Our Story

Here at the Boat Specialists, we are committed to the same values our founder and father, Don Potts, based the business on when he started the company back in 1976. Originally from New Jersey, Don had always wanted to move to California to be closer to the great outdoors. Just days after marrying the love of his life, Mary Ann, the two set off on an adventure that would bring them across the country, eventually settling in Santa Monica.

During a camping trip in Kernville, CA, Don met Helmut, a rep for Metzler Kayaks, and after sharing their love for water and all things boating, Helmut decided to allow Don to open up a shop of his own. With little money and a job driving a catering truck, Don was able to purchase three kayaks and open a small shop on Oxnard Blvd. Don would start each day at 4 am driving the catering truck and open the shop at 10 am when his shift was over, while Mary Ann worked fulltime as an administrator at Ventura College.

Don and Mary Ann put their hearts and souls into the growing business and eventually were able to move the shop to Channel Islands Harbor and then to Ventura Harbor, where the shop operated until 2013. Little by little, the shop grew from kayaks and towables to inflatable boats, outboard motors, and more. It went from a side business to a business that afforded Mary Ann to stay home and raise their two kids Jared and Jenna, who now run the business on a daily basis as President and Vice President.

With an unprecedented and ever-growing appetite for boating, Boat Specialists only represents your major brands that truly stand behind quality and craftsmanship. We're going to help you select a boat that fits your needs, application, and budget; thus having loyalty to our clients over loyalty towards a brand. Whether you're seeking a small roll-up dinghy for going ship-to-shore, a luxury tender for your yacht, a high-performance RIB to navigate the waterways, or a saltwater fiberglass sport-fisher, give us a call or swing on in and we'll have you splashed in no time!