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Today’s Boat Buyer: Part V

Greg Gondek bought a Skeeter ZX190 bass boat from Reynolds’ Garage and Marine in Lyme, Conn., at the Hartford (Conn.) Boat Show. “It’s got a 175-hp Yamaha on it, and I’m having it built,” says Gondek, 54, the president of a company in Cromwell, Conn., that provides office equipment and management services.

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“I traded in a 20.5-foot Skeeter with a Yamaha 225. Things have changed for me; my son’s in college, and I just need something small.”

Gondek, who is from Essex, Conn., says boat shows are invaluable to him because they allow him to compare several brands in one location. “Of the last six boats I’ve owned, half of them I bought at boat shows,” he says. “You can do a couple months research in a day.”

Gondek, a boater since childhood, was impressed that Reynolds not only had knowledgeable staff on hand, but also factory representatives to answer questions. “This is my second boat I have bought from [Reynolds],” he says. “They have a very low-pressure attitude, and they are completely professional.”

“The point is, if people want to do something, they will do it.”
- Greg Gondek

Gondek says Reynolds goes the extra mile after the boat is sold, providing service, parts and maintenance. “I’ve dealt with another Connecticut dealer before Reynolds, where I had to chase parts I ordered, calling them constantly,” he says. “These guys are true boaters and have a true love for the sport.”

The base price of the Skeeter ZX190 is around $48,000, according to Gondek. He says he did not have to put a down payment and got a decent trade-in for his previous boat, since it was only 2 years old. He says he has yet to decide on whether or not he will finance the new boat, though he has good credit. He says he likely will finance around $10,000 if interest rates move lower than 7 percent; otherwise he’ll pay cash.

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As for the general state of the economy, Gondek says he saw a lot of optimism at the Hartford show. He says things will get better, because he doesn’t think they can get much worse.

“Last summer people used their boats less because of the price of gas, but now it’s become more reasonable, so that may change,” he says. “The point is, if people want to do something, they will do it.”

— Elizabeth Ellis

This is the last in a five-part boat-buyer series leading up to the Miami International Boat Show, which opens tomorrow. To read Parts I through IV, click on the following links:

These profiles are part of a boat-buyer story in the upcoming March issue of Soundings Trade Only.

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