Bryan’s Marine celebrates 20 years of service

Published 1:33 am Sunday, July 15, 2007

VIDALIA — Business and pleasure are a dynamic duo that can be discovered at Bryan’s Marine in Vidalia this year as the entire Bryan family celebrates their 20th year in the business.

“It’s not just a job,” owner Doyle Bryan said. “It is a family partnership.”

Bryan’s wife and children have been a part of Bryan’s Marine since its establishment. He said he had a dream and his family shared in the development of that dream.

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“My wife can take apart motors and work on them right along beside me,” Bryan said.

“All my life, this is all I’ve ever done. I like tinkering on boats. I guess my dad got me started on that. We had an old boat that I spent more time working on than riding in.”

Like father, like son — Bryan seems to have passed the tradition down to his son, Joey, who is the service manager at Bryan’s Marine. Both are licensed mechanics.

Doyle Bryan began as a mechanic over 30 years ago at Keeth’s Marine in Jonesville. He worked there for eight years, going to school to become certified with OMC and Mercury motors. Later, he moved to a similar position in Natchez. After 11 years of working as a boat mechanic, he opened his first business in Ferriday.

“It was service only,” Bryan said of the initial enterprise. “I always had this dream of a place on the Ferriday-Vidalia highway. There seemed to be a need for this kind of business.”

His place — his dream come true — now services patrons within a 100 mile radius.

“We have had customers from Baton Rouge, Vicksburg, Monroe and Alexandria,” he said. “We even had one guy from Mexico buy a deck boat from us.”

“But it did not happen over night,” Bryan said of his business that now employees 10 people, including three certified mechanics. “We started with aluminum boats. Then as customers’ demands changed we moved to fiberglass, too.”

Aluminum boats, fiberglass boats, pontoons, bass boats, duck boats, fishing boats, pleasure boats, and all the paraphernalia for the serious fisherman or toys for the avid water lover are just a minute portion of the Bryan’s Marine inventory.

But Bryan said it is not just about selling boats.

“It’s about service. We have run this business off of service.”

Bryan’s Marine has its own golden rule.

“We treat people like we want to be treated,” he said.

Even though Bryan has been a dependable marine source for over two decades and plans to continue for many more to come, when the time comes for him to take a step back, it is his vision that Bryan’s Marine stay as it started — in his family.