Thursday, May 21, 2009

Tony Stracke Living Malibu Boats and Loving It!

Great letter from a Malibu (@MalibuBoats) boat owner, Tony Stracke (@20ARMADA09), who has experienced the truth on the water and shows others the Malibu Difference.

My name is Tony Stracke and I am a proud owner of a 2007 Malibu V Ride. I absolutely love my boat and love your company and everything you guys are, from hardcore wake boats to family fun boats all in one. I enjoy filling the ballast tanks and dropping the wedge and taking my friends out for an early morning wakeboard session as the sun comes up. I also enjoy taking my family out and exploring the lake and getting a tan.

I have realized, as hard as it is to give up my childish dreams, that I will never be a professional wakeboarder. But that is ok with me, I absolutely love wakeboarding and the lake and that is why I decided to start my own apparel brand. I am basing my company off of some of the same values as Malibu Boats and my own values. I also own my own small pest control business so I don't have a bunch of money but feel like if I make things that I like, eventually other people will see it and like it as well. I was once told that "you are your own best marketing tool" and that has stuck with me.

I knew I was going to buy a Malibu Boat at the age of 17. It was then that I went into my local shop, which is family owned and operated. Tilly's Marine in Ventura, CA. I didn't have any money at the time and I'm sure Bruce and Brett could see that by my age but they still said hello to me and asked if! had any questions and I said no I was just checking things out and they said ok and left me to look around but all along staying within sight so as to answer any questions I may have. I looked around and left but not before getting a brochure and a goal to strive for.

Fast-forward 9 years and go through the same scenario. This time, Bruce was busy with another customer and I was looking around at various boats and wanted to
actually ask some questions this time. It was this day that I would be helped by a very nice lady. I had not seen her before and she was a little older but very nice and very knowledgeable. She explained the various options and the various models and had answers to all my questions. I left Tilly's Marine dead set on owning a Malibu Boat. I had looked at other boats but none compared to the attention to detail as a Malibu and none of the other dealers compared to the experiences I had at Tilly's. This time I had not only a brochure but also a DVD to watch over and over.

I kept working and finally went back into Tilly's, but this time with every intention to buy a boat. It is a year later from the last time I had talked to the older woman and looked for her as I came through the door but didn't see her. I had my parents with me, mainly because I was proud and wanted them to see what a great community I was going to be a part of, and my dad was going to help me with the down payment. My parents had owned boats before but never really thought of a "competition boat," they were more of a day cruiser type of attitude and a hard sell. I knew if they were impressed it was a done deal. A younger gentleman came over to help us and I asked him where the older lady was. He paused for a second, thinking, and then said that it must have been "Mrs. T". Apparently the other sales people were busy so Mrs. T, the mother of the owner Brett Tilly, had stepped up and helped me. When I heard that she was Brett's mom, I was sold once again. She doesn't usually sell boats but she took the time to help me when 1 was looking.

Jonathan was the name of the person that actually sold me my boat and sold my parents on the boat. He answered all the questions we had and said that selling a Malibu Boat was fairly easy. "The boat sells itself, 1 just have to point out all the subtle features and show all the functions of the boat but the boat sells itself." Boy was he right. He ran us through the options and we were sold.

I couldn't be happier with my boat. I ordered it from your factory in Merced and was even told that arrangements could be made to see my boat being built. It couldn't come soon enough. I put 110 hours on it in the first summer and taught some people how to wake board and showed them what the lake lifestyle was all about. They fell in love with it. Every time I take my boat out I get complements. It makes me feel good. There isn't any special paint schemes or graphics or limited edition stuff like some other companies. It's a standard V Ride paint scheme and stickers and people tell me its beautiful. And rightfully so, Malibu Boats are beautiful.

Since purchasing my boat 2 years ago, I pointed a close friend toward Tilly's Marine and he is a proud owner of a Wakesetter that he and his wife and two small children love. I have also told everyone I meet that ask me about my boat that it is the best purchase I've made. "I love it, no complaints whatsoever. Go check them out, but be careful they sell themselves," I tell them and they usually say, "I can see that, I like it already." So needless to say, I will be a Malibu owner for life and hope to see many people in a Malibu.

It is people like Tony who who make the Malibu Difference possible! Thank you for taking the time to write us, Tony. And thank you for living the Malibu boats lifestyle for all to see. You prove that the truth is on the water and we're proud to have you as part of the family.

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