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Marine Locker scoops Scout award

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Raft up: Two Scout boats lined up in the waters off Bermuda.

A Bermudian boat dealer has beaten off competition from around the world to win a global accolade. Marine Locker scooped the Scout Boats award for 2016 international dealer of the year at a ceremony in Scout’s home town of Charleston, South Carolina.

Lyle Douglas, sales manager at Marine Locker, based in Hamilton, said: “Everybody is really excited — we were quite surprised. We have had bigger years than this year, which is why I believe numbers aren’t a factor.

“But we have put a lot of these boats in the water over the past five years.” The Scout Boats awards are based not just on sales, but overall service and customer satisfaction, gauged through surveys of buyers.

Mr Douglas said: “I really believe the clients helped us out here and I know the service team earned it.

“They have a great product, but if you put great service behind that, the sky’s the limit. It’s a great style of boat and Scout are making a lot of innovations bigger manufacturers are copying.”

Mr Douglas said the Scout range ran from 17-foot models to 42-footers, with the bulk of Bermuda sales in the 20ft to 30ft range.

He added that a good year saw the firm put around ten new boats in the water.

Mr Douglas said: “That would be a pretty good year for Bermuda — but it’s not so much about the numbers.

“They appreciated what our growth curve has been over time and I know they were very impressed with our all-round customer service.

“Obviously, Mexico will move more boats. but overall customer satisfaction is very important to Scout.”

Marine Locker, in business for more than 30 years, has been selling Scout Boats for two decades.

Mr Douglas said: “if you try to stick to one brand, the manufacturer appreciates it and they know we will know everything about their boats.”

He added that the recession had not interrupted Bermuda’s love affair with the ocean.

Mr Douglas said: “I find Bermuda is quite unpredictable — it’s such a significant part of the lifestyle that’s important to Bermuda.

“People are willing to sacrifice for a boat and you get what you pay for.

“If you look at the island and the huge ocean backyard we have, the pull is huge.

“So boat sales are somewhat recession-proof.

“At the end of the day, if you love boating, you will make that sacrifice.”

The award was accepted by Warren Roe, a partner in the firm and the service manager.

Ready to launch: Scout boats lined up at Marine Locker's yard on Pitts Bay Road in Pembroke
Trophy triumph: Warren Roe of Marine Locker, centre, is presented with this year's award for best international dealer from US boatmaker Scout