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ContinuousWave: The Whaler GAM or General Area
|Author||Topic: Ex-Whaler Dealer|
posted 03-17-2001 03:34 PM ET (US)
I just got back from a trip to my nearest West Marine which is coincidentally next to an old Whaler dealer (John Herman Marine) in Stamford, CT. I have purchased two boats from this dealer in the past, and I love to visit his shop as it is somewhat 'old-school', there are old 13's and 17's in his yard as well as some accu-tracks, there are various canvas items and some stern and pilot seats laying around the showroom. In the back there is a vast parts room, as all good boat dealers should have. Every BW item I told him I was interested in finding, he was able to pull out of some bin, or off a rack (rail stand-offs, fuel tank mat, decals for a 13', new 3pc rub-rail...) he had a new 30HP Honda 4 Stroke running in the shop, he calls the test tank his salesman, as the running motor grabs a lot of interest just by itself.
My point of all this is; John Herman Marine is not even a real Whaler dealer. When Brunswick came in, they gave the franchise to the local Searay dealer with three locations (SurfSide3). I have been to several of these locations and observed several things. 1) The salepeople know very little about the Whaler product, and are not overly enthusistic about selling them. 2) They have little or no parts department, and forget about anything for a model more than five years old.
I am thankful that Whaler still works with these displaced dealers. These are real boat people, they know boats, they know what parts people need, and are going to need, so they stock those items. To my knowledge this dealer never took on another line of fiberglass boats after Whaler pulled the plug, he survives just off his past Whaler deals, selling new Honda motors, parts, and trading Whalers.
This is one reason that the latest Forum poll looks as it does. I would much rather buy a used Whaler from someone that knew what they were selling and had the parts and experience to back it up, than someone that doesn't and shows little interest in the product.
Sorry for the speach,
posted 03-17-2001 04:48 PM ET (US)
Dan, that is no speach that is the facts! These new dealers suck! Marine Max in Cleveland, OH. really sucks, they are slick haired Sea Ray salesmen trying to sell Whalers, a boat they don`t know or care about. If I need anything Whaler, I will drive 2 extra hours to Portage Entry Marine down the Lake farther to talk to a Real Classic Whaler Dealer. They have a good selection of used old Whalers to. The Sea Ray dealer in Erie, PA. is only 45 minutes from where my boat is in Conneaut,OH. They just started selling Whalers last summer. They have to run the poorest dealership on Lake Erie! I also know people who warned me about their bad sales practices, people say that the dealer sais what ever you want to hear, I want the truth. The bottom line is that I will go way-way-way out of my way to go to a real Whaler dealer. Portage Entry Marine also isn`t happy about having to deal Mercurys. They have sold OMC and Yamaha for years! If I were to buy a new boat it deffinately would be another brand it would probably be a Grady-White `18 Sportsman or a Penn Yan. If used, an old Whaler. Regards-Jack Graner.
posted 03-17-2001 05:03 PM ET (US)
Let's take it easy Jack!
posted 03-17-2001 05:06 PM ET (US)
Tom, it`s been a long time, I had to vent a little! I had a Brunswick moment! Regards-Jack Graner.
posted 03-17-2001 05:26 PM ET (US)
Dan, this internet is starting to make the world a lot smaller. I thought I recognized
John Herman's name. Sure enough, I dug out an old copy of the 1988 "Whaler News" and there is a feature article on him, showing a picture of him standing by a new 25 Outrage.
Article is titled "An Early Dealer Remembers" and says he first started selling Whalers in 1960. In 1988 he was a big hero of the Company. That is not good what BW did with his contract, although I'm sure there is another side to the story.
Incidentally, in this same issue is a picture of a 22 Outrage, which won one Donald McIntyre $100 for a picture of his Whaler in a "Unique Location". Name sound familiar?
posted 03-17-2001 07:37 PM ET (US)
I know the dealership well. For those who don't, it's a small inland shop. I have no doubt that it was one of the early dealerships since it has been a fixture in Stamford for as long as I can remember. My 18 Outrage was originally purchased from Herman Marine(I am the second owner). You can always tell a Herman rigged Whaler because they are meticulous. I wonder how many 13s they have sold over the years. I'll bet it has to be in the many hundreds.
posted 03-18-2001 10:56 AM ET (US)
Sound familier, nuts, it IS familier!
