Former West Hartford, Conn., boat retailer Norman G. Kurtz recently passed away in Bloomfield, Conn. Kurtz, who owned and operated Norman Marine for more than 50 years, was 84.
According to his daughter, Julie Kurtz, Norman Kurtz started out selling cars but quickly found that his real passion was boats.
“My dad gave an experience to every customer,” Kurtz told Trade Only Today. “He understood early on that nobody wants to be sold to, so he didn’t approach it that way, but instead sold the experience.”
Kurtz remembers working at the dealership as a child, answering phones, greeting customers, placing orders and serving popcorn to everyone who came in. “My dad bought an old-fashioned popcorn machine,” she said. “It was that kind of dealership.”
In 1985, Boston Whaler honored Norman Kurtz as a Top 50 Dealer. He also received an award from Starcraft Boat Co. in 1988. Kurtz was a former member of the Connecticut Marine Trades Association, Cliffside Country Club and Congregation Beth Israel in West Hartford. He was also a lifelong fan of the Boston Red Sox.
Julie remembers many times when she and her father took Boston Whalers out of the showroom to a nearby lake. “We both had our Reef Runners, on and I’d help my dad launch the boat,” Kurtz said. “We had the best times.”