It's early on a Sunday morning in Sunrise Beach, Mo., and the weather is clear. People have their sights set on the lapping blue water of the Lake of the Ozarks, and Pirate's Point Boat Rentals & Gas Dock with its shining line of Lowe pontoons is waking up to a new day.
Customers wander in. Some have come to fuel up their boats, while others are looking to pick up a pontoon or personal watercraft rental. A handful of people browse the dock store in search of a morning snack and some sunscreen.
Kent Morris, the owner of Pirate's Point, totes a thermos of coffee in hand to jumpstart himself for the day ahead. He's got his sailing hat and sunglasses in place. It's going to get hot and busy, but he's ready.
All In A Day's Work
Kent and his crew have a lot to look after. In addition to renting out and maintaining a fleet of pontoons and deck boats, they also rent out WaveRunners and Jet Skis, paddleboards, water mats, tubes and more. Locals have come to depend on the Pirate's Point crew for the high-quality service and first-rate inventory they offer. After more than 20 years in business, they've made a name for themselves.
Their success is not by accident. Kent has been spending his days at Pirate's Point since the Morris family purchased it in 1999, and he's not slowing down. He shows up every day along with his family and other employees and gives his business his full attention.
Yet while hard work is certainly behind it all, another significant factor in the success of Pirate's Point is that their own name has become inseparably connected with other names, not the least of which is Lowe Boats.
What's In A Name?
Lowe Boats builds a quality pontoon. Since 1971, the family-founded business has been providing people nationwide with expertly crafted boats, and their experience working with aluminum goes back even further than that. This long-standing legacy-more than 50 years of experience-has placed Lowe Boats at the forefront of innovative techniques and technologies in boat building.
When it comes to pontoons, they've had a front row seat in the progression of the pontoon from a spare and basic water vessel to the vehicle of comfort and speed that it is today. When the Lowe name is displayed on the side of a pontoon, you can bet that it's a solid and efficient vehicle.
This is what Pirate's Point counts on to deliver the experience their customers expect from them. They want a quality experience, and they want it every time.
Kent's reasons for returning again and again to Lowe for his rental fleet are numerous. To begin with, he wants boats that are dependable and sturdy enough to stand up to the use and wear that comes from being rented out to large groups.
"Lowe has basically made their pontoons bulletproof," Kent says. "You'd never guess how much use they get. They're always in good shape. We haven't had a leak yet with any of our boats from Lowe."
Kent has other reasons as well.
"You can't beat the performance of a Lowe boat. We have Lowe pontoons of different lengths, each with a Mercury engine. These engines run well, about 35 miles per hour," he says. "Our 27-footers take up to 12 passengers comfortably, and you can tube and ski and all that stuff also. People want the space to bring their family and friends along and the versatility to do more than just slowly creep through the water. These boats have set a really good standard for us."
For Kent, certain features really set this pontoon apart from the rest, affirming his decision to carry pontoons exclusively from Lowe.
"On the 27-footers, they put what they call a front porch on them. This keeps people from setting too far forward and creating a nosedive in cruiser wakes, which is a big thing because we have a lot of large boats here on the Lake of the Ozarks," Kent explains. "The front porch also gives space to put water mats out. They're really handy for that. It's a nice place for people to walk and get on and off the boat." Pirate's Point carries smaller pontoons as well.
A Wide Variety
"The 23-footers are lighter and can travel faster on a lower horsepower engine and they're also easier to maneuver," Kent says. "People love the 23-footers to tube and ski with because they're so easy to handle. Regardless of the size, these pontoons deliver."
Some of the perks pontoon customers enjoy are large storage spaces, rails and gates that don't rattle while the boat is moving through the water, ample lounge seating that can convert to face different directions, comfortable and durable furniture, a good sound system and an open layout that is easy to walk through. And of course, there's the reliable Mercury outboard.
Whatever angle you view it from, these boats serve the customers of Pirate's Point well, and Kent is satisfied with his experience also. He's grateful for the help he's had in securing Lowe boats. He hasn't done it alone.
A Beneficial Partnership
Kent first met Paul Morris at PDQ Marine Sales at a time when he was desperate for new boats and boats were nowhere to be found. He had driven by Paul's dealership before, but when he heard an ad on the radio for boat sales, he decided to see what Paul could do for him. He'll be forever glad that he did.
"From that first meeting, Paul hooked me up with a couple of SS 270s, which are Lowe's premier brand for boat rental companies. We have not been disappointed," Kent shares.
Kent was so happy, he decided to go back to Paul again. And again. They have a regular working relationship now.
Paul provides Kent with new Lowe pontoons every year, which is no small feat in the current market. In turn, Kent trades in his used pontoons every year so Paul always has quality, affordable inventory to sell to other people. They both benefit.
"We've been really fortunate to have access to new boats every year at a time when inventory of any kind is so hard to find," Kent shares. "Paul has really bent over backwards to help us, working Saturdays, Sundays, whatever we need."
Kents says he calls Paul for more than just new boat inventory. He reaches out to him regularly, around four to five times per week even, for help securing parts and accessories for the boats. Paul is happy to oblige.
"What we're looking for is continuity and consistency," Kent explains. "If something breaks or gets damaged on one of our pontoons, we want to have a supply of parts to switch it out and fix it right away, which is one of the many benefits of having all Lowe pontoons. Paul has helped us make this happen."
When All Is Said And Done
At the end of a day at Pirate's Point, Kent and his crew are ready for a rest but ultimately happy with the service they've been able to offer their customers, including the experience of spending the day on the lake in a Lowe pontoon.
What keeps customers coming back is the reality of a good experience. It's the feel of stability in the water and a comfortable seat for the ride. It's the durability and performance of a Mercury outboard that doesn't disappoint. It's a quality look and feel in every aspect of the boat. And, yes, it's the gleam of the Lowe name in shiny stainless steel on the pontoon's exterior.
And, of course, it's the smile and the wave the Pirate's Point crew give as customers return to the dock and set off for home as the sun is setting.