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United by Water: W. Brett McGill | By CEO Magazine


It’s something of an understatement to say that being out on the water is in W. Brett McGill’s blood. His earliest memories are all to do with boating, swimming, fishing and water skiing. His dad ran a boating business, so his family was never far away from a marina or beach.

His four sons, aged between 17 and 21, have inherited their dad’s passion, and Brett, who runs MarineMax, the world’s largest recreational boat and yacht retailer, has achieved astonishing results by passing on that same passion to his thousands of customers.

“My dad was a boater and started a dealership over 45 years ago from a gas station lot in St Petersburg, Florida,” he tells The CEO Magazine, “So I’ve been around boats since I was a little boy. And now it’s the same for my boys.

“Some of our best experiences have been around wakeboarding, surfing, just being on the water. It’s a pretty infectious thing. I always say that MarineMax doesn’t sell boats, it sells boating.”

It might sound like a subtle nuance, but, for Brett, it’s at the heart of everything the company does, and even informs its slogan: ‘United by Water’. Anyone can sell fancy yachts, but few can offer a complete boating experience that inspires both nervous, first-time owners and veteran enthusiasts alike.


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