PROFILE: Southern Fish Marine
Enthusiasm and hard work are paying off at this Queensland marine workshop.
Two years of hard work, self-belief and good decisions have seen Queensland dealership, Southern Fish Marine, flourish under new ownership. The marine workshop based at the Sandstone Point Marina on the way to Bribie Island north of Brisbane was bought by Anthony and Wendye Tennant in 2016 who changed the name to Southern Fish Marine and then went to work.
“We pretty much gutted it,” said Anthony. “We turned the business upside down, shook it and picked up the bits we wanted.”
As part of the shake-up, the couple created a new showroom for engines, opened a chandlery for boating accessories, remodelled the administrations area, renovated the workshop and extended the spare parts’ capacity. They took on the operation of the marina slipway and have also just started selling Australian-made Stessco aluminium boats.
“It’s been non-stop,” said Anthony. “We’ve got a team of nine here now and any money we have made we have ploughed straight back into the business and our customers can really see that when they walk in.”
According to the Anthony, who holds qualifications in diesel, marine, auto electrical and automotive trades, the plan has always been to ensure the dealership is a great ‘all-rounder’, able to provide new engines, boats, spare parts, servicing, repairs, accessories and top-level advice.
“But we really want to be known as a repower specialist. And that’s where we’re getting a lot of work.
“We’re situated right on the water and we 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.”
To help build the repower business, the business recently took on Mercury Marine outboard and diesel dealerships (it was already an authorised representative for Mercury Mercruiser, Yanmar and Volvo Penta).
“The brand is legendary, the engines are great, they are super reliable and the support we get from Mercury is second to none. 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 family, not just a sales outlet.”
Having seen the new Mercury Diesel 3.0 litre engines launched at the Sydney International Boat show, Anthony said the new models are already generating interest among local boaters.
“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 2!”