Alan Kinkead is a life-long resident of Missouri. Alan was born in Mexico, Missouri and lived in Centralia. Alan still considers earning his Eagle Scout Award one of his proudest accomplishments. He graduated from the University of Missouri in Columbia and since has resided in Columbia with his wife of 47 years, Sandy. After 25 years in...

Alan Kinkead is a life-long resident of Missouri. Alan was born in Mexico, Missouri and lived in Centralia. Alan still considers earning his Eagle Scout Award one of his proudest accomplishments. He graduated from the University of Missouri in Columbia and since has resided in Columbia with his wife of 47 years, Sandy. After 25 years in pharmaceutical sales, love of the outdoors, golf, and then boating pulled him in a different direction. Alan’s interest in boating at the Lake of the Ozarks and his desire to keep his boat in pristine condition led to his designing a boat fender that would protect his boat, and, so… AKUA Marine Products was started in 1995 with a fender for bass boats. One fender led to another and several products were developed for specific types of boats- always with Made in the USA components. That was 20 years ago. Alan still oversees the daily production of every boat fender and personally inspects each fender that leaves the manufacturing facility and plans to do so for quite some time.

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CHOOSING THE RIGHT FENDER

One of the most frequently asked questions I receive is "Which fender will fit my boat?"  Pictures on the website identify the boat the fender is on to help answer that very question.  However, it is still hard to decide if your boat has a slightly different configuration or it is not pictured on the website. 

The first question I ask my caller or emailer is: "What kind of boat do you have?"  Often, once I hear the make, model, and year of your boat, I can tell you exactly what will work the best.

Many times I will have the caller send me a picture of their boat, or I google their boat so I can see exactly what their concerns are.  I feel like I give better advice when I can talk with my customers and see what their boat looks like.

Another consideration the buyer has to make is what kind of dock is in your area. Floating dock, stationary dock, etc.?  Any information you can give me helps me make a better recommendation.

There is one way you can help:  If you have an AKUA Marine Products fender, take a picture on your boat and send it to me via our contact us page.  I will publish the pictures and the pictures will help others know what will work on your boat.

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ICAST and AKUA Marine Products

ICAST is holding its  trade show in Orlando, Florida on July 10-14.  From what I have read, it is going to be an extravaganza.  Beginning with a fishing tournament and a golf tournament the next day to new product demonstrations throughout the four days, there is a lot to do and see.  So much that I agree with Ken Duke's editorial in Fishing Tackle Retailer:  Go prepared with a plan and learn what you can from all the retailers, manufacturers, exhibitors, media, pro staffers, and friends.  I had to chuckle at Ken's comment: Be persistent, get to the point, say what you need to say, do what you need to do and be on your way. That is definitely good advice for me.  New products abound and it is always fun to see what is in store.

AKUA has been featured on Fishing Tackle Retailer's new products page and it is a definite sale booster. We considered it an honor and compliment to be featured.  It led to more sales and more interest from fishing retailers.  

 

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Customer Service

Recently, when reviewing our Facebook page, I noticed several wonderful comments about our customer service.  At AKUA we do take pride in doing the best we can as quick as we can.  Orders are mailed out promptly.  A typical order is mailed the day after we receive it.  Talking to boaters about which fender would best fit their make/model of boat is something I look forward to.  If you have any questions, don't hesitate to call and ask for Alan.

With summer here (some would say fast-approaching)  do take precautions to maintain your boat's finish.   There's nothing more disheartening than getting that first ding or scratch--especially when a fender would have prevented the mishap.

Thanks for all of your reviews and comments.

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Dan Rice- Outdoor Sports Writer

2017 is underway. One of my New Year's resolution is to write more blogs.  Writing doesn't seem to be the obstruction; getting started is.  I talked with Dan Rice, outdoor sports writer/tv show host in the Northwest and enthusiastic AKUA Boat Fender supporter, and he got me motivated.  I wanted to share his comments with you. 

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The Super Bowl of Fishing

The Super Bowl of Fishing is just 3 weeks away. The Bass Masters Classic will be held at Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees in Tulsa, Oklahoma March 4-6. I can’t wait. February’s issue of B.A.S.S. Times is chock full of details about Grand Lake, the top four anglers to look out for, and pictures of all of the fishermen competing. My mouth is watering just thinking about going. Bryan Brasher, in “The Editor’s View-Only One Super Bowl,” writes about the Classics of old--bringing back fond memories of our first Classic in 1996.

     2016 marks our 20th anniversary of attending Bass Masters Classics. Nothing compares to the first one. I thank Mickey Wood for taking a chance on a new idea and inviting AKUA Marine Products to be a part of the Ranger store at the Classic that year. With twelve fenders in our possession we displayed on the Ranger boats and promptly sold all but our display models before the Classic even opened. Mickey just shook his head and said, “Boys, the reason we bring our store to the Classic is because people like to buy stuff. If you don’t have it here, you can’t sell it.” We “worked the Classic” and came home with orders for 150. Such is the beginning of a 20 year relationship with Ranger Products that continues to this day. Again, thank you, Mickey.

     Besides the thrill of being a working part of the Classic was the excitement of our first Classic itself. The show actually closed for the extravaganza of the weigh-in each day. Walking into our first weigh-in gave us a taste of Americana at its finest. Families with kids, fishermen with their buddies, vendors, and manufacturers all gathered to a patriotic opening, hear a country western music show, and laugh as Dewey-the weigh master- and Ray Scott, the emcee, adlibbed and joked. We often repeat one of Scott’s sayings from that year: “Burn a picture of that in your brain.” The anglers were brought in riding in their boats pulled by shiny new Chevrolet trucks. That parade was amazing. The anglers returned Dewey’s and Scott’s banter and always held their biggest fish until last. George Cochran won the Classic that year. I still have one of our display models with his signature hanging in our manufacturing facility.

     What a wonderful memory. We were young; we were inexperienced; and we were excited. But, we’re still here and I can’t wait to get back this year!

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AKUA Boat Fenders
4650 W Rte K Columbia, MO 65203
Phone: 573-445-5697

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