By Craig Lamb
Robbie and Jeff Yow had a vision for the one-acre farm pond going way beyond wetting a line for a lazy day of fishing.
The Yows, owners of Chatlee Marine in Sanford, N.C., expanded the pond to 10 acres, relocated the dealership to the property, and today the business is one of the South’s largest dealerships.
The pond, now a lake, is where customers test drive boats after choosing a model from the showroom. There are six of those spanning 71,000 square feet, with over 250 boats in stock at any given time.
Carolina Skiff is well represented at Chatlee, located in central North Carolina, making it convenient to the coastal waters of the Carolinas and Virginia.
In 1967, Charles Yow started his business as a combination motorcycle and boat dealership, hoping the marine side would boom with the opening of nearby Jordan Lake, about 30 minutes away. Business suffered after court challenges delayed the filling of the 13,000-acre lake. By the late 1970s, the lake filled, opened and business took off for Yow, who headed the business until several years ago. Today, Robbie and Jeff carry on the family tradition.
The tradition showcases a staff and dealership recognized for excellent service with a passion for building long-standing relationships with customers. Chatlee has a fiberglass repair shop, custom rigging department, and a fully stocked parts department. Seven factory-trained, certified service technicians, and seven professionally trained sales advisors are on staff. So are financial specialists and staff dedicated to managing and operating the test lake, which the dealership prides itself in using for other uses.
New boat owners get a walk-through of their new boat at the test lake, before even leaving the dealership. Sales advisors have the chance to follow-through with any questions and demonstrate features of the new boat, from stem to stern. Finally, safe boating procedures are shared with the new owner. It’s a win-win all around or the customer and the dealership.
Chatlee Marine is at 2615 S. Jefferson Davis Hwy., Sanford, N.C. Phone: (919) 775-7259. Web: chatleeboats.com.
See the full line of Carolina Skiff boats at carolinaskiff.com. With 60 different options and models, you can use the Build A Boat feature. On the website, you can find a dealer, request a catalog and more. Check out the loyal following of Carolina Skiff fans and owners on Facebook.
Original Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle.com