By JIM PARKER
The Post and Courier
It started as an experiment — a local car dealership agreeing to sell boats as a sideline.
But through the first nine months at least, Palmetto Ford Inc. has passed the test.
The company in late December 2011 became the Charleston area dealer for SeaFox Boats, built in Moncks Corner. Sales have quadrupled since then.
Now the Ford Lincoln combine is adding a second watercraft line, Edenton, N.C.-based Regulator Marine.
“We have just signed on to represent Regulator Boats,” said Graham M. Eubank Jr., president of Palmetto Ford Inc.
Regulator of Charleston will feature the complete line of Regulator offshore sportfishing boats from 23 to 34 feet. They will be sold at locations in Charleston and Mount Pleasant while offering both sales and service.
Regulator of Charleston will handle business in South Carolina from Hilton Head Island to Georgetown.
“Here at Regulator we are very excited to have Regulator of Charleston as our newest dealer,” company President Joan Maxwell said. “Although they are new to the marine industry, Regulator of Charleston is already ranked as an exceptional dealer by Yamaha” — which supplies the motors, she said.
“We feel they will be a strong addition to our dealer network because they are aggressive in the market and provide exceptional service to their customers. Their deep local ties to the Charleston and Mount Pleasant area make them a great fit with the Regulator team,” Maxwell said.
“When we learned of the chance to partner with Regulator we jumped at the opportunity,” Eubank said. “Regulator boats are known world-wide for their quality, fit, finish and sea-keeping ability. Anyone interested in the finest open sportfisher on the water — Regulator is the one,” he said.
The first outboard center console models to be delivered to Regulator of Charleston are the new Regulator 28 and the Regulator 26. Sales veterans Tony Blanchard and Shane Logsdan are handling sales.
Palmetto sells the boat brands from its Lowcountry 4x4 locale on Savannah Highway and its Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center in Mount Pleasant.
Meanwhile Eubank provided an update on “how things have progressed with SeaFox Boats of Charleston.”
Last week, “we placed an order to SeaFox for our 100th boat for the year,” Eubank said.
“We have delivered 75 new SeaFoxes in eight months since January, taking the market share for SeaFox from 3.2 percent to 12 percent in the tri-county area,” he says. According to Eubank, SeaFox is now No. 2 in sales locally.
In addition to SeaFox and Regulator boat outlets in Charleston and east of the Cooper, Palmetto’s stable of vehicles and services include:
• Palmetto Ford Lincoln at 1625 Savannah Highway
• Mama’s Used Cars next to Palmetto on Savannah Highway
• Palmetto Ford Truck World at 1634 Savannah Highway
• Lowcountry 4x4 & Truck Specialties, 1634 Savannah Highway
•Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center of Mount Pleasant at 558 Johnnie Dodds Blvd.
For more information, call 843-266-6850.
Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or firstname.lastname@example.org.