Not only has the Kansas City-based family that purchased Big Thunder Marine in Osage Beach, Mo., last summer been busy updating the on-water service and sales facility at the 8MM on Lake of the Ozarks, the company also acquired a couple of prominent dealerships—Tritoon Town late last year, and, as of last week, Lake Ozarks Marine—to beef up its knowledgeable staff as well as the variety of boats available for sale or for rent.
Ordered by Big Thunder Marine, the new Fountain 38 Thunder is currenly in lamination (click image to see full rendering).
As an official dealer for Monterey Boats, Manitou Pontoon Boats, JC Tritoons, the company’s new and pre-owned pontoons, bowriders, cruisers, wakesports models and fishing boats will be quite prevalent, but for performance boaters, the news that Big Thunder Marine is bringing the Baja Marine, Donzi Marine and Fountain Powerboats lineups back to the lake is incredibly exciting.
“We are doing a lot of work at Big Thunder Marina to bring it back to its former glory,” said Jeremy Anderson, the company’s general manager who recently relocated from Wisconsin and has been in the marine industry for more than 15 years. “First and foremost, we are focused on doing things the right way starting with customer service and stocking boats.”
Anderson said the company recently ordered many new Monterey and Manitou models as well as a dozen boats from the Baja/Donzi/Fountain consortium, including several Baja models, a pair of Donzi 35 ZR Opens, a couple of Fountain 38 CC poker run edition models and a revamped Fountain 38 Lightning with twin Mercury Racing 565 engines. He added that Big Thunder Marine is planning to build a new showroom and facility in the near future, but for now business will take place at the marina and the Tritoon Town shop in Osage Beach.
“We just finished pouring a new seawall and we’ve redone all of the docks,” Anderson explained. “We’ve spent a lot of time getting things up to code at the marina. We replaced the roofs, installed new electrical throughout and redid all of the lighting. We also put in flooring and new storage racks in the big building—the Thunder Dome—and we’ll be redoing the gas dock and the convenience store in time for Memorial Day weekend.”
While the Lake of the Ozarks water level was low, Big Thunder Marine out in a whole new sea wall. The docks and many of the other facilties on the property have been repaired or replaced. Photos courtesy Jeremy Anderson
Anderson and the rest of the company, including Ed Champion, the sales manager at Lake Ozarks Marine who helped start the company a few years ago, couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to work with the Washington, N.C.-based company that builds Baja, Donzi, Fountain and Pro-Line models as well as be the U.S. importer for Norway’s Predator Luxury Performance Boats. (Look for more on the Predator 337 soon on speedonthewater.com.)
“This is one of the most exciting things that have happened here in some time,” said Carol Price, Baja’s vice president of sales and marketing. “We’ve been getting more and more interest from dealers, but to form a partnership like this with Big Thunder Marine, a company that is professional and serious about the way it does business, is very gratifying.”
Price seemed to be most excited about Fountain’s new 38 Thunder—the 38-foot poker-run-edition center console the company is modernizing with “more bells and whistles” and a fresh take on the interior.
The new Norwegian-built Predator 337 Supersport is going to make its home at Big Thunder Marine.
Champion, who has always made customer service his priority at Lake Ozarks Marine, said he is eager to get to work with Anderson and the rest of team, including Tim Porter, Big Thunder’s service manager who used to work alongside Bob Morgan, the founder of Big Thunder Marine who died following an accident at the 2011 Key West Offshore World Championships.
“We’re going to strive to be No. 1 in customer service,” Champion said. “We’ve already assembled a strong team that is all on the same page. Not only is this a great thing for our business, I think this is going to be great for the Lake of the Ozarks customers and beyond.”
Champion and Anderson, who are headed to the Baja factory later this week, both stressed that pre-owned boats also will be a focal point of the business as the company will be actively seeking well-kept boats to buy and resell, maybe even update if a customer so chooses, and of course negotiate possible trade-ins.
Editor’s note: Look for more stories on the developments of Big Thunder Marine on speedonthewater.com.