Monday, April 29, 2013

The First Person In Gets The Best Spot

 

We’ve discussed awards here before, the recognition that comes Cobalt’s way from time to time, and we report these awards with all appropriate humility.  Whether from the marine industry for innovative design, or from J.D. Power and Associates for overall customer satisfaction, or from professional associations for the magnificent record of integrity and service compiled by our Cobalt dealers, these awards serve as a top-line reminder that we need to keep on keeping on.  Fact is, each of the plaques and statuettes in our trophy case represents Cobalt’s refusal to move away from our founding principles. Fact is, we continue to operate on a business model not much different from, no less sophisticated than the Golden Rule itself.

One of our more recent recognitions comes from The Wichita Business Journal, the weekly chronicle of all things commercial and industrial in South Central Kansas, where Cobalt Boats was chosen one of the five winners of the newspaper’s Best in Business competition, which assessed the companies’ revenue growth, community involvement, product innovation, and marketing prowess.   We quote a few statements from the article accompanying the announcement of Cobalt’s win.

“The corporate environment at Cobalt Boats in Neodesha can be felt even before you enter the building. Founder Pack St. Clair has strived to create a sense that no one job is more important than any other at the 45-year-old boat manufacturer. And it starts in the parking lot — where there is no assigned parking for any of the company’s 520 workers. ‘The first person in gets the best spot,” says CEO Paxson St. Clair. ‘That’s the attitude we have here. That culture that has been established here over the last 45 years has been the backbone of our success.’”

“Bill Wallisch, the company’s CFO, says, “If it’s not a quality product, it’s not going out.”

“I don’t think we could build Cobalt-quality products anywhere else (than Neodesha)” CEO Paxson St. Clair says. “This city has always been extremely supportive of us. It’s a great relationship.” That in turn helps Cobalt build great relationships with its customers, both existing and prospective.”

The best rules, like the best laws, are not particularly complicated.  Thomas Jefferson said so.  So do the people of Cobalt.  Treat everyone alike: with kindness, respect, and a wide, wide-open sense of possibility.

  • Look for the good in others.
  • Do your best. Day in. Day out.
  • Be true to your friends.
  • Love your family. 

All so very simple really.

And when the week’s work is done, when the last April boat has been built, the awards will take care of themselves.

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  Categories: Industry News, Lifestyle | Tags: Award Winning Boat, Boat Dealers, Boating Industry, Luxury Boat


Friday, January 11, 2013

Committed To Building Dreams

 

In the early part of this century, the already venerable J.D. Power & Associates, global market researchers, inaugurated their annual study of manufacturers in the marine industry.  The studies came largely at the behest of Cobalt Boats and other top-tier manufacturers of various sorts of boats.  We were interested in learning even more about the nuances of customer satisfaction and then responding with ever higher standards of design, craftsmanship, and service after the sale of the boat.

There was an industry wide goal to enhance the performance of an entire industry. The result was a runaway leader that produced results year after year. Cobalt Boats was ranked “highest in customer satisfaction” in every single year of the J.D. Power study, which – unfortunately for Cobalt  –  no longer exists in the stern drive industry. But it’s good to know that you still have an ideal means of comparing the features, benefits, potential for long-term enjoyment, and value unto perpetuity of boats you’re considering for purchase.

We speak, of course, of boat shows.  Whose peak season is just now underway.

At a show near you, you’ll find everywhere opportunity for first-hand contrast of  models competing for your discretionary dollars.  All of us at Cobalt welcome your most rigorous inspection of the details of Cobalt quality, under the warm and friendly guidance of some folks who know next to everything about these boats.  At a boat show you’ll meet both your local dealer and, in most cases, some members of the Cobalt factory team.

Cobalt remains a family business, and that irreplaceable kind of personal interaction with customers will soon be obvious to you after a half-hour’s conversation inside a bowrider parked on a carpeted boat show floor.  No survey, no video, no brochure could hope to duplicate the exchange of information that comes in a quiet, one-on-one discussion of your needs and wishes for the boat of your warm-weather dreams. Your personal boating consultant exists in the form of a factory trained Cobalt Expert.

Plan to attend a boat show in the next few weeks, even if you’re not planning on buying right away. Watch the Cobalt Video called Building Dreams to further your confidence that Cobalt is the right company to earn your trust.

Friendships never happen on a schedule anyway.


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  Categories: Cobalt Boats, Lifestyle, Videos | Tags: Boat Builders, Cobalt Boats, Lifestyle, Luxury Boat, Neodesha


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

May Your Days be Merry and Bright

 

In our Cobalts we go down to the water to encounter it straightforwardly, with no expectations beyond the time and the place. We go boating with uncomplicated joy.

Seasons Greetings from everyone at Cobalt

In this frozen time of the year when for many of us a leisurely holiday cruise with family and a few old friends is meteorologically impossible, we invite you to pause at water’s edge, to look back into the remote and rarefied places where we launch our Cobalts.  Most of us live among architecture, among structures capable of both rampant functionality and – sometimes – rare beauty, but still far from those untouched and inviolate, vacation places.

