4:49 AM Fri 14 Oct 2011 GMT
They don't come more charismatic than Andrew Short; a better salesman and sailor you'd be hard stretched to find.
'Sea Ray rendezvous were a marketing masterstroke by Andrew Short Marine'
Andrew Short Marine
So it's sad, but no surprise perhaps, that the marine dealership he founded and expanded has finally fallen into liquidators' hands not quite two years after his death.
Coinciding, as it did, with the global financial crisis it was an incredibly tough ask for his widow and kin to keep Andrew Short Marine afloat for as long as they did. Andrew was the face, the soul, the deal maker . and suddenly, cruelly, he was gone.
Under Andrew's guidance, Sea Ray became arguably the premier international brand in the Australian market, culminating in his company being consistently awarded the builder's International Dealer of the Year gong.
He was a master of after-sales service and used the rendezvous concept brilliantly in his marketing.
Guests were valeted out to their boats that had been pre-anchored in a circle, accompanied by a barge and private helicopter. Activities included inflatable rowing challenges, maintenance workshops, fishing and addresses from NSW Maritime.
There was a seafood feast followed by a trivia competition or a band, then on Sunday morning the staff would cook a barbecue breakfast.
The brands Sea Ray, Boston Whaler et al will live on - Lake Macquarie dealer Lifestyle Marine has those brands and will be happy to service former ASM clients in Sydney.
What will be missed is Andrew's great knack at reminding people of the unrivalled fun that boat ownership can bring.
by Mark Rothfield