It seems like yesterday that Fishing Monthly was covering the opening of Bruce Cunningham’s new yard on the Redcliffe Peninsula four years ago. From humble beginnings way back in 1982 when Bruce was a simple worker in the boating industry, Bruce has expanded his business and customer base enormously - both before the move and then since the move.
Cunningham’s Marine has been located at the new premises since 2007 and they have now filled it to overflowing with new and used boats and motors, extensive service and fit-up departments and marine chandlery that will make Cunningham’s Marine at 51-59 Snook St in Clontarf the place to go if your needs are boating related.
And, as we reported when he opened the new yard, Bruce and his team succeeds with pretty simple philosophies – look after the customer and the rest will look after itself!
“We’re all about serving all of the normal Queensland boaties,” Bruce explained.
“It doesn’t matter if you want to re-power your 12 footer or take a test drive in a new Larson or Striper, we’re here to help you.
“To be honest, we’re trying to achieve a level of service that customers expect in other industries, and the new site has addressed lots of issues that we had at our older premises,” Bruce continued.
As well as a massive service section with drive-in access, there’s ample on and off-street customer parking and a huge number of boats on-site.
Naturally, the Cunningham’s team wouldn’t let their fourth anniversary of the new store opening slip by without a party, so there’ll be a 4th Birthday Sale happening on Saturday June 4.
Apart from the Marine Queensland Big Barbie there’ll be some incredible pricing on over 50 boat/motor/trailer packages that will be revealed on the day. Brooker, Stejcraft, Quintrex, Polycraft and Smartwave packages will be at never-to-be-repeated, birthday celebration prices. If you’ve been eyeing off one of these brands, believe me, the Birthday Sale is probably the best time to put the money down! Plus you can also view the new additions to the boating range with three new Stripers now on site and the exotic Larson range of boats.
As an example of the deals on offer the new Stejcraft 495 Runabout with a 60hp package valued at an awesome $24,500. The 4.95m fibreglass runabout package includes sounder, canopy safety equipment, trailer and more. Check it out on the day along with a bunch of other amazing boat package specials.
And as they say in the classic, but wait there’s more!
Cunningham’s Marine has invited a range of top fishers and boaters to talk to visitors on the day and help solve their on-water problems. From reversing a trailer to nabbing yourself a monster bream on lures, there will be somewhere there to help you. The Redcliffe Coast Guard will also be making an appearance, so help this vital organisation out as one day they may be the difference between you coming home or not.
But it’s not only boats and motors that make Cunningham’s Marine such a wonderfully place for boating and fishing enthusiasts. Their range of accessories and chandlery has to be seen to be believed, covering everything from electronics, sun protection and water sports to general chandlery items from all the best brands.
Cunningham’s Marine also carries a huge range of pre-loved boats, from tinnies to cruisers and everything in between. They are happy to trade your boat outright or consign your boat depending on your situation. Simply fill out the form on their website or phone Cunningham’s Marine and their helpful staff will make it very easy for you.
You can pick up anything you need to make your day on the water a little safer or a little more comfortable. We’ve said it before, but we have to say it again: Cunningham’s Marine is a one stop shop for boaters.
Talking with Bruce about the success of the new yard, it’s obvious that he’s met every challenge thrown at him so far. Originally a motorcycle mechanic, Bruce’s first yard was in Ingham, north Queensland. The Chrysler dealership quickly picked up Suzuki and Marine and became Ingham Motorcycles and Marine.
Moving to Brisbane in 1989, he purchased Margate Motors and Marine in Oxley Avenue.
“There wasn’t much boat stock there, and the place also sold lawnmowers as well as the original Tohatsu and Allycraft franchise,” Bruce said. “In fact, we were the very first Allycraft dealer – anywhere!”
In 1994, Cunningham picked up Mercury brands (Mercury outboards, MerCruiser stern drives, Quicksilver Inflatables, parts and accessories), an association that continues to this day. Subsequently, they’ve won awards for Dealer of the Year for Queensland and for the Australia/South Pacific area on more than one occasion.
“Not bad for a dealership that the other local dealers gave six months until we were out of business,” he smiled.
The Cunningham’s story is much bigger than what’s been mentioned though with the business offering 9 different boat brands, 2 outboard and one inboard motor brand and access to custom rigged Sealink trailers, trailers that are built to specifications provided by Cunningham’s Marine to ensure your boat gets to and from the water safely.
