AB­SO­LUTE CLAS­SICS MARINE

Suncruiser Okanagan - - CONTENTS - BY STEVE FEN­NELL

With a clien­tele that spans West­ern Canada, the United States and even parts of Eu­rope, Ab­so­lute Clas­sics Marine is mov­ing for­ward with new busi­ness ob­jec­tives to heighten ex­pe­ri­ences for recre­ational boaters in 2018.

In its 30th year, this unique Kelowna, BC-based deal­er­ship is still main­tain­ing its roots of restor­ing and bro­ker­ing clas­sic ma­hogany speed boats, mar­ket­ing late model, pre-owned lux­ury boats, and sell­ing as­so­ci­ated parts and ma­te­ri­als. Yet, it will be of­fer­ing a new prod­uct line de­vised to fur­ther com­ple­ment its range of ser­vices.

“Right now, we are sort of rein­vent­ing our­selves by of­fer­ing what we call high-end, lake-style prod­ucts to en­hance cot­tage and water­front liv­ing,” says co-owner Bruce Mid­dle­ton. “We just signed on with Beau Lake, a com­pany that of­fers a wide range of wa­ter­sports gear, ap­parel and out­door cot­tage-style fur­ni­ture. All these prod­ucts sim­ply re­flect Ab­so­lute Clas­sics Marine’s vi­sion to reach new con­sumers.”

In­cluded in Beau Lake’s col­lec­tion is a series of Cana­dian-in­spired, hand­crafted lux­ury pad­dle­boards, com­pli­ment­ing pad­dles, and a new elec­tric-as­sisted recre­ational boat that will be in­tro­duced this sum­mer. The com­pany is also look­ing at ad­di­tional prod­ucts like hard­wood Muskoka style fur­ni­ture.

“This is some­thing that we al­ways thought about do­ing and the trick was find­ing the right mix of prod­ucts that fits with the mar­ket here,” says Mid­dle­ton. “A busi­ness can’t stand still in this in­dus­try. You have to make changes and re­main com­pet­i­tive.”

Main­tain­ing Busi­ness as Usual

While clas­sic wooden boats are very much a niche seg­ment of the recre­ational boat­ing in­dus­try, it has a place in the North Amer­i­can, Euro­pean and cer­tainly the Okana­gan mar­kets. In fact, Mid­dle­ton says it’s busi­ness as usual. This past spring, five clas­sic boats have been re­stored in its fullser­vice shop for clients in British Columbia, Cal­i­for­nia, and North Carolina, and a clas­sic 1955 Chris-Craft Capri was shipped for a client in Fin­land.

“A large part of our busi­ness is boat restora­tion and bro­ker­age sales of clas­sic and newer lux­ury boats,” says Mid­dle­ton. “Due to our strong pres­ence on the in­ter­net, our sales have in­creased world wide. Our other steady fo­cus is clas­sic boat parts and ma­te­ri­als as there are a lot peo­ple who re­store boats or have one they are main­tain­ing. It’s not easy some­times to come across parts. So, with our con­nec­tions we know where to lo­cate them.”

Ad­di­tion­ally, plans are in the works for Ab­so­lute Clas­sics Marine to start car­ry­ing a few more high-end boat lines from North Amer­ica and Eu­rope. While the de­tails are still be­ing fi­nal­ized, you can stay up to date with these de­vel­op­ments by vis­it­ing the deal­er­ship on­line at www.ab­so­lute­clas­sic­s­ma­rine.com

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