Selecting the Right Dealer for Your Boating Lifestyle

 

News from Sportsmanslifestyle.com

Look for These Three Must-Have Characteristics

With many of us coming out of our winter slumber and getting reacquainted with the outdoors, the rush to find new ways to explore has led many to take up boating. It is the perfect activity to spend time making memories with the family, while still abiding by any lingering social distancing requirements in your area. If you’re new to boating, you probably don’t know exactly what boat fits your needs, though you’ve already dreamed of future memories of your on-the-water adventure – whether it’s casting a line or cruising with family and friends. If you’re an experienced boater and ready for an upgrade, you’ve likely made up your mind on the type of boat and the manufacturer, and maybe some of the accessories that are important to you.

 

 

Smart manufacturers, like Manitou, maker of performance and leisure pontoon boats, offer a configurator on their website, manitoupontoonboats.com, that lets customers explore the features and options of their models to help with the boat buying decision-making process. You can even print out your boat of choice and list of options and bring it to your dealer to help start the conversation.

Selecting the Right Dealer for Your Boating Lifestyle With many of us coming out of our winter slumber and getting reacquainted with the outdoors, the rush to find new ways to explore have led many to take up boating.

Look for These Three Must-Have Characteristics – Online Configurator

If you are new to buying a boat, the right dealer will ask the right questions to help you hone in on the right boat for you. No matter where you are in your boating journey, remember that not every dealer is created equal. Here’s a list of our top three characteristics to look for while selecting your boat dealer.

1.     They listen to the kind of memories you want to create.

When selecting the right dealer for you, don’t be lured in by the showroom. I know I could spend hours in a showroom, whether for new cars, motorcycles and especially boats. What you really are looking for is the connection with someone that listens to you, understands your passion, and is genuinely interested in showing you the right boat for your needs. An experienced dealer is knowledgeable of the latest offerings and options available. They can take your description of the kinds of memories you want to make and translate that into reality.

Are you looking for early weekend starts, right as the sun comes up to cast a line? You’ll probably want a boat with plenty of lockable rod storage, so your equipment is safe and ready to go at a moment’s notice.

Are you looking for memories of cruising around calm waters enjoying conversation with family and friends while taking in the scenery? Comfortable seating for plenty of guests is a necessity.

Are you looking for the thrill of a lifetime and want to be able to tow a tube or skiers? A high-performance, twin-engine model with easy entry and exit points to the water is what you are looking for.

The right dealer should take all this information and guide you through your decision-making process. They can also help you wade through any important decision-making – such as navigating local regulations and help you find the best boat for your particular style and budget.

2.     You’re more than a quick sale, you’re part of their boating family.

Almost any salesman can work you through the paperwork and hand you the keys to your new boat. But there’s more to boat ownership than just “sign and buy.” The most important part of the customer-dealer relationship is that your dealer sees themselves as your partner in your boating experience. They will explain the boat’s features and when to use them, giving you more knowledge than a basic walkaround. They are knowledgeable and share their expertise with you. Your dealer-of-choice will be the professionals that walk you through the day-to-day maintenance and how to keep your boat in top shape to maximize your investment and your enjoyment on-the-water. They will also have up-to-date tips on where the fish are biting or potential hazards like high water flow due to recent rain.

Selecting the Right Dealer for Your Boating Lifestyle With many of us coming out of our winter slumber and getting reacquainted with the outdoors, the rush to find new ways to explore have led many to take up boating.

Look for These Three Must-Have Characteristics – Knowledgeable of the Product Line

(Photo Courtesy of Lockhart’s Odyssey)

3.     They offer a full-service operation.

Once you make your purchase, your local dealer will become your main point of customer service, usually through the life of your boat. They will be who you go to for parts and equipment. They will probably even be the team of mechanics that provide any maintenance and repairs. Depending on where you live, your dealer will be the spot you store your boat for the winter or hurricane season. Overall, they will be a vital part of the ongoing security and protection of your boat.

Selecting the Right Dealer for Your Boating Lifestyle With many of us coming out of our winter slumber and getting reacquainted with the outdoors, the rush to find new ways to explore have led many to take up boating.

Look for These Three Must-Have Characteristics – Make Your Dreams a Reality

It’s easy enough to put pen to paper and write out what kind of dealer is best for your boating lifestyle, but what does it look like in real life? We spoke to Kim and Brad Lockhart of Lockhart’s Odyssey in Courtland, Ontario. Lockhart’s Odyssey stocks inventory for all BRP brands, including: Can-Am ATVs, Can-Am Side by Sides, Can-Am Spyder, Sea-Doo, Ski-Doo, Manitou pontoons, and Alumacraft aluminum fishing and crossover boats. Founded in 1997 in a small barn, the Lockhart’s wanted to focus on providing the highest level of customer service, good old-fashioned values, and “a part of the family” feel that over the years have brought them many loyal customers.

Kim said, “Too many options can be confusing and intimidating to the boat buyer. We found that our best chance of success is to know our customers and order the most popular packages that we feel people will have on their wish list. Manitou has been very successful in the past by minimizing the clutter and focusing on offering just a few, amazing options that customers love. It makes inventory and production more attainable for both the dealer and consumer.”

To explore the models and options available, build your own pontoon, or to find a Manitou dealer near you, visitwww.manitoupontoonboats.com. Don’t forget to follow Manitou on their Facebook and Instagram profiles and subscribe to the Manitou YouTube channel.