TWO years of hard work, self-belief and good decisions have seen Southern Fish Marine flourish – much to the delight of boat owners around Queensland’s Moreton Bay.
Anthony and Wendye Tennant bought the business in 2016. They changed the name to Southern Fish Marine and then really went to work.
“We pretty much gutted it,” Anthony said. “We turned the business upside down, shook it and picked up the bits we wanted.”
They have created a new showroom for the engines, opened a chandlery that offers all kinds of boating accessories, remodelled the administrations area, renovated the workshop and extended their spare parts capacity. They have also just started selling Aussie-made Stessco aluminium boats.
“It’s been non-stop,” Anthony said. “We’ve got a team of nine here now and any money we have made we have ploughed straight back into the business. Our customers can really see that when they walk in.”
The plan has always been to ensure Southern Fish Marine is a great ‘all-rounder’ – able to provide new engines, new boats, spare parts, servicing, repairs, accessories and top-level advice.
“But we really want to be known as a repower specialist,” Anthony said. “And that’s where we’re getting a lot of work. We’re situated right on the water and can lift boats up to 20 tonnes, so we’re an ideal option for all those people who might not be able to afford a new boat but who want to put some new life into the boat they have.”
Of course, being a repower specialist means access to great engines, which is why Anthony and Wendye have strengthened their ties with Mercury as they’ve built their business.
Anthony, with qualifications in the diesel, marine, auto electrical and automotive trades, knows his engines. “The brand is legendary, the engines are great, they are super-reliable and the support we get from Mercury is second to none,” he said. “That’s not only good for our dealership, it’s also great for our customers. It might sound a bit silly but you feel you are part of a family, not just a sales outlet.”
Anthony had just returned from the Sydney International Boat Show where he learnt more about Mercury’s newly released three-litre diesel engines for sterndrive, inboard and water-jet applications.
“Great engines, the best on the market, and I have customers who want to buy one right now,” he said.
After such a hectic couple of years, Anthony and Wendye have decided to take a temporary pause on any more major projects and focus on fine-tuning the business to make sure it is delivering everything it can to customers big and small. “Yeah, we’re going to sit back for a little bit to make sure everything is meshing properly… before getting stuck into stage two!”
Visit southernfishmarine.com.au or call 07 5497 6733.