All The Good Times Ahead

August 2015 Industry

Tony Ashley at Middle Tennessee Houseboats & Yacht Sales has had some hilarious experiences as a houseboat broker for 15 years. We had the chance to talk with him about why he loves what he does and have to agree with his answers. Read what he had to say below!

1. How did you get into the broker business? 

I had a love for houseboats. I was selling ski boats and was approached about selling houseboats in 2001. It was just a natural fit.

2. How long have you been in the business? 

I've been in the business for 15 years.

3. What's the best thing about houseboating? 

The customers. Houseboating is a way of life, not just a sport or activity.

4. Can you share an inspiring customer story? 

The best story I have is about a boat I sold about two years ago. The customer was introduced to houseboating by staying on one of our inventory boats. One weekend and they were hooked and had to have a boat. The interesting part of this story was that the husband found a boat that he and his wife loved, and he bought the boat without her knowing. We kept the secret until the boat was purchased. We posted a pending logo on the boat and the wife thought the boat had been bought by someone else. She did well in holding in her disgust, but she sleep on their couch one night.

Then the big day! The husband told the family that they were getting a cabin for the weekend at the lake. On their way to the lake I called the wife and told her that there might be a problem with the closing on the boat and that the deal might fall through—did they want to look at the boat again? With some reservation and nervousness about being disappointed again, she agreed. The sellers of the boat were in on this and once we arrived they suggested a short cruise. Once on the lake the husband called a family meeting on top of the boat, asking the family if they liked the boat. The answer was, "Of course we do!" His answer was, "Its’ a good thing because I BOUGHT IT LAST WEEK!"

Of course, then there were a lot of tears of joy and laughter. We have this all on video. I told the husband this was the best one I have ever seen. We all couldn't believe he pulled it off. My wife would have killed me! It’s a great story.

5. What marina do you keep your boat at? 

At Pates Ford Resort & Marina on Center Hill Lake, Tenn.

6. What's the best thing about selling houseboats for a living? 

Again, it’s the people you meet. The best part of the job is fulfilling people’s dreams of owning a houseboat and knowing all the good times with friends and family ahead of them. I love seeing their faces on delivery day.

7. What song best describes you? 

I would have to say “Fantastic Voyage” by Lakeside.

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