Just off the Anclote River in Tarpon Springs, Florida, there is a boat builder producing unique and specialized craft, the result of generations of fishing and on-water family time. Gause Built Boats has become a respected name in a class of custom boats successfully melding a mix of fishing prowess and family comfort. The family business produces three custom craft; Gause Built 26 Center Console, the Gause Built 23 Center Console and the Gause Built 17 Flat skiff.
One look at the Gause Built 26 will clearly show what the priorities are for David Gause, who runs the business. There is no mistake these are high-end custom craft built for those who desire the best fit, finish, quality, and a comfortable, dry ride. The 26 is a spacious boat designed specifically for the waters of the West Coast of Florida but has also found its home in waters elsewhere. Drawing less than a foot of water it can run in the same water as many smaller flats skiffs and even shallower water than many larger bay boats. Its sweeping bow cuts through waves and chop, and the shallow deadrise transom allows for skinny water cruising.
The Gause design came from the family’s background as charter fishing guides and their experience renovating and redesigning other manufacturers’ craft in the off-season. They saw what each boat was lacking in design and construction and used that knowledge to design the hull of their 26-foot model. David knew he wanted to position Gause Built Boats as exclusive vessels for a discriminating client base who wanted a high quality, capable fishing craft equally comfortable for a fun day with the family. The Gause 26 deck design accomplishes both without compromise, sporting features such as wide gunnels, a dry ride, plenty of comfortable seating, shade and a safe time aboard. David also knew that creating a full service client-builder relationship was key to their success.
David explained when a Gause Built Boat is purchased, the relationship doesn’t end when the boat is delivered to the customer. Rather the purchase is the beginning of a long-term relationship. It all begins with a potential customer sitting down with David and discussing what the customer is looking for in the new boat. Every detail is covered, from hull color to trolling motor selection. Customers are invited to tour the facilities and discuss options seen on other vessels being produced and also those in for service. With production limited to 15 to 20 boats a year this one-on-one time invested with the customer allows for truly personal service and lays the foundation for a long term relationship, all the while creating an exclusivity that makes Gause Built Boats stand out.
David says, “My goal is to sell boats mostly to customers that I have dealt with before and then resell used boats to customers that may buy a new boat in the future.” Capitalizing on their strong customer relationships, Gause sells most of the used boats available through his facilities. Having built, sold and serviced the boat from the inception he is able to take the used boats in and “on my dollar” service and update them, then offer them on the open market with added value and a warranty, all without an out-of-pocket cost for sellers. As a result he nets more for the sellers than if they were to sell on their own. These boats sell quickly with as many as 90 percent never being listed prior to sale. These used boats can also have other upgrades and factory options added at the time of sale. David says as many as a third of the used boats end up being sold to customers who don’t want to be without a boat during the current 11-month backlog when ordering a new vessel. Clients purchase a used boat, enjoy it then sell it back to David at the time of delivery of their new boat. Others buy a used boat and end up ordering a new model to take advantage of modifications and upgrades.
Once a boat is built and sold, Gause will service, detail and even perform collision repair. With the offer of these services, the boats maintain a high residual value. As the factory is servicing the boat, buyers can be assured of a trouble-free time out on the water. The boat will be picked up and delivered by Gause Built Boats and will undergo a thorough service that doesn’t stop at the list created by the customer, but also includes a full vessel check and unprecedented vessel knowledge. With this service customers can be assured that these vessels are meticulously maintained.
Whether new or used, the Gause Built 26 is a high-end craft, a capable, comfortable safe boat that maintains its value, and puts its owners in a class all their own.