The History of Windward Boats, Inc.
In 1984, Windward Boats was formed to provide the boaters of Hawaii a competitively priced, quality service alternative for marine products and services. The company was originally founded as a hobby by Joe Adams, who sold Tohatsu outboards and Dynous Inflatables, with the demos being done in his backyard at Enchanted Lakes. In late 1984, Joe purchased the few remaining assets of Island Outboard Systems and renewed the lease of its 1100 sq. ft. "hole in the wall" location at 789 Kailua Rd and renamed the business "Windward Inflatables and Outboards" with only one office employee and one mechanic.
By this time, Johnson Outboards, OMC parts, and accessories had been added to the products sold by Windward Boats. Within two years, a salesman, Mark Fragale, (retired in 2017), was hired as another mechanic to handle the increased business. Shortly thereafter, the business expanded to the front of the property at 789 Kailua Rd. (the current sales office) upon the closing of "Downtown Used Cars". The rear portion of the building became the Service Department. Fiberglass boats, Livingston, and Sea Fox were added to take advantage of the spacious front street location. The name was then changed to "Windward Boats and Outboards" to reflect the addition of fiberglass boats. Modernization with computers was added in 1987 to handle the increased paperwork efficiently.
The company continued to grow rapidly, more than doubling its volume annually for the first four years. In February of 1988, the business was incorporated as Windward Boats, Inc. By the end of 1988, the business was bursting at the seams. The once seemingly "huge" facility was becoming very cramped with 14 employees working at the now "tiny" facility.
The search for a new large facility went underway to accommodate the continued growth in business. The search for one large facility was very difficult because the main desire was to remain on the Windward Side of Oahu. By mid-1989, a location was found only a couple of blocks away. However, it was too small to accommodate both the sales and service department. Construction of a new building at 46 Hoolai St. began in September of 1989 and opened in early 1990. The Service, Parts, and Accessory Department moved to this new location. These departments were combined with a Dive Shop and a Fishing Supply Store to establish the Windward Ocean Sports Center, creating the concept of a one-stop Ocean Sports Store.
By this time, Windward Boats, Inc. had become the largest boat dealer in the State of Hawaii, registering more new boats annually than any other boat dealer. However, during 1991, the recession began to take its grip in Hawaii, and for the first time, growth began to stabilize. During the latter part of 1991, Froome Boating Co. was offered for sale. The decision was made to acquire the assets and location of Froome Boating Co. at 789 Kailua Rd., the location of our Sales offices. The acquisition was made to consolidate the sales, service, parts, and accessory departments at one location. The acquisition of Froomes also provided the distributorship of Calkins Trailers and Dealerships for Honda and Evinrude Outboards, and Ocean Kayaks, thus eliminating the possibility of a competitor being located on the same property.
The move created short-term financial hardships but was necessary for long-term efficiency and cohesiveness while increasing domination of the retail boating market and expansion into the wholesale marine market.
With the closure of yet another Marine Dealer on Oahu (McWaynes), Windward Boats now has a firm lock on the Marine business on the island. We continue to work on customer service and exceptional sales. The future is very bright for us here at Windward Boats, Inc.
The New Millenium
In December of 2001, Island Boats located at 670 Auahi St. in Honolulu opened. Island Boats carries Sea Ray and Boston Whaler boats. Windward Boats, Inc. continues to feature Seaswirl, Livingston, and Triumph boats. Both locations carry kayaks from Ocean Kayak and Hobie, as well as E-Z Loader and Magic Tilt trailers. Due to a substantial lease increase, it was decided in 2003 that we would close our second location and again consolidate everything to one location.
That decision, though hard, warranted to be one of our best business decisions. Windward Boats, Inc. has rapidly grown since 2003 and we hope to see continued growth in the future. Windward Boats, Inc. celebrated its 20 year anniversary in 2004 and employs a total of 26 people.
Today, we sell everything from catamarans, sailboats, inflatable rafts, kayaks, and fishing boats... to EZ Loader Trailers... to multiple brands of marine engines. Stop by for a visit at our location in Kailua or give us a call if you have any questions as you're searching for the craft that meets your needs.