had never done before. Jeff and his team worked to problem solve for the customer and researched how other yachts had incorporated elevators into their structure. After finding a local company that could provide the lifts and elevator, they worked with them to design the boat to ensure it could be fitted properly with these features that one of the owners needed to properly enjoy the vessel. “We work closely with partners and rely on vendors to participate in the design of the boat to meet the customer’s needs. The design and this process can’t be undervalued or rushed through,” Jeff said.

New Yacht from Coastal Craft

In addition to unique designs and features based on individual clients, Jeff says the industry has shifted significantly over the past 10 years. “We’re not building the same types of boats. What I am seeing in the last decade is more customization in boats that are under 100 feet or even under 70 feet than in previous decades.” This change has required Coastal Craft to remain flexible in the types of yachts they build and the customization options they have available.

Every aspect of the relationship between Jeff and the soon to be owners is important. While he knows his boats and the industry better than most buyers, in the end, the customer has to decide what will fit what they want. “I can’t tell someone how they are going to use their boat, but I can use their description to help guide them in this process. I need to understand how they plan on using the boat, and that is gained through having an open dialogue with them.”

Asked about the most important aspects of buying a boat as a consumer, Jeff said, “It’s hard to just walk through a boat show and know what you’re getting. You need to carefully go through specifications and what the boat (you’re considering) is intended to do.” Jeff recommends to “fully understand how you are going to use the boat,” which may include hiring a broker to help determine and match desired use tendencies with a boat that will perform in those conditions. Jeff also suggested to “take your time and research companies you’re considering. Do not rush the process of qualifying your builder. They may be a great builder with a great reputation, but (what they build) might not match what you’re looking for. Buyers will gravitate towards a great brand, but want something that doesn’t fit what the builder makes.”

Our biggest takeaway from the interview with Jeff Rhodes is the importance of defining exactly what you intend to use the boat for and research builders or available boats that may fit what you want. Buyers can avoid commonly made mistakes by hiring a certified professional yacht broker or speaking with others who have gone through the process from start to finish and are satisfied with their boat.

Did you enjoy this interview? Also read 8 Custom Boat Building Considerations: What Buyer’s Need to Know. To contact Jeff Rhodes and Coastal Craft, call 604-886-3004 or visit CoastalCraft.com.