It all began early 1975 when three friends who shared a common passion for business and boating decided to open a boat dealership in Gilbertsville, Kentucky near Kentucky Lake. Leon Shaw and Bill Brummett manufactured Gibson House Boats and Jefferson Yachts with much success and wanted to expand their dealerships. They both had full confidence that Don Toby was the best man to run the new dealership and sell their boat lines to Kentucky Lake boaters. Don moved his family from Louisville, KY and opened the dealership “Kentuckiana Yacht Sales,” on March 1, 1975 and served as the General Manager. In 1981 the Toby family became the sole owners of Kentuckiana Yacht Sales of Gilbertsville, KY. Don had a vision and was determined that, with the help and loyalty of his staff and family, he could make a go on his own. In the same year his son, Ken Toby joined the business full time and worked his way up to General Manager in 2007.
The Toby’s worked hard to build and expand the business over 38 years to meet the customer’s needs. The business was started on 5 acres operating out of an 800 sq foot trailer with 2 full time and 1 part time employees and selling just two boat lines. Today the dealership has 28,000 sq feet under roof with six boat lines and 9 full time employees. There have been many changes and accomplishments along the way.
Here are a few accomplishments:
Largest Gibson dealer in the world from 1979 to 1994
Largest Kings Craft dealer for 3 years
Most improved Sea Ray Sport Cruiser dealer in 2002
Although proud of the accomplishments mentioned, their biggest accomplishments are not certificates, plaques, or awards of recognition from the boat manufacturers for their hard work, but the “Thanks” and “Smiles” from the countless customers and their families and friends! Customer satisfaction is their biggest accomplishment and what the staff is committed to and strives for every day. This mindset has brought many years of happy, loyal customers resulting in repeat business from generation to generation.
In September of 2013 the Toby’s were fortunate to meet Mike Tutor, a Memphis business man, who is an avid boater and has the passion and a vision to continue to grow the business, so the decision was made to sell the business to him. Kentuckiana Yacht Sales joined Marine Sales and became a sister location to Marine Sales of Pickwick. In 2015, the dealership changed its name to Marine Sales Kentuckiana.
Ken Toby remains as the General Manager and is excited about the future of Marine Sales Kentuckiana and the new products they will be offering their customers.