Larry, and others that were up last summer to Johns cabin:
That shot was taken at the south end of Fox island. If you pull a chart (or pg 44 of Richardson's latest edition) closeup, you'll note a very small channel or cut (about 30' max width) that runs in a SW/NE direction, on the lower "jaw" of the Fox. The channel terminates in a larger bay area that contains an almost rectangular rock right in the middle of the bay (and the bay is only about 200x200'). We shot the photo just up the channel, in a small pool, just the size of the hull, after poling in with the motor up. There was no surge, thankfully, that day.
Some of my familys favorite areas have been the Benjamin Island group.
Best - Don
posted 03-18-2001 11:59 AM ET (US)
I used to sell Boston Whalers a few years ago, at Windward Marine on Lake Minnetonka, just west of Minneapolis, MN. This is an old fashioned, low volume, low pressure dealership, there for 30 years; they know and are passionate about their Whalers; they also sell Pursuit, another premium boat. In these days of large corporate boat sellers that have little information about their products, I think it can only be a plus to support smaller dealers, many of whom have stories from the old days (and are willing to share them over a cup of coffee). I would always be comfortable buying from the folks at Windward, and when I need parts, that's where I'll go. I think this kind of dealer is part of the Whaler tradition.
posted 03-18-2001 12:58 PM ET (US)
I agree, the small old line dealers are the only choice for me too. I`ll drive 3-5 hours then drive 45min. to go to an older small dealership for Whaler stuff! A night and day difference example would be comparing Marine Max of Cleveland,OH. to Portage Entry Marine in Port Clinton,OH. I`ll take Portage Entry Marine and drive over twice as far! Marine Max guys are like Duh! whats a Whaler, but how about this Euro-styled Sea Ray, oh wait this Whaler looks like a Sea Ray, my fault! Regards-Jack Graner.
posted 03-18-2001 03:32 PM ET (US)
Regarding Herman Marine: I used to travel the Northeast extensively for work and always had my eye open for a Whaler dealer to look around in.
I remember staying in Stamford CT one evening and while looking for somewhere to eat I stumbled upon Herman marine. I was in the showroom looking around and a gentleman came out to speak with me. He was very pleasant and since I had a new Whaler, purchased in PA, I stated I was just looking around.
We talked for at least 45 minutes and he had a passion for Whalers and answered several questions. He new I didn't need a boat but nonetheless kept talking, to my delight. When we were done he pulled out his wallet and gave me his card and said if I need anything call or stop in.
The card said John Herman, President, Herman Marine. Now that's good business, sorry to see a guy like that out of the franchise.
I also remeber the showroom there had a Whaler baby cradle. I asked what's this??? He said some woodworker made one and he had several requests.. It was a small cradle shaped like a boat. Can't start the addiction too early.
posted 03-18-2001 10:01 PM ET (US)
As I began to read this posting a sad sad scene came to my mind that I witnessed a week ago. Itching to get back into the water I drove over to Saugatuck, MI and as usual drove by West Shore Marine, one of the oldest Whaler dealers in W. Michigan. To my shock and dismay the building was leveled to the ground to make room for new condos. Another era gone. West Shore gave up their Whaler dealership just a very few years back but as you guys describe they still lived and breathed Whalers. You could go into the shop and ask about any old Whaler and they would dig into their old file cabinet and pull out a catalog of any whaler and copy whatever you needed. Now I am wondering where all their stock and files have gone to. Somebody made off with a huge pile of collectors items or heaven forbid it went to the burn pile.
Simply grieving, Ray
posted 03-18-2001 10:46 PM ET (US)
Yes, West Shore Marine is gone. Finding out that it was going to be torn down was probably one of the worst moments of my life. I practically grew up at that marina. As you probably know, the marina was owned and operated by Tom Crum and his family. Tom’s son Randy and I are the same age and become friends at a very young age. I still have memories of Tom yelling at us, “Get out of the shop you damn kids!” Later, Randy became the mechanic for West Shore and ran the marina after Tom retired. He helped me resurrect two dilapidated whalers. The second one I still have and love dearly.
The good news is that Randy has set up a shop for himself a couple of miles south of Saugatuck on the Blue Star Highway. He has much of the material that you mentioned. The name of his business is:
Randy’s West Shore Marine Repair, Inc.
