Dr. Bob’s Marine Clinic & Power Sports Services recently celebrated 10 years of serving the needs of the Canora region in the marine and power sports industry, from April 1, 2010 to 2020.
The story of this business began in 2008, when Bob Stoyand, Jr., with over 15 years of experience in the marine and power sports service industry, decided he would like to set up his own shop. Also known as “Dr. Bob,” he received his initial training at Fairview College in Alberta, completing an extensive one-year program focusing exclusively on boat motors. During his initial years as a technician, he worked at dealerships that sold and serviced Mercury Marine motors and he completed all training levels, acquiring a Master Technician designation.
Dr. Bob witnessed the service and repair side of the industry slowly erode due to the emphasis on sales of new product and the lack of training available to new technicians coming into the industry. This resulted in excessively long waits to get boats repaired every summer. In many cases, owners of older boats were unable to find dealerships willing to repair aging motors. He saw an opportunity to fill this niche by providing quality work with the help of technicians who met his exacting standards, as well as committing to provide repairs in a timely manner.
“Dr. Bob’s Marine Clinic has developed a huge inventory of used parts, which has helped us to meet the needs of clients wanting to repair their “older” engines,” said Dr. Bob. “This has set us apart from most of the service shops in Saskatchewan.”
He said being in tune with what customers are looking for has been the key to the growth of the business since it’s inception. “We considered Canora as the best location to start the business, as it was central to Good Spirit Lake, Madge Lake and lakes to the north,” he explained. “This natural service area included Yorkton to the south, Kamsack to the east and Preeceville/Sturgis to the north. We purchased two lots on Norway Road, which had a service road in front and was visible to traffic generated from the Highways No. 5 and No. 9, one of the busiest highway junctions in Saskatchewan.” While the commercial building was under construction during the spring and summer of 2010, Bob and Tracy Stoyand started the business at their acreage outside of Theodore. They were pleasantly surprised that Bob’s reputation as a technician drew many customers to the acreage who have remained loyal to this day.
An energy efficient metal building was erected in Canora to minimize utility and maintenance costs over the long term. The building has a superior insulation envelope and is heated with in-floor heating in the shop area, which makes the working environment comfortable even on the coldest days. They designed the shop and service areas to maximize the efficiency of the work space and storage areas. The business moved into the building just prior to the 2010 winterizing season.
“In the fall of 2013, we decided to enter the new boat sales market due to countless enquiries from customers,” said Bob Stoyand, Sr., “Captain Bob.” “We became a dealership for Mirrorcraft, an established manufacturer from the Green Bay, Wisconsin area. Their product and pricing fit well with our market area and the US exchange rate was near par with the Canadian dollar. It was an exciting time, as we moved into a new phase of our business and hit our sales target for 2014. However, as we assessed our plans for 2015, the US exchange rate had moved from $1.05 to $1.30 and new boat prices continued to increase due to escalating US exchange rates. For a time, the aluminum used to build boats was subject to USA tariffs, so we discontinued new boat sales and have remained focused on selling good used boats at a price point that was more in tune with our customer base.”
Dr. Bob is co-owner and in charge of operations. He manages all aspects of the Service Department and is a Mercury Marine Master Technician with over 25 years of experience.
“We are very pleased to have on staff our two technicians,” he said. “Shawn Bowes has over 30 years of experience and is joined by Jared Lamber, with two years experience.”
Cory Hiller, the business manager, looks after the office and sales side of the business and he wears many hats.
“Cory is the first point of contact by phone, email or when you come into the shop,” said Dr. Bob. “He co-ordinates the scheduling of work and ordering of parts with me to get you back on the water in the shortest time possible. He is also responsible for sales of our used boats and motors, parts and accessories, as well as the purchase and sales of our fishing equipment.”
Captain Bob is co-owner and in charge of finance and marketing. He spent over 40 years in the banking industry, economic development and as a consultant to small business.
Community involvement plays an important role for those involved in this Canora business.
Dr. Bob’s Marine Clinic is a sponsor of the Madge Lake Walleye Cup, held in September, and is a regular participant of the Canora Gun Show. “We will miss these cancelled events, but have them marked on our calendar for next year!”
In these uncertain times during COVID-19, they have adapted the operation of the business by having customers drop off their boats or quads by appointment. “We bring the units into our fenced compound while adhering to proper social distancing,” said Dr. Bob. “When the work is completed, we contact the customer for payment over the phone and arrange for a pick-up time. We will continue with strict social distancing and limited access to the office area for the foreseeable future.
“We encourage you to “Shop Locally” and support small businesses, as they are the backbone of our communities. We, in turn, can support your activities and events in the future,” he concluded.