Tonys Marine Service (TMS) was established in 1990 by Tony Hodges after spending several years working at Coleraine Boat Centre, situated in the heart of Coleraine on the River Bann. Tony started working at Coleraine Boat Centre in 1979 aged 16 and soon became an experience mechanic and water sports enthusiast. After a number of years he began to lease the workshop and run it independently from the rest of the Boat Yard.
Tony strived being self-employed and expanded his business by purchasing himself a premises just outside the town in 1992. It would be on this same site that TMS would stay until today after many years of success and development.
Tony started off working by himself at his new workshop premises and soon earned a good reputation and a large customer base. He employed a second mechanic and business started to boom, thanks to the growing interest in the leisure industry and boating in Northern Ireland. In 2003, after 11 years of success, Tony embarked on a new project with support from Invest NI to construct a purpose-built workshop facility on the site. The new facility was completed by Christmas of the same year containing a workshop capable of holding up to 4 boats, an engine re-build room, an office, a store and a staff area. The old workshop was also renovated and converted to a shop and office.
The new facilities boosted the workload capacity and efficiency of TMS and business continued to grow. The work load expanded from a purely private customer base to include public sector and private contracts with large companies in Northern Ireland. The growth of the business also resulted in the birth of a new boat sales company called Xtreme Boat Sales (XBS) in 2004.. The new company gained the sole trading rights for Glastron Boats, manufactured in USA, for the whole of Ireland. The company took the boats to display at the Dublin Boat Show the following year and gained huge interest due to their excellent customer service, product and competitive pricing.
In 2010 TMS continued to grow and improve despite tough market conditions. TMS gained new customers on a weekly basis and now offers a full range of services, from basic maintenance to a complete package including servicing, winterisation, storage, valet, launching and recovery and customisation. XBS in 2010 gained sole trader rights in Ireland for another boat brand, manufactured in Canada.
In 2011 TMS made an exciting new move and opened up a second workshop based at Kinnego Marina on Lough Neagh. TMS took over operations in a workshop that had been running on the site for decades and gave it a new lease of life with new equipment, mechanics and management. The venture runs in tandem with Sands Marine also based at the same site and carries out all servicing, repairs and installation works on their behalf.
In 2012 TMS embarked on another new venture with CarrickCraft introducing hire cruisers to the Lower Bann for the first time. We decided to close down our Kinnego Marina workshop after two successful years in order to focus more on improving our work in Coleraine and growing with boat hire operations on the Lower Bann.