Welcome to Doug's Anchor Marine in Watertown, South Dakota.
Just thinking about loading up the family and heading out on the boat for a day of fishing, skiing, or just plain relaxing can put a sparkle in the eye and a smile on the face of many a boating enthusiast. It's that look that makes selling boats fun for owners Doug and Shelly Root. "When you sell a boat to a consumer, especially if it's a whole family, there's just an excitement. They get all fired up and you can see it in their faces," Doug explains.
The Roots brought Anchor Marine (Doug's prior employer since 1987) in April 1991. Since then, they've carried everything from boats and motors to water trampolines and ice shacks. Not only do they carry a large selection of fishing boats, runabout boats, and pontoon boats, they service what they sell. Our service department is a award winning crew that is very helpful to customers. They have been certified to work on Mercury and Yamaha outboards but can work on all makes and models of outboards and inboards. Full service is where it is at for Doug's Anchor Marine.
While fishing boats make up the bulk of sales, Doug reports an increase in pontoon sales over the last few years.
He says the heightened popularity has to do with the pontoons themselves being nicer. "They used to be just a piece of plywood with barrels tied under it. They've come a long way," he says. But, he speculates, it also has to do with family entertainment. Baby boomers get together with their children and grandchildren and maybe even their own elderly parents, who may not be able to get into a regular boat. "When you go to the lake and somebody has to stay on shore, they aren't having any fun," Doug says. Many consumers use a pontoon as a home base for outings on the lake, making a floating island of sorts where ski boats can come and go from the pontoon, and folks from every generation can relax and enjoy being on the water. Some families even fire up a grill aboard their pontoon. And family is what it is all about. "We're selling the family experience. There isn't any other sport that I know of that you can do with the entire family other than boating," Doug says.
Not only does Doug's Anchor Marine cater to families, the Root family works together as a family. Daughter-in-law, Reva does a little bit of everything from selling families a new boat or pontoon, helping in parts and service or doing paperwork. Son Dominic is the manager of Brotherhood Arms next door, selling everything from guns, ammo, optics, and archery. Son Dillon and Dean have also lent a hand in the past. Doug and Shelly credit the operation's growth and success with the service their crew provides. "What has made this business successful is our dedication to service," Doug says, adding their certified technicians are schooled each year to keep up with the latest innovations in the industry. Treating customers fairly, honestly, and with respect has also been key to building a loyal clientele, Doug says. Shelly agrees and recalls the days when the building had holes in the walls, saying it's been fun to watch it grow into the showroom and shop of today. The Root family looks forward to many more years of success.