By BROOKE SNAVELY
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
Another locally owned business in Bend is closing. The COVID pandemic is a factor but not the sole reason.
Central Lakes Marine owner Terry Rayl is 73 and wants to retire.
His lease is ending.
He’s not been able to find and hire enough certified marine mechanics to meet the demand for service.
And here’s the COVID factor: the company that builds the boats he sells isn’t filling orders due to production difficulties.
“Last year was a real problem. We were probably over $200,000 down because we could not get boats, even though we had orders. Motors, same thing. Parts were 6 to 8 months out, and this year it’s going to be the same thing,” Rayl said. “They are already sold out on a lot of them. For instance, the Lowe line which is a Brunswick Company, you would think is a big company. No, no boats available.”
Once Central Lakes Marine closes, there will be no factory certified marine service centers in Bend.
The one marine mechanic at All Season’s RV and Marine splits his time between boats and RVs, and only works on marine motors built after 2002.
That means thousands of people who own older boats and motors will have to look elsewhere for service.
“There’s a lot of guys that do it in their backyard and stuff like that. If you go north, you’ve got Culver Marine in Culver and then you’ve got Gary up at Madras Marine,” said Greg Turner, a certified marine mechanic.
In retirement, Terry Rayl says he plans to go fishing, something he’s helped thousands of customers do, after nearly 50 years in business.