24 May 2008 | Boating Business

Article Boating Business ed 24 May 2008

They say winners are grinners and judging from the big smile on Jim Theodore's face yesterday morning, he was a big winner. Thursday night was the family boat builders' time to shine at the annual Australian Marine Industry Federation (AMIF) Awards, coming home with two top prizes and a commendation award. It was the first time they were successful in the four years they entered the competition.

Their 720 Offshore won in the fishing trailerable over six metres category; their 720 Open Coastal won in the day boat category; and their 720 Soft Top Coastal took home the commendation award for cruiser trailerable over six metres.

Theodore Marine's Jim Theodore, says until this year's awards, it was a case of always being the bridesmaid, but never the bride. He says the feeling of elation surrounding their win is heightened by the fact that after entering for several years, this is the first time they've come home with anything really significant.

"Winning this year was a great coup for us, particularly because the awards were held under such adverse conditions. It feels great to win and it's good to have something to show for all our hard work. We believe we came every close to winning last year, but this year we just worked that little bit harder to get over the line. This year our boats have that bit more refinement and are a little bit unique."

More than anything, he says winning an award of any kind works as an excellent marketing tool and serves as a great way to get people visiting their stand to take a serious look at their vessels. "Winning will get us in all the marine magazines and customers just love to buy award winning boats. We've had a lot of people visit the stand to congratulate us on the win, and it certainly helps to let customer know too.

"My wife Leica works with me and she does all the marketing. She's really the power of strength behind the business and we wouldn't have won these awards without her."

Theodore, who is a shipwright and boat builder by trade, has worked within the marine industry for the past 35 years. "I've built a lot of bigger boats throughout my working life. These boats here are just a very small part of our business. A lot of our work is probably servicing many of the bigger boats you see here on display at the show."

He moved into trailerables when he recognised a niche in the market. "People are stepping down from bigger boats into serious trailerable boats. A lot of people buying these boats are probably guys over 50 and their last boat to play around in."

After the show it is back to South Australia to see what they can aim toward next year.

Article Boating Business ed 24 May 2008
Article Boating Business ed 24 May 2008