Apr 17, 2017
By: Owen Hurst
Brothers Raymond and Peter Roberts are the full package. They are the owner/operators of Double R Performance located in Hawkestone, ON between Barrie and Orillia and only a few minutes from Lake Simcoe. In operation since 1999 The Roberts brothers have secured their prominent position in the performance boating market.
The brothers developed a strong foundation by finding an untapped niche locally and leveraging it, a plan that has seen them continuously grow. The brother’s complement each other very well, with company President Raymond being heavily involved in the Service side of the company, and General Manager Peter focusing on Sales.
On a rather dreary and rainy day in early April I visited Double R Performance, and although it was dark outside the mood in the facility, and witnessing their current projects quickly awoke senses dulled by the weather. The facility is immaculately well kept and the employees clearly love their job, you could feel the positive buzz as they worked. And, how could they not? They spend their days repairing and customizing performance boats!
I got the grand tour from Peter, and was amazed by the extensive facility and the numerous diverse facets the business utilizes. Their service department has the equipment and qualified staff to service any need your performance boat may have. The rig shop is fully equipped to undertake custom rigging, fabrication, re-power or conversion and has a large 80 x 20-foot test tank.
The drive shop is ready to do drive repairs, rebuilds and replaces even the largest Mercury Racing models. Double R Performance also has Mercury Marine and Mercury Racing certified staff. They hold a Mercury Racing’s T.E.A.M. Certification allowing them to install Mercury racing packages from the 600Sci to the 1650QC4v, installations that are restricted to T.E.A.M. certified facilities. Peter noted that extending their capabilities to these specialized products is great for business but also allows them to better serve their customers.
Peter had a great story from the early years of the company when he was still in University. He related how one of their customers required repairs to their #6 outdrive that had been damaged. And as with most jobs it was time sensitive. In the early years, they didn’t have the facilities they do now and Peter took several days off school to take the customers drive down to Florida for repair and then get them back in time for that weekends poker run. That customer first philosophy has not changed, and is one of the reasons they have continued to grow and can now service all performance issues on site.
In the Dyno room, they can run tests on car, truck and marine engines up to 2,000 hp, and their DTS Dynameter is the only local dyno capable of running wet exhaust for marine applications. The DTS Dyno can handle up to 2,000 foot pounds of torque and provides computerized printouts for techs and customers.
The facility also has a highly impressive Paint and Glass Shop that has worked on many premier performance offshores as well as smaller boats, cars, bikes, R.V’s and just about anything else they are challenged with. When I was their they had several projects underway, including a custom racing boat that was in the early stages but promised a unique and eye-catching paint job that will certainly give it added attention at races. The shop is additionally capable of providing any necessary repairs, including transom, stringers and gel repairs.
Further, Double R Performance has a graphics division capable of providing graphics of any size, detail, or application. They have a transportation department that can help customers in moving their performance boats throughout North America. And of course, being in Canada they provide winterization as well as outdoor and indoor storage at their secure facility.
After the tour, Peter and I sat down to discuss Double R Performances’ success and the side of the business that we have only briefly mentioned. Selling boats! Peter oversees the sales at Double R Performance, and sales this year are going very well. Peter informs me that already in 2017, they are ahead of their sales predictions, a great indicator that high-end boat sales are on the rise. He is thrilled with the industry right now, and says that it is stronger than it has ever been.
Sales at Double R Performance are again focused on serving the customers. Double R Performance sells new and used boats, and will even take trades of boats that don’t fall into the unique classification of performance boats. Through Raymond’s ownership in Central Marine in Midland, ON they can take any style of boat in trade and sell through that location.
As well as selling as being a certified Mercury dealer Double R Performance has cornered the northern market on sales of Nor-Tech performance boats. Peter notes that the recession hit new boat sales hard and that Double R Performance was able to survive by not stretching themselves too thin, and as such as the market resurged they were able to leverage the partnership to the advantage of Double R Performance, Nor-Tech, and of course their clientele.
Peter says that now-a-days the brothers, if not at the marina can usually be found at events, including poker runs that are very often hosted as charity events. And the brothers love to be there supporting the charities and customers participating. He is clearly enthused and amused as he discusses being at the events and the roles the brothers often take. If a problem with a boat comes up Peter muses that Raymond is the first guy to get his hands dirty to help solve whatever mechanical issue comes up. And Peter is there doing just about anything, and of course sell a boat or repair job if Raymond isn’t able to get things up and running.
The Roberts brothers are obviously big on being involved. Peter says that it is his job to be available and he always answers his phone no matter how busy he is, and from what I saw, he is quite busy. And with summer just around the corner Double R Performance has big things on the horizon, and hopefully that includes a few sunsets from the deck of their own boats as well!