Hunts Marine is a third generation family-owned marine retailer with over 70 years experience in recreational boating. Boating is great fun and at Hunts, we make it easy.
Hunts Marine - The Story
1946 - This was the year in which Edwin Hunt, engineer and well known game fishing enthusiast pioneered the principle of providing standard design boats for immediate delivery. It was on the current site of Hunts Marine at Blakehurst that Edwin Hunt constructed a showroom and became a stockist of a range of wooden launches and plywood dinghies. He also carried out marine engine repairs and manufactured boating hardware.
1951 - By this year Edwin Hunt had been joined by his two sons Ted and Peter.
1953 - The original trading name “The Marine Centre” was changed to “Hunts Marine Centre”.
1953-1958 - The business continued to grow, with up to nine teams of boatbuilders contracted to build timber launches, plywood and aluminium dinghies, and also canoes. Severe import restrictions prevented the importation of American outboards so British brands like British Seagull, Anzani, Britannia and Penta were available alongside local brands like Riptide, Waterboy, Mermaid and numerous lawn mower engine conversions.
1959 - A branch of Hunts Marine was opened in Fairy Meadow, a suburb of Wollongong. This branch was sold in 1983.
1960 - In this year Outboard Marine Corporation opened an outboard assembly plant at Bankstown. Hunts Marine were the first Evinrude dealers appointed in Australia.
1961 - To cope with the expanding demands of the market the property adjoining the Blakehurst showroom was purchased for showroom and service facilities.
1961-1967 - This was the period in which wooden boats went into rapid decline. Buyers were responding to the new materials like aluminium and fibreglass. Hunts acquired franchises for Pride, Pongrass and Savage fibreglass boats, sales of Quintrex aluminium boats boomed, and the franchise for DeHavilland aluminium boats was also taken up.
1968 - The next adjoining property to the showroom was also acquired, the showroom extended and the first Boating Accessory Supermarket in Australia was opened in the new area. A property was also purchased nearby in West St, Carlton and a purpose built service facility was built and fitted out on the site.
1987 - With the market slowly recovering from the depressed years of the early 80’s Hunts Marine acquired the Mariner outboard franchise. The Workshop and Spare Parts were expanded to offer service and parts for Mariner, Mercury and Mercruiser as well as for Evinrude and Johnson. The prestige range of Whittley Family Cruisers was also added to Hunts range of quality brands.
1995 - After the recession of the early 90’s the demand for trailerable boats bounced back. With the acquisition of the Yamaha outboards and Signature boat franchise Hunts Marine were in a strong position to offer the widest and best possible packages available on the market. Minor renovations took place in the portable outboard motor display and were also commenced in the service and boating accessories department. A regular newsletter was also started in order to keep our customers informed of new and interesting developments and special discounts.
2000 – With Peter’s son Jon now firmly at the helm the Blakehurst showroom underwent a million dollar rebuild. This opened in March 2001 with a mezzanine level for offices and accessories at the rear, undercover customer parking and space for a further 20 boats to be displayed on the floor. With a commitment to personal and professional service, an aggressive pricing policy and the best product range available Hunts Marine look forward to continuing their market leadership for many years to come.
2002 - Early in the year we purchased the adjoining property in West St, Carlton. Used for additional undercover storage for used boats, the building also houses our own custom canopy making division with three full time trimmers.
2006 - This was the year that we celebrated our 60th anniversary. In December of 2006, Hunts Marine acquired the Quintrex dealership of Kro Boats in Wollongong from well known industry identities Don and Christine Banning. The business is an agent for Yamaha outboards and now had access to the additional boat brands of Whittley, Bayliner and Haines Signature that were currently available at the Blakehurst showroom. Blake McArthur relocated from the Blakehurst showroom to Wollongong as General Manager.
2007 - In March of 2007 Hunts Marine, Sydney and Wollongong, had the opportunity to become the greater Sydney and South Coast dealer for CruiseCraft fibreglass boats. Also established in 1946, CruiseCraft has a long family history in the Australian marine market and the brand sits very well in our product line-up giving both dealerships a range of high quality dedicated fishing models.
2010 - In November 2010 we opened up a new store in Batemans Bay with Quintrex and Yamaha product along with a range of accessories and a new service facility. Brad Cottier from the Blakehurst sales team relocated from Sydney to the Bay with his young family to oversee and manage the new store. At this time both the new dealership and the one at Wollongong acquired the franchise of Hobie Kayaks as well as the New Zealand Aluminium boat franchise of StabiCraft.
2014 - 2014 was a strong and busy year for the business across all 3 locations. Having outgrown their existing premises, both the Wollongong and Batemans Bay stores relocated to larger sites. Wollongong moved to a much bigger purpose built facility at Albion Park on the Princes Highway and Batemans Bay moved 200m down the street to a site that is 65% larger than what they currently operated from.
2016 - This is the year that we celebrated 70 years in business. Major renovations were started at the workshop in West st, Carlton and are due to be finished early next year. 2017 is shaping up to be a major year for Hunts Marine with many internal and business changes coming - stay tuned.