It began with a panicked call from the Milwaukee River to a Creative Colors International service technician the week before a summer holiday weekend. Fortunately, it wasn’t life or death, but for a local boat dealer who had taken one of his client’s expensive 45-foot cigarette-style boats out on the water to do some service work, it was a pretty dire situation.
The boat engine died, and the current caught the boat and blew it toward shore. On the way, it got snagged on an anchor hanging off the side of another boat. The anchor tore through the sun pad and headrests, leaving two long gashes and pieces of vinyl flapping in the wind.
“It looked really, really bad,” said Matt O’Neil, with Creative Colors International in Milwaukee.
The veteran service technician went out to take a look, and everyone agreed there was probably not much to be done. But O’Neil, who has years of experience tackling marine vinyl repair projects, gave the repair a try.
After three to four hours of work, he surprised everyone when he was able to repair the mangled pieces of vinyl and make the vessel water-worthy for the big boating weekend ahead.
“I like taking on a difficult job and making it like new,” explained O’Neil.
In the span of a few hours, one relationship was saved, and another one was cemented.
The boat dealer was able to save face with his client and get them on the water, and CCI-Milwaukee established itself as the go-to for repair and restoration in the local marine industry.
Statistics suggest that repairing and restoring, as opposed to upholstering and replacing, can save local business owners hundreds of dollars on any damaged item, or even thousands of dollars if it means repairing new products for sale, like expensive new boats that might have been damaged. In some cases, CCI repairs save clients 90 percent over the replacement cost.
Just like boat owners, marine industry business owners are looking to save money and provide a high-quality product that creates new and repeat business. That’s why a partnership with CCI is so beneficial. And good word-of-mouth news travels fast.
Skipper Bud’s, one of the nation’s largest independent boat dealers, touts itself as a one-stop shop for boating needs, offering sales, service and storage. Service manager Ryan Laugerman is constantly evaluating the cost-effectiveness of repairing or replacing damaged boat parts and he keeps CCI on speed dial.
“If Matt can’t repair it, we replace it, but 95 percent of the time, he can repair it, and we can save ourselves and our customers hundreds or thousands depending on the size of the cushion,” said Laugerman.
A quick turnaround and the ability to do work on site, whether on the water or in the warehouse, just adds to the appeal that CCI brings to its business clients.
By land or by sea, Creative Colors International is keeping sales afloat by delivering on-site and cost-effective leather, vinyl, plastic and fabric repair solutions to the marine industry, serving boat dealers big and small.
If you’re interested in seeing more example of marine repair work we’ve tackled, take a look here - https://www.wecanfixthat.com/about-us/photo-gallery/?pgallery=marine.