"There's something pretty special going on here" says Scott MacCrimmon surveying the crowded room. It’s early January in Toronto and a group of Eastern Ontario boaters are sipping cool brew and sharing boating tales and big hopes for our upcoming summer on the water.
My husband, Doug Girvin and I were among them. Terrific energy and buzz.
That evening Scott and business partner, Peter Johnston, were hosting their annual Toronto Boat Show customer fete at Steam Whistle Brewing in Toronto’s historic John St. Roundhouse.
This Ed Huck Marine get-together is a ‘must attend’ event considered by many to be the official start to a series of popular activities throughout the year hosted by the gang at EHM. Doug and I always have great fun at these events. Ed Huck customers are typically deeply passionate about boating, and the Marina has a legacy of connecting like-minded boaters and aspiring river rats.
For four generations, Ed Huck Marine, has been building community by providing special opportunities like this boat show ‘after party’ for their customers and friends. EHM events are typically designed for their community to get to know one another, join forces to raise money together for worthy causes, and just plain have fun.
The Ed Huck crew listens carefully to their customers' interests, needs and wants. As a result Doug and I now have two boats from Ed Huck Marine (a 323 Cobalt and an 18-foot Boston Whaler). How did this happen? Lovely ‘tho.
Doug is the skilled boater in our family, but when I decided to give ‘captaining’ a try on my new 18-foot Whaler, Scott and the EHM team determined that there were likely a few women like me (excited, nervous but eager) among their customer base … existing crew members but aspiring captains on their family boats.
The result was a special event created just for women boaters two summers ago. Looking forward to its 3rd annual this summer the ‘Women and Water’ event brings women together to meet one another, increase their docking skills and overall boating knowledge as well as just plain relax and connect for a few hours with new friends. Coffee, home made muffins and a manicure add to the experience!
The Ed Huck Marina story begins when Fred Huck moved to Rockport in 1889 and started a boat-building business. Fred’s wife was Ellen Slate, whose family on Grindstone Island, NY, has a heritage of boat building. The Carnegies, Slates and Hucks were pioneers in motorized boats at the turn of the century in the Thousand Islands area. Fred later purchased an 11-acre site in 1905 that would become the Marina. By the end of World War II, his son, Ed Huck, and wife, Cassie, were operating both the marina and a tourist lodge now known as the Scenic Lodge and Cabins.
Disaster struck in February of 1962. A fire destroyed the total marine service and storage facilities. The Marina’s printed history records, “Little insurance and the middle of winter left the family in devastation. However, Ed and Cassie Huck, along with their sons Donald, Robert, Morris and Gerald, and daughter, Beverly, knew they could bounce back.” The community that Ed Huck Marine had been building over the years that had earned them their strong reputation with suppliers and customers helped the Huck family rebuild. As a result the Marina was open for the season in May of 1962.
As the 3rd generation of Hucks took over in the late 70s and 80s they continued the Marina’s expansion and growth and when the 1990s rolled out, so too the 4th generation of family ownership, bringing with them enhanced service and support through greater products, services and technologies.
Today under the leadership of Scott MacCrimmon, Peter Johnston, Graeme Sifton, Jody Huck-Johnston and Heather Huck-MacCrimmon, Ed Huck Marine is known far and wide for fine boats and outstanding customer service.
Many Ed Huck customers have cottages on Islands and for them boats become the only method of transport. Getting ‘on and off island’ means their boats must run reliability and if a breakdown occurs, the repairs must be immediate. As boats become increasingly more sophisticated to operate, this generation’s Ed Huck team leverages technology to make sure this happens. (While it turns out Cobalts and Boston Whalers don’t break down!! Doug and I join the hundreds of Ed Huck customers who feel confident that the Marina is there for us just in case.)
There’s an old saying in this region .. ‘the river chooses some.” Common lore suggests that "The River" draws people from around the world while only ‘choosing’ some. Those 'chosen' stay on, often for generations, full time or seasonally. It’s pretty clear that the Ed Huck family have been ‘chosen,’ generation after generation to take a leadership role in boats and boating on the River.
By Linda Gayle Ross
Linda Gayle Ross was born and raised in rural Saskatchewan,. She considers herself a serious Canadian because she’s hooked on open spaces, changing weather and grand horizons. She has lived in five Canadian Provinces and the US Midwest. In 2000 she moved to the 1000 Islands with husband, Doug Girvin. They are now both aspiring river rats.
Linda’s professional background includes marketing and communications, fundraising, teaching and training.
For the past 10 years her focus has been on brand development, online communications, collaborative technologies and strategic corporate events http://www.prairiecore.com/BIO.
She serves as a mentor in the Advertising/Integrated Marketing Communications Program at St. Lawrence College (Kingston), She recently created an industry/student alliance while connecting with seasoned professionals to produce "1000 Islands PASSION" and "1000 Islands VOICES" (see http://www.youtube.com/user/prairiecore.) In the May issue of TI Life, Linda will describe their adventure.
Editor's Note: Take the time to check out these two youtube pieces... and enjoy!