As for the old whaler parts, Tom Crum has those and I don’t think God himself could pry those parts away from him ;-)
posted 03-19-2001 09:38 PM ET (US)
I agree with Jack (whalernut) on this: if I see a boat salesman with mousse in his hair that ends any chance of him selling me a boat.
posted 03-19-2001 10:03 PM ET (US)
lots of pent up anger. The country has changed, but the water never will. If I end up 60 yrs old waiting for the 6am paper and then I'm disapointed that it arrives at 6:30, please shoot me. I've got better things to do with my short time on this earth. I'm buying the sport 13' from a reputable dealer. 40 hp. I've waited to long already. Life goes on. I'll love it. the kids will love it. If I find #0125 in the local barn , I'll buy it and treat it well.
posted 03-19-2001 10:17 PM ET (US)
Some of you guys make me laugh every time I sign on. How many Whaler dealers are out there? One in every state? Will Whaler survive for the next ten years? Original parts for the older boats will be difficult to find. Anyone notice that the boat that is going around the world powered by a Mercury 4 stroke 50hp has a Euro rear end? Lets send a telegram and tell them they are jerks for buying that boat.
posted 03-19-2001 11:21 PM ET (US)
Its kinda like a Ford Chevy thing I guess. You got to admit the old and the new are very different animals. Its even worse than Ford Chevy. Its like Boston Whaler was making Jeeps for 30 years and woke up one morning and said "hey lets start making Buicks and to hell with those Jeeps"
posted 03-19-2001 11:27 PM ET (US)
Tom: Isn't is more like Boston Whaler was making Navy Destroyers and they woke up one morning and said "lets start making Carnival Cruise Line ships instead."
posted 03-19-2001 11:31 PM ET (US)
Hey. I happen to like Carnival Cruise Lines. Dont get me goin now.
posted 03-20-2001 12:08 AM ET (US)
Just cause Carnival dont have any guns on them doesnt mean you win a fight with it. Plenty of room on the Lido Deck to mount all the guns you want. Add about 600 Mercury 60 horse four strokes and 9000 Doel fins. Would have to recruit some non drinkers to man the guns though.
posted 03-20-2001 12:37 AM ET (US)
Sounds pretty good, Tom. We could call it the Carnival Conquest.
posted 03-20-2001 01:12 AM ET (US)
Your just jealous cause my boat has bars and live music. Your one of those guys who just cant stand progress. Hey wanna start a website together?
posted 03-20-2001 06:58 PM ET (US)
Old Time Whaler Dealers-Navy Destroyers-Jeeps. Thats what I`m talking about! Maerd, nice to hear from you, we like different points of view. Even if we don`t agree, I like hearing from everyone, agree or not, thats how it is, and it`s the American way! Maerd, I hope too see you soon at a Whaler Rondevous and we`ll party together, Classics and Euro! Regards-Jack Graner. P.S. Jim H. pass me the Mousse! I`d like to spike my hair and go sell Whalers for the Whalerguy!
posted 03-22-2001 10:36 PM ET (US)
posted 03-22-2001 11:08 PM ET (US)
I really enjoy my Boston Whaler Dealer, it is Tayor Marine in Milford Delaware. He sells some other boats also, Grady White, Glacier Bay, Crownline ...... and no SeaRays.
He ave me a choice of engines, Honda, Mercury and Yamaha. The Dealership is family owned and they have given me good advice and help anytime I have asked. And talk about knowing thier products! I had been given quite a lesson about Boston Whaler in detail with enthusism, the kind that shows a love for what they are talking about.
Is'nt this what this thread is about? The kind of Boston Whaler Dealer that Cares about us and Boston Whaler that he sells.
I am glad I found one, I am saddened that some have ben lost.
