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Marine Store Rides out 9/11 Security Storm

June 14, 2012

Eric Bassett in his shop with tons of marine items. Photo by Laura Carpenter

NEWPORT – Located on the shores of the beautiful Lake Memphremagog is a busy business that many locals may not know much about: Newport Marine Services.
The business has weathered the economic storm and continues going strong, but it isn’t quite as busy as it was at other times, explained owner Bob Kerr.
The most significant change in businesses came after the September 11 attacks and homeland security measures increased. Less people were on international Lake Memphremagog. More than half of the lake is located in Canada. People are now used to the increase in security, and the initial slowdown in boating activity has rebounded.
Some boat owners are not doing regular maintenance as they should, which leads to bigger problems for boat owners. “It’s like if you don’t change the oil in your car, you end up needing a new engine,” Kerr said. Kerr has also noticed that some people are buying parts off the Internet instead. Sometimes it works out, and sometimes it doesn’t.
The business offers full service marine repairs and maintenance, sells gas, including ethanol free gas, and has a shop for purchasing boating items such as tubes or life jackets and boat cleaning supplies. Boat rentals are also available. Non-ethanol gas is better for boats, and lawn and garden equipment, manager Eric Bassett said.
On the lake just outside of the shop are several docks and boat condominiums that can be purchased through a real estate agent and are part of an association. Newport Marine Services is typically hired to maintain the boats located there.
Dry storage and year round storage for boats is also available.
Like many businesses, Newport Marine Services is affected significantly by weather, and forecasts. If the forecast in predicting inclement weather, even several days out, people change their plans, Kerr said. But, like clockwork business takes off every summer.
Newport Marine Services is located at Farrant Pt.on Lake Memphremagog. Kerr has owned the business for 10 years, and formerly worked at marine services on Lake Huron.

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