Service 1 Marine was founded in 1999 by Bob Stratton, a younger, but experienced marine mechanic/salesman/entrepreneur who was determined to open up a low cost, high quality, marine storage facility that would cater to the ever-so-growing Chicago population in New Buffalo, MI. Having 12 years experience behind him at two local marinas, Service 1 Marine opened up in July of 1999. Now on his own, Bob began working out of his home and truck walking the docks armed with his tools and flyers promoting his services that included boat storage, marine engine repair, and electronic installation.
In the meantime, Bob desperately tried to get zoning approval for building a boat a storage facility in New Buffalo for the up coming winter season. New Buffalo did not want a boat storage facility in their city limits, so all attempts for approval had failed. Now, after promising boat storage to his loyal customers of 10 years, it appeared he was not going to have a place to lay them up for the winter (a big problem). But a little luck and a lot of determination solved that problem one day. Using the solution “There are 10 ways to solve any problem,” Bob, with the help of his father Leonard Stratton, purchased a large 10 acre piece of land just over the Indiana line, not having the zoning restrictions on boat storage! Now Service 1 Marine is the largest and most popular boat service and storage facility around, having the largest fleet of heavy equipment to move large vessels nationwide.
Even though Service 1 Marine was built on service, Bob did not stop there. In July of 2000 he opened up a boat brokerage division with the catchy phrase saying, “List with me! Store for free!” Using this promotion, Service 1 Marine has gotten the widest selection of used boats in the Midwest, making it a popular destination for many boat purchasers today. Sadly, in September 2002 Bob lost his father to lung cancer. This being a devastating blow to Bob, he made sure his father would not be forgotten, and placed a memorial in his name outside the storage grounds of Service 1 Marine. From 2003 to 2004, business had doubled and so had the personnel. Bob’s vision for the near future entails inside heated boat storage, and continuing to be the hub of used boat sales on southern Lake Michigan.
Fall 2017 Service 1 Marine has erected the 3rd Inside Heated Storage Building! This season our business has tripled due to outstanding word of mouth from loyal clients and the infamous “Great Frisbee Pass”. We are known for our Frisbee Rates and List with me! Store for Free!
Thank you to everyone who has made us successful and to our employees that are family!