Time to get back on track.
posted 03-23-2001 04:21 PM ET (US)
Bear, you are lucky to have such a dealer in you`re area! I hope they stay around for a very long time. It`s nice to see that they are family owned and love Whalers as much as we all do. Good luck-Jack Graner(Maerd`s Friend)! Oh and Maerd, Dick Fisher, Ray Hunt, and Bob Daugherty would still be you`re friend too! Some day I hope to have a beer with you Maerd. Tootaloo!
posted 03-23-2001 08:24 PM ET (US)
Nautica Marine in Georgetown only sells Boston Whalers, Grady Whites and Scouts. They also talk the Boston Whaler talk and are a great dealer. They have at least 6 new Whalers on display and a walk in the back yard is really fun to see all the Whalers in storage as well as for sale.
posted 03-23-2001 11:19 PM ET (US)
Sorry guys I missed a couple of keys:
It is Taylor Marine Center and gave instead of ave and been instead of ben!
Your right Jack I am lucky to have such a great Dealership in my area.
posted 03-24-2001 09:17 AM ET (US)
As a Whaler owner in germany it is interesting for me to know that there seem to be the same problems with old Whaler dealers over there in the USA.
I purchased a 13 GLS (probably a "semi-classic"-Whaler) in 1994. The dealer sold Whalers since the early sixties an was the only dealer in germany for many years. He sold many boats to the lifeguard, police and other institutions and fitted the boats out with every, even "custom-build", option they needed. In fact there were just a few other boats used by these organisations in the area and there is a high number of whalers used by "normal" guys like me.
I was shocked when I saw him putting down the BW-flags last year. Since then a Sea-Ray dealer some 50 miles away "tries" to sell the whalers. Last week I visited his spring-exhibition and wondered where the whalers were. I found three of them in a little corner (2000 18-Dauntless, 2001 17-Montauk and 13 Sport). None of the other visitors took any notice of the boat and when I asked one of the salesmen for a 2001 catalogue he had none and wasn't able to give me any more informations about the boats. Over all I hads the impression that he was not very interested in selling BW.
If this is the new "sales-politic" of BW and Brunswick, everyone can imagine what the future of BW will be.
Until today I thought that this is a specific problem over here in Europe where Whalers are really expensive because of the high Dollar exchange-rate but now I know that you have the same situation in the USA.
Hopefully the "unsinkable legend" will survive this "storm".
I think BW still builds the best boats and should try to infect their new dealers with the Whaler-virus that infected me some years ago.
With Regards - Marc, Germany
posted 03-24-2001 09:28 AM ET (US)
Marc, thanks for the info. It kind of makes you sick doesn`t it. Sea Ray dealers haven`t a clue what they have, nor do they seem to care. I wish all Whalers were sold at Whaleritis dealers, in which the dealers are as fired up about the product as we all are and that they are Whaler educated. I was at a Marine Max dealer in Cleveland, Oh. and too say the least I left there sick to my stomach at the lack of knowledge and respect for the Whalers., but hey they knew their Sea Rays! Regards-Jack Graner.
posted 03-25-2001 03:26 AM ET (US)
I would second "Bullbay's" comments on Nautica in Georgetown. I've visited them over the last several years, to window shop or sometimes for minor repairs and always found them to be friendly and knowledgeable. I was there last weekend when I took my ' 67 Currituck to the coast to let a couple of guys look at it to re-do the fiberglass. Couldn't resist a trip to Nautica, where a very handsome new Montauk in navy trim was right out front! Took a big gulp at the price though! Seems like they've gone up a couple grand in the last two years! Wonder what people are actually paying for new Montauks now? The Outboard shop in Charleston has sold Whalers for years. I've never dealt w/ them but have heard positive comments from lots of folks. The former dealer in Columbia (Mid-Carolina Marine) was OK in the few dealings I had w/ them, but they lost to Sea Ray. Don't know the whys or wherefor's, but they are like ya'll noted, the slick haired, gold chained type who look more like car salesmen. They displayed B-W's a bit more prominently at the 2000 Columbiaa boat show (didn't make it this year), but definitely as an afterthought. Incidently, the guy I talked to at Nautica told me that Nautica, Crocker in Wrightsville Beach, and the BW dealer in Morehead City are under the same ownership. Just my ramblings, but I yoo have been dismayed at the trundling off of the Whalers to the Sea Ray stores! I hope to get some before and after pics to submit to Cetaecea as the restoration of my baby begins!! John Burchfield
posted 03-25-2001 03:30 AM ET (US)
I guess I should clarify that it's those slick haired Sea Ray guys that had the Whalers off in the corner in Columbia, not the Mid Carolina crowd! JB
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