The latest technology, the finest materials, the best people and an uncompromising approach to customer service combine to promote growth, as Greg Knight and Jim Wolf explain to John O'Hanlon.
Pontoon boats are becoming an increasingly familiar sight on the lakes and inland waterways of the United States, thanks in no small measure to the innovative approach and dedication to customer service offered by Avalon & Tahoe Manufacturing, a company with a 40-year reputation for building the finest US-made pontoon boats.
Because of the luxury features that Avalon & Tahoe can incorporate in its range, even top-end buyers who might previously have bought a cruiser are looking more carefully at what pontoons have to offer, realizing they can get all the comfort and function they are looking for at a price considerably lower than they'd expect to pay for a modest cruiser. There is a definite upturn in demand, for instance, for the company's premium Deco range of vessels, which has sold 25 percent more units during the last year. "Deco incorporates our highest quality, our best features and some very unique designs: it is more expensive but tremendous value," said Greg Knight, director of marketing.
Pontoons are made of aluminum, with all of the deck accommodation above the waterline. Though they are designed principally for inshore and inland use the boats can be equipped with the exclusive Waveglider high performance system that turns them into a planing sports boat that has been tested in rough water ocean trips.In this market that translates as a fast and maneuverable all around family boat that is perfect for pulling skiers, tubes and wakeboards.
You can buy into Avalon & Tahoe quality for as little as $12,000, and even at the top end of the range $90,000 will buy comfort that is rarely matched in a cruising boat. This has much to do with the company's 120,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Alma, Michigan. It is a vertically integrated operation, where the product is manufactured to order using the latest equipment and technology, with even the soft furnishings being produced on site.
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