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Reef Marine Celebrates 50 Years!

04-Jul-2017

This year marks the 50th year that Reef Marine has had continued market presences in Central Queensland. Based in Mackay the business has grown steadily over that period to become one of Australia’s Leading Retailers in the Marine Industry.

From humble beginnings in 1967 in the Wood street premises the business quickly grew, moving in a few years to the current location of 45 plus years at 26 Prospect street, Mackay. Over that time many customers have purchased various products and brands. In much of the early part of the business Reef Marine was an award-winning distributor for Chrysler outboards, Haines Hunter fibreglass boats and Brooker aluminium boats along with classics such as Pongrass and Monark fibreglass brands.

With the market withdrawal of Chrysler outboards Evinrude was adopted and the business grew dramatically to become a major Australian distributor. With this change, Savage Aluminium boats, Shark Cat and Haines Hunter Aluminium boats became the new focus as the economy in the regional fluctuated in the 1970s and early 1980s.

Again, with the product demise of Evinrude and with new engine manufacturers entering the market, changes were adopted with both Suzuki and Yamaha outboards being sold. This became the pattern for much of the 1980s as the world in marine was changing and reliability improved greatly and the distance traveled and boat size changed.

Reef trips were once the domain of the charter industry and commercial fisherman. In the 1980s fisherman could now travel with safety and comfort to the Reef with ease. It was during this time additional stores were added in Proserpine and business partnerships were created with Marlin Marine at Airlie Beach and Coral Coast Marine in North Mackay.

Once again as the economic conditions change the industry shrunk and these stores were sold. At this point Haines Signature started and Reef Marine continued their business partnership with the Haines Family which continues to this day.

Many of the current suppliers today started with the business or when they were established such as Redco and Tinka Trailers, Bob Littler Agencies, Sam Allen Wholesale, Lowrance electronics, GME electronics, Trailer Accessories and the formation of our National buying Group Bargain Boat Bits some 25 years ago.

In the 1990s another family business from Bundaberg began building Aluminium Boats. Col and Janelle Glass introduced Seajay Boats and Reef Marine has continued that long partnership.

It was around this time Reef Marine become a sole Yamaha distributor and the business grew again. Yamaha has since become the number one sold brand by volume in our area for many years.

Other boat brands such as Mclay Plate boats and Cruise Craft where all sold in the 1990s. Honda outboards where also added in 1995 for a few years until the industry once again changed directions.

In the 2000s Kevlacat, Bluefin, Trailcraft, Stacer, Stabi Craft and TABS were also adopted into the Reef Marine family. Suzuki outboards through the Haines Family once again where adopted and are still a proud supplier to this day.

Today the boats Reef Marine retails are Seajay, Bluefin,TABS, Mclay, Kevlacat, Mako and Tracker.

Behind every long-established business staff have proven to be a key integral ingredient for continued success. Reef Marine has several long-term staff who have either started with or only ever worked in Marine retail. Experienced staff dedicated to helping boat owners include Steve Wicks with 38 years and Steve Boxall with 31 years. Director Greg Camilleri has 37 years and Brett Griffin 22 years as well as a 2nd generation owner of Reef Marine.

In reflection, Reef Marine has adapted to the technology and engineering developments that have truly changed our journey on the water, whether it be for recreation or professional purposes. As continual developments occur be rest assured that Reef Marine and their dedicated staff will to adapt to be able to offer the best of this technology with people who live and breathe the boating lifestyle.

 


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