Front Runner Boats - Innovation and Value
Posted on May 12, 2020
Posted on May 12, 2020
Front Runner as defined by Merriam Webster is "a contestant who runs best in the lead." Indeed, this defines the vision of Front Runner Boats' founders, two fishing buddies and business partners who saw an opportunity to build the boats they enjoyed, but with their own ideas on how to build them better!
Most boat builders make the same claim, but Front Runner Boats founders, Mark Lacovara and Phil Mahn have substantiated that claim with real innovations learned from their many years of experience. They started out improving boats and selling them, and it led to a boat dealership they began in 2016. Frustrated with the constant missed or uncertain delivery dates and having to service the dealership boats that came in with a laundry list of issues (i.e. repowering, rewiring, installing electronics; everything except the fiberglass), they asked themselves, why not just build a boat ourselves?
One idea was to more efficiently use space on the Front Runner models compared to the boats they had experienced, while keeping the price point lower than competitor center consoles on the market. According to Lacovara, "A 39 with quad 350s starts at $440,000. That is a running boat, you just have to add electronics. It includes the big console, hardtop, sink and berth down below. We've taken all the space in the boat and utilized it." (Trade Only Today interview with Reagan Haynes, Nov. 2019)
Partners Lacovara and Mahn realized they had to build a product that was going to be a looker but at the same time needed to show the "Better Build" features that would position the Front Runner brand to lead in the crowded center console market. Starting the business with sufficient private funding (no corporate investors, no loans, no silent partners) has helped with cost management. The company operates out of a 12,000 square-foot building in St. Johns, FL with 23 employees. "Front Runner Boats are designed with a service mindset; it is our goal to build a quality boat at a quality price!"
Front Runner Boats is an original design by renowned naval architect, Erwin Gerards of EG Designs, who's pedigree includes projects for leading custom boat manufactures in the industry. Erwin Gerards came to the USA after completing his studies in Naval Architecture at the University of Rotterdam. He moved to Florida in 1999 and was hired as in-house Naval Architect at Rybovich Spencer, working directly for Gary Hilliard who was head boat builder back then and from whom he learned the design/build traditions of sport fishing boats and the industry. In 2004, he started his own design firm, EG Designs. Erwin Gerards has designed for some of the most well known and respected brands of sportfishing boats such as Michael Rybovich, Gamefisherman, Garlington, L&H, Maverick as well as some custom sportfish builders. Steeped in the design traditions of these premium builds, EG Designs has worked with Front Runner Boats to incorporate classic styling, from big bow flair to the high-performance stepped bottom, along with cutting-edge engineering and innovation. Quality is built into each Front Runner by utilizing the best construction materials for superior fit and finish.
One of our priorities is to have a boat that is easier and more cost-effective to maintain, without compromise. As Mordy Miltz (CPYB), of United Yacht Sales and Factory Sales for Front Runner Boats describes; "The lazarette boasts a serviceable bilge which features dual sea chests equipped with low and hi speed pickups. The sea chests will also supply water for all onboard systems that utilize seawater (live wells, washdown, air conditioning and Seakeeper, if equipped). Steering and trim tab pumps are plumbed into the console to reduce corrosion as well as to keep them out of the elements for longevity. Front Runner Boats prides itself on attention to detail that can be seen throughout, such as using all Gemlux hardware; and from the plumbing to the wiring, serviceability and accessibility by someone who may be on the bigger side, was also taken into consideration."
The console features a side entrance to the amazingly spacious and comfortable interior space. Some notable standard features include a full berth and a sink. Additionally, some popular options are; 12v air conditioning, SeaDek interior and custom rod storage. The creature comforts and layout do not impede on the tournament readiness, as every avid fisherman can appreciate a single level deck layout and 360-degree fishability.
Front Runner Boats uses a Factory-Direct sales model, to ensure each and every boat that leaves the factory is up to our standard, and most importantly, ensure each customer is satisfied to the highest expectations. Right now, the production schedule will accommodate a 16 week build time, depending on what options and equipment are in the particular boat.
Follow this link to see more photos and information about Front Runner Boats for Sale
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