After three years as the new owner of Catalina Marina, Rob Hamblen has taken great strides in improving the store’s business by adding a gun shop, having a larger selection of boat equipment and more outdoor accessories that families would enjoy while spending time on a lake.
Catalina Marina is the oldest marina shop in Arizona and carries more than 30,000 motors and parts for boats.
It opened in 1959 and was started by Mark Mossie’s father. Mark eventually took over the business with his wife Jacque Mossie in 1977. The store started out as a tackle and bait shop, but slowly started selling motors and boats.
“People often ask why our store was started in Catalina,” said Hamblen. “There used to be a lake near here back in the 1950s, over where SaddleBrooke is at. The store would then be the place to stop for families going to the lake.”
One of the families that stopped by was the Hamblen’s. Rob remembers going into the store for the first time at age 6, and over time becoming regular customers.
“This was one of my favorite places growing up,” said Hamblen. “I wanted to go to Catalina Marina more then I wanted to go to the lake because I wanted to get my hand in the bait. When you are younger the live bait is all you want to see.”
Frequent trips to the lake and Catalina Marina are what got Hamblen into fixing motors and boats.
It was his hobby for many years until being offered the store by Mossie in 2010. Before becoming the owner, Hamblen was into food service sales where he held different managing positions. When the opportunity arose for Hamblen to take ownership of the store, he did not hesitate.
After taking ownership of the store, Hamblen went to work on bringing the store up to date and expanding the inventory. The store upgraded to a computer system that keeps track of the inventory as originally the entire inventory was kept on card files.
Hamblen’s employees are required to go through schooling and to continue education in order to stay working for him. Even though these are significant changes to the store, the biggest change was the expansion of inventory.
“There is now so much stuff here,” said Jacque, who still works at Catalina Marina and is the wife to previous owner Mark Mossie. “There is a bigger variety of stuff to choose from. It was never like that before.”
Catalina Marina not only has boat mechanics at the store, but they also travel and do work in Mexico. The store also sells parts online, which makes is more convenient for customers, Hamblen says. Those parts can be bought at AzBoatParts.com.
With the growth in Catalina Marina’s business, Hamblen is wasting no time in expanding. Within the next year he hopes to open another store in Phoenix.
16202 N. Oracle Road, Catalina
Hours of operation:
Monday and Sunday - Closed,
Tuesday-Saturday 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Buy parts at: AzBoatParts.com