Riding the waves Featured

8:00pm EDT June 25, 2010
Master Entrepreneur

It would have been easy for Pack St. Clair to just quit after experiencing such failure. He and his team at the brand-new Cobalt Boats traveled to the Chicago Boat Show in 1968 with high hopes of making a lot of money.

They came with a variety of products from runabouts to high-performance cruisers and outboards. Some of the boats were actually finished en route to the show, but St. Clair was excited about his prospects.

Instead, he and his team walked away from the show without making a single sale. But the experience had provided a valuable lesson. The quality was not as high as it could be for many of the boats at the show, and St. Clair realized this was the opening he needed to capture the market.

His company would focus on quality and would make sure its boats were above and beyond customer expectations in terms of appearance and reliability and overall performance.

But it wasn’t just St. Clair who led the company to success. An overwhelming majority of the associates at Cobalt come from a farming background and that has meant a lot to St. Clair, who is Cobalt’s chairman. With their strong work ethic and improvisational skills, farmers have helped St. Clair take his company to the top of the boating industry.

As the economy has struggled during the past couple of years and many companies have lost money and even gone out of business, St. Clair has stayed afloat. By running an efficient and innovative organization that focuses on customer satisfaction and attention to detail, Cobalt Boats has continued growing and expects such growth to continue in the future.

How to reach: Cobalt Boats, (620) 325-2653 or www.cobaltboats.com