Looking a little closer at the boat brands available sees the fibreglass range include the wonderful Striper range coming on line in 2005. The Striper boats are considered by many as bringing together the best of both worlds by combining meticulous attention to detail inside while retaining all the performance and flair hard core boaties are looking for. They are a revelation on the water and provide that essential balance between sport and pleasure boat that is rarely achieved these days.
ArrowCats first arrived at Cunningham’s Marine in 2009 and made a hug impact straight away. The reasons were simple as all too often, when searching for a power catamaran, families had to compromise and exchange creature comforts for fishing features. ArrowCat gave you these fishing features, along with unparalleled family features in a safe and stable package that looked every bit as good as it performed.
In 2010 Stejcraft was added to the dealership and with an amazing array of half cabins, bow riders and ski boats, the Stejcraft brand provides options aplenty. Stejcraft provides boats that are considered to be the best value available. Their fishing and family boats have provided thousands of owners with many years of safe, trouble free and affordable boating pleasure.
And this year Cunningham’s pulled off somewhat of a coup with the addition of the luxurious Larson range to their stable. Through nearly a century of building better boats, Larson has learned a thing or two about the boating experience families desire. Ever since Paul Larson built his first boat in 1913 in Little Falls, Minnesota, they’ve always delivered superior performance, style, technology and safety. But discovering your dream boat is about more than that. It’s about getting exactly what you want. Because when you find the perfect boat, it just feels right. Thanks to almost 100 years on the water, Larson has not only perfected the art of giving you the best performance; they’ve perfected the science of delivering the best value.
Added to this impressive fibreglass list is the addition of the robust Polycraft range in 2005 and the more recent addition of the SmartWave range in 2009. Both these two poly boats are virtually indestructible and will provide years of faithful service to owners. From inshore to offshore, SmartWave and Polycraft offer a level of safety and security virtually unmatched in the industry.
It’s when you start talking aluminium rigs that you truly start to appreciate that Cunningham’s Marine has the boating package that is right for you.
Since 2002, Trailcraft boats have graced the Cunningham’s Marine floor. These sturdy rigs are computer-designed and represent the leading edge in boat building technology, and the company is recognised as the foremost exponent of plate aluminium boat building in Australia. An emphasis on modern design technology is balanced by technical excellence and every Trailcraft is individually handcrafted by highly trained, experienced aluminium boat fabricators.
2005 saw the addition of Brooker aluminium boats to the line up on offer. Brooker boat caters for everyone from professional fishermen to the average family. They take pride in the fact that we produce an affordable boat without compromising on quality. Their designs combine strength and stability while still maintaining the sporty image that is so popular. Their 25 models range in size from 2.43m to 5.25m.
But if you wanted a seriously large offshore rig, Cunningham’s can help there too with Noble Boats being added to the floor plan in 2009. For 20 years, Noble Boats International has been innovating, designing and producing world class plate aluminium boats. Noble Boats International has expert staff in all aspects of naval architecture, boat building, painting and electrical fit out to ensure your boat is finished to the exact standards you demand and should expect. From 5m up to 12.5m, through to working on navy ships and heavy landing craft for the Australian Navy Noble Boats has shown they can match it with the best in producing safe, functional and eye-catching boats.
In 2010, a massive change occurred at Cunningham’s when Quintrex’s parent company Telwater bought Allycraft. Cunningham’s was an existing Allycraft dealer and the buy out allowed Cunningham’s to become the north side’s premier Quintrex dealer. Most Queenslanders are well aware of the Quintrex brand and their range extends from the smallest tender tinny all the way up to the impressive 690 Offshore rigs. In between these two are bowriders, centre cabs, half cabs, tournament rigs and more. The range is as spectacular as it is large and Cunningham’s has access to them all.
And if all that choice is not enough, Cunningham’s Marine is the only boat dealership that offers a free DVD on safe boat operation. This DVD takes you through the basics of boat preparation, launch and retrieve and is an amazing asset to anyone who is new to boating or is just getting back into it. Simply pop in and see the team at Cunningham’s Marine, we can assure you it will build up your boating confidence and make your water time far more pleasurable.
You’d think that Cunningham’s success was born of a deep love of power boating, but it’s not that at all.
“I actually like dealing with the boating public,” Bruce explained. “The boating industry and its customers must be the best people in the world to deal with.”
When you think about it, your local boat dealer is ALWAYS going to be more popular than the local parking inspector, policeman or tax collector. – FMGReads: 2001