Quality the key focus for John Crawford Marine

JOHN Crawford Marine, Queensland’s used boat specialist, prides itself on being the largest dealer of quality used trailer boats.
The key word here is quality. A core value of the business, located on Brisbane’s southside in Tingalpa, is differentiating its used trailer boat packages from private sale and auction packages, ensuring the selection of boats in the yard do and present as per the advertising, meeting and often exceeding the buyer’s expectations.

While plenty of trustworthy private sellers exist, you get peace of mind with John Crawford Marine’s industry-leading testing and pre-sale inspection regime, which occurs before each boat goes into the yard to ensure you’re not buying someone else’s problems. Founded by John Crawford in 1964, the business has gone from strength to strength during its 51 years of operation. Though John Crawford Marine’s well-entrenched motto is “Always buying, consigning and selling Queensland’s best used boats”, the business did sell brand-new boats and motors such as Quintrex and Yamaha models in the ‘70s and ‘80s.

Upholsterer Jim Savage, now in his early 80s, has been with John Crawford Marine since 1964 and still does the odd job for the business today. Back in the 1970s, Jim was on average making five boat canopies a day. That’s a seriously busy boat yard.

The decision to move to used boats came about after the recession in the mid to late-1980s, which saw a massive increase in fuel prices and imported product becoming much less affordable. According to the business’s current owner and managing director Matthew Hodson, the recession made the business refocus, which was possible and successful thanks to the depth of knowledge of John Crawford and the business’s second owner and Crawford’s then son-in-law John Russell, who went on to take control of the business during this transition period.

John Crawford Marine was then based in Glenora St in Wynnum, within 100m of Wynnum Marine. Matthew began working at the now Tingalpa-based dealership in 1999 after walking in as a customer. He moved into a managerial role a few years down the track before taking the reins and buying the business and site with wife Anita in 2005.

Ten years on, John Crawford Marine continues to flourish, with new stock arriving regularly and a steady stream of repeat and potential clients walking into the yard every day. Buyers don’t always ‘walk’ into the yard however, as John Crawford Marine sells and delivers boats Australia wide thanks to its industry-leading online presence and magazine advertising, meaning the staff sometimes never meet the client in person.

This is testament to the quality of the dealership’s product and shows just how highly regarded John Crawford Marine’s reputation and testing and quality-assurance regime are. Few businesses inspire such confidence when buying used products.
Matthew said you can be totally confident when buying from John Crawford Marine because the stock in the yard is the stock the team would be happy to own and use. “We’re here for the long term, so we only select good-quality – and 90 percent of the time Australian-made – used trailer boats,” he said.

“By taking on predominantly Australian-made boats, if you need parts, service or repairs, we can assist.” Unfortunately, numerous private sellers try to pull the wool over buyers’ eyes, including John Crawford Marine, by covering up dodgy repairs or poor servicing and workmanship.

This is where the rigorous testing regime steps in, ensuring the dealership doesn’t take on a ticking time bomb and therefore on-sells compliant, warranted and roadworthy packages. According to Matthew, this is also the reason John Crawford Marine is a Marine Queensland member, using the industry’s authorised paperwork in the buying, selling and consigning of boats. “These documents are written to protect not only us as a dealer but also you as the consumer,” he said.

“This is another way of making sure your boating investment is a sound one. “Our small but very experienced and highly dedicated team of boating professionals will make sure you are well looked after from the word go.”

The business also offers boat and motor servicing (as long as the setup is no more than 10 years old), marine insurance brokerage through Club Marine and Nautilus Marine and insurance repairs. It is also an agent for new Redco and Tinka trailers.
“Often we’ll have boats brought to us on the wrong trailer, so the reality is that the cost to resurrect the trailer or make it compliant for that boat isn’t worth it,” Matthew said. “In these situations, we slide that trailer out and sell it individually for the client before slipping in a new Redco or Tinka that is compliant.”

John Crawford Marine has also recently become affiliated with Australian Marine Finance, a subsidiary of Yamaha Motor Finance, so the dealership will now be offering in-house, tailored finance packages for customers. So regardless of your used boat needs, whether buying or selling, you can be confident the John Crawford Marine team can take away the hassle and make a potentially difficult process simple and stress free.

If you’d like to find out more, call the team on 07 3890 2322, visit johncrawfordmarine.com.au or stop in to the yard at 1029 Manly Rd, Tingalpa.

For handy hints from John Crawford Marine, click here!

About Daniel Tomlinson

Daniel is BNB's subeditor and occasional fish-wrangler. If you've got a great story or at least an idea for one, flick Dan an email at editorial@bnbfishing.com.au

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