Michael Knoblock, the owner of American Custom Marine in Kimball, Mich., can’t get home soon enough. That’s not because the thriving Nor-Tech Hi-Performance dealer hasn’t been enjoying the past two days in Southwest Florida, where he’s been staying with a Detroit-based client and friend who has a second home in the area and is waiting on a new Nor-Tech 450 Sport Center Console powered by quad Mercury Racing 450R outboard engines.
In Fort Myers, Fla., for the past two days to check on the progress of a Nor-Tech 450 Sport CC build, Michael Knoblock heads back to a busy American Custom Marine this evening.
“My Detroit client’s boat is almost done,” he said. “It just got out of paint—it is painted in his company’s colors—and I flew down to check on it with him.”
But with a weather forecast calling for temperatures in the low-to-high 70s back home, Knoblock knows his service and storage clients will be even more eager than they already are to get their boats on the water. And having opened two weeks ago after being shut down for eight weeks, the six-person staff at American Custom Marine is playing high-speed catch-up.
“Some of my guys have been working seven days a week since the governor opened marinas and dealerships,” said Knoblock. “We are really, really busy. With good weather on the way, we will be even busier trying to get our customers’ boats on the water as we get closer to the weekend.
“Most of our customers are being pretty patient—they understand that we can only do what we can do,” he continued. “We were closed for a long time and we’re catching up.”
Service and prep work aren’t the only things keeping Knoblock and company hopping. Pre-owned boat sales are up, he said, and he has several new Nor-Tech center-console deals—in addition to a 450, a 390 and 340—scheduled for delivery this month.
“There’s a lot of sales action right now,” he said. “The phones have been ringing and I need to get back. I fly home at 6 p.m. today.”