Makin’ Waves Marine enjoys the buzz
Makin’ Waves Marine enjoys the buzz
By Barbara Shaw Staff Reporter Bancroft This Week
Sixteen hours to launch and Makin’ Waves Marine partner Doug Putman seems pretty relaxed.
The parking lot is a bit squishy on Mar. 22 after the frost came out of the ground earlier than anticipated and as the rain falls outside, Putman takes a seat in his office in the new building at 29720 HWY 62 North in Bird’s Creek.
In the showroom the sales counter is being finished and in the workshop area with its soaring ceiling, one of Putman’s other partners, Jamie Busby, is detailing boats. The huge bay doors are open and a warm breeze is coming through.
Spring is early this year and the ice is out in most of the local lakes meaning that boating enthusiasts like Putman can get a jump on the season.
Putman is from Dundas, just outside of Hamilton, and like many who have opened businesses in the region, he has a cottage in North Hastings.
After falling in love with the area he started to think about business possibilities.
Putman also runs a toy and game manufacturing and distribution business and he buys land, builds commercial space and then leases it out. And when he’s not busy with that he loves boating at the cottage on Elephant Lake.
One of the things Putman kept hearing from friends and neighbours in the area was that they wanted more local service options.
Always up for another challenge, the idea of Makin’ Waves Marine was born.
The typical challenges of starting a business aside, Putman, Busby and one more partner; Bob Putman, had no clue just what kind of waves they would be making when they decided to build their shop in Bird’s Creek.
“Mayor Emond and Mr. Mills were very professional,” Putman says. “They saw the benefits and no one wants to limit local options.”
But once word was out about the new dry land marina coming to the area, there were complaints from across the border in Bancroft and a legal challenge came at Hastings Highlands from Bancroft Sport and Marine partner Bill White.
Caught in the middle of a fight between Bancroft and Hastings Highlands over a secondary plan, Makin’ Waves was issued permits and they proceeded with their build.
According to Bancroft Sport and Marine partner and Bancroft Councillor Paul Jenkins, his business partner Bill White hired both lawyers and planning consultant Heather Sadler to fight the development.
Jenkins said in a phone interview in November that he and White believed that the use did not comply with the zoning.
Jenkins stated that he was comfortable answering questions on behalf of White because he knew the background.
In response, Hastings Highlands sought their own advice and in a report to Hastings Highlands council on Jan. 18, CBO Mills reported to Hastings Highlands council that the zoning and use were correct.
“I have received the response from Jeff Paine of Templeman on the development in Bird’s Creek and it confirms that the decisions of council and staff are correct and the use is permitted,” Mills reported.
The Makin’ Waves Marine did not face any delays but with the legal advice suggesting Hastings Highlands had made the right determination, the hope was everything would proceed as planned with the opening of the new business.
“So we did have some challenges,” Putman laughs when asked about the compaints from Bancroft Sport and Marine.
“I’m taking a positive view of this,” he says. “I was in Canadian Tire this morning buying a lot of cleaning supplies for the shop and the sales person asked what it was all for and when I said it was for the marine she was so positive and said she thought it was great and she wished us luck.”
Now that the business is about to open Putman says he’s ready to focus on what will make his business strong- excellent service.
“Our goal is to create jobs, offer great service and sell boats,” Putman explains. “We are all about service.”
The Makin’ Waves team is excited to sell boats but they’re also ready to teach new boat owners how to use them. They’re offering pick-up and delivery of boats and working with a high standard of efficiency in repair turn-around times.
“As a boater myself, I know that if you miss a weekend that it sucks,” Putman says. “When you service your boat here you will get it back as soon as possible.”
Lake tours are also in the works with local realtors who will partner to reward buyers when they purchase a waterfront property.
For those who are ready to buy a boat, Makin’ Waves offers in-house financing.
The new shop has a high-end feel with wood trim and lots of natural light. Even with the expensive finishes Putman says he wants the place to have a family feel and that they’re not pushy.
Putman says the team did well at the Toronto boat show and they’re looking forward to having all of their new contacts come to visit the new shop that opens for business on Mar. 23.
Putman’s easy to talk to. He’s young and energetic and at 27-years of age he’s looking forward to doing business in the Bancroft region for years to come. His idea of a business is pro-competition and he says that he hopes other shops will follow-his lead.
“If another marine wants to open next to us I’m good with that,” Putman say. “We know that clusters do well and it certainly works in the car industry. We have a lot of lakes and people in the area who love boats and who have told us they are looking for excellent service.”
Happy that the political drama has died down, Putman looks at it in a positive light. He has enjoyed some publicity and some buzz and now he’s ready to launch.
“The best business will always win,” Putman says. “If you have the best service and the best inventory – you will win.”
Makin’ Waves Marine is now open for business in Bird’s Creek.
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