Hard times sometimes bring out the best in families because everyone pulls together.
During the Great Recession, boat manufacturers such as Robalo and Grady-White supported dealers like Fish Tale Boats despite the short-term financial expense. They knew from experience that good times would return and loyalty to dealers, vendors, and employees would pay off.
That’s important because American craftsmen put their heart and soul into many of the boats that you see on the water today. According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, 95% of boats sold in the U.S. are made in this country.
The boating industry is a close-knit American family. Through the downturn, U.S. boat manufacturers and Fish Tale retained their key employees and vendors because of their long-term vision and passion for quality.
Personal family relationships have been at the heart of Fish Tale from the very start. Buck Pegg, who founded Chaparral in 1965, developed a close friendship with Fish Tale co-owner Bruce Fricke. Through their friendship they helped grow their businesses like brothers.
Communities benefit from family closeness too. For example, Grady-White employs hundreds of people at its facility in Greenville, N.C., which sends a ripple effect of economic dynamism to that area.
Devotion to employees and their communities were critical considerations when Fish Tale chose to sell Avalon pontoon boats recently. This kind of loyalty has been instrumental in making Avalon pontoons the highest-quality manufacturer in the nation and it’s what makes family businesses successful.