After nine years at its own facility in Sarasota, Fla., Potter Performance Engines is closing its doors and founder/owner Ron Potter will be going to work for Innovation Marine, also in Sarasota. Potter said he expects to close out all existing business—he still has engine work to finish—in the next 45 days.
A well-known and respected high-performance marine engine builder, Ron Potter is closing the doors of Potter Performance Engines and joining Innovation Marine.
“It’s really tough because we have awesome customers and awesome people we deal with, but it’s been so much of a struggle,” he said. “Everyone thinks you’re making a ton of money, but the bottom line is it’s just not that way. It’s a struggle, every day, and it’s seven days a week. At some point you have to say, ‘Is it worth the stress and aggravation?’ The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
“We have a good reputation in the business,” he continued. “We have awesome customers and vendors. But at 55 years old you have to ask yourself, ‘Are we going up, are we level or are we going down. We stay even, but we never seem to go up. Liz (Potter’s wife) and I need to be able to take some time off and enjoy ourselves. It will be nice to have weekends off like most people. We love camping and have wanted to see the country.”
Potter has sold his building and is in the process of selling his significant collection of machine shop equipment and more. At Innovation Marine, where he started his Florida-based career in 1996 before moving on to build Nor-Tech’s engine program, he’ll be working closely with the company’s engineers in product development. He’ll also be joined at Innovation by one of his longtime employees from Potter Performance Engines.
Potter said he’s eager for the change and the new challenge. “They have a team of engineers and need someone who can do prototyping,” said Potter, who is well regarded for his expertise as a machinist. “That’s kind of what I like to do. They have a lot of projects they started that they haven’t been able to complete and they are looking for help to get them done. And they want to work on developing different engine packages.
“All of our clients who want to follow us to Innovation Marine are welcome,” he continued. “I can put them in touch with the right people. They have a terrific service department, a full machine shop and two dyno facilities on premises. They have an engineering staff, a drive shop and a transmission shop. In a sense, it’s the most one-stop-shop in the marine industry.”
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