This adventure blog takes us to Bob Hodge Marine Group at Palm Island Marina….
A Day In the Life of William “Stoney” Stonecipher, Yacht Broker.
by Krista S. Potthast-Haynes, P.A.
Today’s blog celebrates those of you who love boating as well as the boating enthusiast in the midst of buying or selling, someone who endeavors to understand the critical role of a yacht broker. A brokerage service will identify your boating needs in order to find the perfect boat or yacht that will not only enhance your lifestyle, but will fulfill your dreams of being on the water. Many Floridians (part-time or full-time) who are fortunate enough to live on our magnificent southwest coast seek to experience our majestic barrier islands and the crystal turquoise-blue waters that surround. Understanding the value of a professional brokerage service will not only elevate your boating experience, it will take your next adventure to a whole new level.
This week for Gasparilla Life, I interviewed William “Stoney “ Stonecipher, a licensed resident yacht broker with Bob Hodge Marine Group at Palm Island Marina, Cape Haze, Florida. I consider Stoney to be an avid waterman, a “water baby” since the day he was born. A Florida Conch by birth, Stoney came into this world at the United States Naval Hospital, Key West. The son of a military family, Stoney’s father was a naval officer who served as an engineer. After a tour in Key West, orders led the Stonecipher family to San Diego, California.
One can understand that experiencing coastal life in Key West and San Diego, Stoney practically developed gills. He spent his free time fishing offshore for marlin and tuna, as well as snorkeling, boating, surfing and diving. His professional career included 13 years with General Dynamics where he supervised a production control department that was located in downtown San Diego, followed by a partnership at Superior Glassing, one of the largest fiberglass shops in Southern California. This business dovetailed into a partnership at Rocky’s, a popular surf shop in Ocean Beach, where Stoney built and sold high-end boards including those he built for the surfing legend Dewey Weber. It was during this time that Stoney and his wife Ann focused on raising their two sons, William III, aka “Ben” and their youngest, Sequoyah Trueblood Stonecipher. Eventually Ann’s career required her to travel both in the US and Europe, while Stoney focused on running the family business and on their sons day in and day out life growing up San Diego style. Stoney wanted to give Ben and Sequoyah the opportunity to experience his love of boats, the outdoors and all the other water oriented sports he enjoyed as a child. Above and beyond his love for the water, Sequoyah developed a passion for baseball. An All American player, Sequoyah was eventually drafted by the Florida Marlins organization. He would soon be leaving home for a shot at the big leagues. This opportunity inspired Stoney’s move to relocate his family to Florida in order to support Sequoyah’s dream. During this time period the GM of Marine Max approached Stoney and asked him to join their sales team to sell new and used Sea Rays and Boston Whalers in Venice, Florida. Stoney’s focus on excellence, and his keen knowledge of marine vessels found his success as a top producer during his tenure with the Marine Max organization.
It was in the 2012 post economic downturn that Stoney joined the Bob Hodge Marine Group whose corporate offices are located in St. Petersburg. Early on he discovered that the vision, mission and culture of Bob Hodge Marine Group were perfectly aligned with his own values both personally and professionally. Stoney’s friendship with Terry and Tim Lynch, along with Bob Hodge led to the decision to open the Bob Hodge Marine Group Yacht Brokerage at Palm Island Marina, Cape Haze, where Stoney currently serves as the resident broker. Terry, Tim and Bob knew that Stoney was the perfect fit for the Cape Haze office and were confident in Stoney’s ability and reputation for exceeding excellence in customer service for his clientele.
Part of Stoney’s passion as a broker is to educate his customers about the important factors to consider when either purchasing or selling a boat. He has a consultative, informative approach and is excellent in determining comparative market value for each of his client’s vessels that he represents. Stoney credits honesty in all business matters as his foundation to build trust and develop strong business relationships with people who also value honesty as well. Stoney also prides himself on his ability to smoothly and efficiently close the deal. He focuses on multi-sized boats with the goal of aligning his customers with the right vessel to meet their individual needs. Stoney’s commitment to his customers and holding honesty paramount has led to his business doubling every year over the past 3 years. This success is based in part on return clientele as 80% of his business is attributed to referrals.
As the Bob Hodge Marine Group business model states, what sets BHMG and Stoney’s approach apart from other firms is his ability to create unique opportunities within the boating and yachting community. In addition to the traditional brokerage process he offers a quick cash-out option. Other retail brokerage firms have come to trust and depend on Stoney and the Bob Hodge Marine Group to be there and turn a would-be trade-in vessel into cash, thereby expediting a deal. This provides for a central position in a powerful and growing network of brokers and dealers with whom Stoney communicates and trades with on a daily basis.A true talent, Stoney is uniquely positioned in the market to maximize his client’s retail brokerage sale through his professional relationships, reputation and proven marketing strategies and free market analysis.
Stop by Stoney’s office, or reach out to him via email or cell phone, to learn more about his approach and current opportunities out there in today’s yacht and boat market. His contact information is listed below: