BY Chris Erwin
Rockdale Boat Mart has been around for nearly 30 years starting in the side yard of Claude Leake in the Rockdale, Kentucky area. It was then purchased by Phillip Robinson and moved near Summit RV on US 60. Over the years they have sold boats and motors, and have performed service and repair on just about any kind of boat and motor you can think of.
Shortly after buying the business, Robinson, an avid fisherman in his own right, developed a kinship with local fishermen. His business became a local hangout for the storytelling and passing on of fishing secrets.
It was not uncommon to see a small collection of fishermen sitting around somewhere out of the way taking about the big one that got away and the ones that didn’t. It possessed the charm of the brotherhood of people hooked on the sport of fishing. That same charm lives on today even if it’s tucked away in one of the rooms not so easily seen by the public.
At Southside Upholstery, we have been building covers and marine interiors for Rockdale Boat Mart for more years than I can put a finger on. Robinson is a friendly sort who’s up on the fishing as much as the local trends of rigging out your fishing machine.
I have watched a lot of marine operations come and go over the 37 years we have been building interiors and related products for boaters. Rockdale, while small, has weathered the storm of hard knocks in this business. As a matter of fact, the operation as continued to grow and attract new customers from all over the eastern map.
Four years ago, Robinson partnered with Chris and Heather Moore; this business decision accelerated their growth and led to the need for a larger facility. Just over a year ago they moved into the old Wolohan building at 1410 Wolohan Drive just off US 60. They now have a huge showroom packed with new and preowned boats.
They have expanded their service to include fiberglass repair and gelcoat restoration. They also do the installation of any boat accessories you could possibility need. They are dealers for Power-Pole, Motor Guide and Lowrance just to name a few of the major players in the accessories’ lines you can add to your fishing machine.
Rockdale is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. five days a week and they do work on some Saturdays by appointment. They are authorized dealers for Mercury Motors, Bass Cat Boats, Blazer Boats, and Allison. Moore tells me they soon will become a dealer for Lexington Pontoon boats.
Rockdale has also been a sponsor of Poage Landing Days, Military & First Responders Fishing Tournament. This tournament is a growing volunteer outing to get some of our brave men and women on the water for a day of fishing. It is totally free for them, and it couldn’t happen without the many sponsors like Rockdale that give both their time and money to help make this event possible.
I urge you to stop by and see their new and expanded operation. Heather, Chris or Phillip can get you on the water this spring with a rig which will feed the hunger all of us that love to be outside enjoy.
They can be reach by checking out their website www.rockdaleboatmart.com or phone 606.928.8345 or 606.571.3500. You can also email them email@example.com.
Chris Erwin is the author of Camping Kentucky, founder and publisher of Kentucky Angling News an on-line magazine available at www.kentuckyangling.com/magazine Chris can be reached by email firstname.lastname@example.org