And so we ought to enjoy each other wherever we find ourselves this blessed season.  Let’s walk among the architecture of our December circumstances.  Let’s stroll the old roads, meandering long enough to find a new way to other times, other places. Those times have a head start on us, and the architecture of the old familiar places may have changed a bit.

But the doors at home are lockless. And, if we look long enough, a light shines from every window.

Happy Holidays from all of us at Cobalt Boats.

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  Categories: Cobalt Boats, Lifestyle | Tags: Boat Builders, Cobalt Boats, Family Boating, Luxury Boat


Monday, November 12, 2012

Cobalt Dealers Dominate Boating Industry’s Top 100 Boat Dealers in North America

 

Legendary Marine of Destin, Florida was named Dealer of the Year for its rapid growth and thoughtful investments in marketing, education, and service.  This accomplishment marks the first time that a Cobalt dealer has been recognized at the top Position in the Top 100.

In addition, Cobalt dealers were recognized throughout the night, partially due to the massive increases in market share and sales growth that Cobalt dealers have experienced.  Action Water Sports won special recognition for its website, ranked best among all North American dealerships, as did Parks Marina of Okoboji, Iowa for the quality of its customer events.  Gordy’s Lakefront Marine of Fontana, Wisconsin saw its all-important service department named the very best in North America.

Cobalt Boats congratulates these outstanding businesses for their allegiance to the highest standards of integrity, knowledge of product, and willingness to go above and beyond in the service of ever more sophisticated customers.  Altogether, Cobalt dealerships accounted for a full twenty percent of the Top 100. Listed below are the Cobalt Dealerships recognized as Top 100 Dealers.

  • Action Water Sports, Hudsonville, Mich.
  • The Boat Shop, Tafton, Pa.
  • Boat Town, Austin, Texas
  • Candlewood East Marina, Brookfield, Conn.
  • Causeway Marine, Manahawkin, N.J.
  • Cleveland Boat Center, Cleveland, Tenn.
  • Gordy’s Lakefront Marine, Fontana, Wisc.
  • Hagadone Marine Group, Couer d’Alene, Idaho
  • Hoffmaster’s Marina, Woodbridge, Va.
  • Lake Viking Marine, Gallatin, Mo.
  • Legendary Marine, Destin, Fla.
  • Lodder’s Marine, Fairfield, Ohio
  • Marine Sales of Pickwick, Counce, Tenn.
  • Paris Marine, Peterborough, Ontario
  • Parks Marina, Okoboji, Iowa
  • Rambo Marine, Hazel Green, Ala.
  • Rayburns Marine World, Kelowna, British Columbia
  • Seattle Boat Company, Seattle
  • Singleton Marine Group, Buford, Ga.
  • Strong’s Marine, Mattituck, N.Y.


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  Categories: Dealer Partners, Industry News | Tags: Award Winning Boat, Boat Dealers, Boating Industry, Cobalt Boats


Friday, November 09, 2012

The Cobalt 336 Introduces Itself To The World

 

On the last weekend in October the Cobalt 336 said, “Hello, world.”

The introduction came at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show on its fifty-third iteration. The show has become a cultural phenomenon representative of the Good Life in America with displays of apparel, electronics, fishing and diving equipment, jewelry, hats and caps, vacation destinations, exotic automobiles and, yes, artwork and real estate.  The show spreads over three million square feet of exhibit pace with a transportation network of bus shuttles, water taxis, and riverboats.

Easy to get lost amid all the hoopla, we suppose, easy to lose one’s marine identity among the runabouts, sportfishers, high performance boats, center consoles, cabin cruisers, flats boats, skiffs, express cruisers, sailing yachts, motor yachts, bowriders, catamarans, ski boats, jet boats, trawlers, inflatables, canoes, and Trumpesque superyachts.  No problem for the 336 though, at anchor here among the planet’s various non-military floatables, no problem whatsoever. Because the 336 will mean so many different things to so many different owners, we saw the 336 assert itself in south Florida.

The 336 is, by turns, a cruiser, a bowrider, a dayboat, an overnighter, a well-mannered sportboat, and a flat-out jacked go-fast chest-thumper. Such diverse, entirely accurate describers come about because of the usual Cobalt abstractions, the qualities of design and construction that transform a boat into a very personalized dream machine. We speak of luxury and comfort and convenience and handling and ride and spaciousness and style and power. And, of course, these constructs arise from the details – the leathers of the cabin, the stainless arch and hardtop (optional), the panoramic side windows, the stainless steel of the windshield, a cabin at once snug and expansive, a sofa nine feet long, the heating and air-conditioning systems, the joystick controls, the shower seat in an enormous head compartment, the 27” LCD HD television and Blu-Ray player – all set in layback-and-loll room for a dozen old friends.

Some of the waves around the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show were man-made, and the new Cobalt 336 was responsible for more than its share.

You would have been proud.

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  Categories: Cobalt Boats, Innovative Features | Tags: Cobalt Boats, Cruiser, Cuddy , Luxury Boat, New Boat


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