Has it been a cold winter or what?! We are experiencing well above-average snow amounts and more days of sub-zero temps than anyone would ever wish for. It seems as though boating is eons away. Well, guess what – it’s not! We’re more than half-way through the off-season and you’ll be out enjoying the water, developing bonds and creating new memories with your family and friends in just two short months!
We wrapped up January and kicked off February during our most successful boat show yet. Welcome to all New Members! We greatly look forward to being of service. And thank you to all the existing Members who stopped by to say hello. It’s always a treat for our staff to have the opportunity to see all the familiar faces we get to know so well throughout the summer and catch up. We are all excited to see you back on the water. To our new members, we promise that you are going to love the club and we assure you that our staff will take great care of you on the docks.
Some boat dealerships will tell you there is only ONE boat for you. That may be true for some. But if you’re like us, there are multiple. Maybe you like to fish in the morning? Take the kids tubing in the afternoon? Entertain business clients or gather together your book club and cruise the waters on a pontoon? There are endless activities for you to take part in on various boats. That’s why we give you the option to try different varieties. We put together a breakdown of the three types of boats you have access to with your membership – fishing boats, runabouts and pontoons.
Though you can fish out of pretty much any boat, our fishing boats are ideal for our Minnesota freshwater lakes and rivers. Measuring 16 to 18 feet, with a 6- or 7-person capacity, our fishing boats are great for more maneuverability in tight and shallow waters. What’s nice is that they are equipped with trolling motors that, when using, will cut down your fuel costs. The 40HP (Pier 1) and 150HP (Pier 2) engines provide enough power to allow you to pull tubers as well. If you are a serious fisherman, these may be your favorite boats. They include removable swivel chairs and recirculating water livewells to store your catch.
Runabouts are high-performance, big-time muscle boats that operate from slow to breakneck speeds. Cranking offshore or simply relaxing in a cove, runabouts deliver lots of smiles per hour. The 130HP to 350HP engines in our runabouts provide enough power to pull skiers and wake boarders of all levels, as well as tubers. Our runabouts carry anywhere from 8 (Pier 1) to 13 (Pier 3) people so whether you’re fishing, partaking in watersports or just zipping around with a crew you’ll find these boats a great option. New members: even if you intend to only use pontoons and fishing boats, you will at least get to experience the thrill of driving a runabout because these are what we use during your on-the-water new member orientations. Who knows? You might be surprised to discover your new favorite boat!
Often referred to as the “kings of comfort,” pontoons are spacious boats with living room-like couches, tables, swivel seats, and flat platforms. They have wide decks that sit atop two floats, making them very stable. They are not as fast as runabout but we put 40HP (Pier 1) to 115HP (Pier 3) engines on ours to enable tubers and even skiers to be pulled behind them. Carrying up to 15 passengers, pontoons are perfect for families and for entertaining guests. Feel free to use them for fishing, though they are ideal for baking in the hot sun or drinking a cold one with your buds.
For more information on YBC’s specific boats CLICK HERE.
The Winter Olympics is full of exciting events that always help us boaters make it through the long, cold winter months. So we thought we’d share with you an opportunity to compete in a fun, community race or run/walk. You might not be able to take a boat out on White Bear Lake just yet, but don’t let that stop you from having a good time on it.
STRIVE SCHOLARSHIP: SPIRIT OF WHITE BEAR LAKE 5K AND 5 MILE – SATURDAY, APRIL 5TH
This race starts at Lion’s Park (4200 Lake Ave S, 55110 across the street from Kowalski’s) on beautiful White Bear Lake. The course is flat and fast, 5K runs north along the lake to Matoska Park and then back to Lion’s Park. The 5 mile course continues to West Park, then Ramsey County Park and then into the White Bear Lake neighborhood before returning back to Lake Ave, Commercial Bay and the finish at Lion’s Park. Registration includes an event T-Shirt and race packet goodies. Rotary Volunteers are at the Start/Finish and on the course supporting the runners. Awards will be given to the top 3 male and female in each group: 19 and under, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70 and up, as well as top male and female overall.
Entry fee is $25 before April 1, $35 Race Day and after April 1. All of the proceeds go to the Strive Scholarship Inc Fund which is a 501c(3) tax-exempt, non-profit entity. For more info and to register CLICK HERE!
It’s always good to know the staff members of clubs and organizations you belong to. So this month we’re giving you the inside scoop on our east side expert, Nathan Balzart. Manager of our St. Croix River location, Nathan is what you might call a “jack of all trades.” Whether he’s orientating new members on the St. Croix, putting in the dock at Forest Lake, helping Brian put a new roof on the houseboat at White Bear, or fixing a boat, Nathan is always up to something productive and helpful. The depth of Nathan runs much deeper than his experience and knowledge in the boating world. “He’s always moving a mile a minute,” said YBC owner Michael Jellish, of Nathan. “When he broke his foot on the dock we bought him a pink hardhat and some pink knee pads as a joke to help remind him to slow down and stay safe. He put them on and I think the next thing he did was jump out of a plane.”
YBC’s Nathan Balzart has been around – literally. Coming from a military family, Nathan spent the bulk of his childhood years moving around a lot. He was born in Forest Lake, Minnesota, and spent time living in Maryland, Washington and even England – just to name a few – before moving to Alaska, where he lived from about age 12 to 20. Residing in Stillwater, Nathan is happy and content back in Minnesota with his new bride, Kaydee, whom he married within the past year.
During college Nathan got hired part-time to move boats around for Crystal-Pierz Marine. He worked from the bottom up taking on duties from mechanics to rigging to urgent care to parts and service manager. During that time, Nathan learned just about everything there is to know about boats. Those skills coupled with all that his father taught him about motors (his father ran maintenance in military transportation) paved a perfect path for what YBC needed in someone to help lift off the ground.
YBC Operations Manager Brian Maxey has been working with Nathan since his years with Crystal-Pierz. “Nathan is someone you never have to check on,” Maxey said. “He has a very deep skill set – from mechanic to dock hand to manager – all of which usually come in handy in a single day.”
Nathan remembers the day owner Luke Kujawa called him up to ask if he would be interested in working with a new idea he had. “I had known Luke forever and I thought it was a great idea,” Nathan recalls. “Luke was my boss at Crystal-Pierz, we always got along and I always enjoyed working for him.”
Fortunately, Nathan jumped on board and stuck around. We can’t say enough about how incredibly helpful he is in so many ways. White Bear Lake manager Brian Wegner said he has learned a ton about boats from Nathan since coming to YBC. “I know I can call Nathan anytime I have a problem with any boat and he’ll know how to fix it,” Brian said. “Nathan is my hero.”
For fun, Nathan has taken on karate, enjoys learning about computers and loves skydiving. That’s right – he jumps out of airplanes! Lucky for all of us, he also truly loves boating and working for YBC. Though working 70-80 hours a week during the summer can be quite overwhelming at times, Nathan says the customers make it worth it. “When they come back they’re enjoying themselves,” Nathan said. “They’re happy.”
Nathan believes in the future of YBC. “Luke and Mike have the right idea,” he said. “I like where we’re going and I believe we’ll see good things ahead.”
We still have a fair selection of 3-year-old boats for sale. Steve, our maintenance guru, has inspected and finely tuned each and every one to assure a long-lasting life for your new boat. If you know of anyone who is looking to purchase a used boat please make sure to send them our way. For a complete list of boats we have for sale please call our operations manager, Brian Maxey, at 612-588-6049 or CLICK HERE.