My name is Jon Acosta. I have been with Strong’s Marine now 16 years. Started back in 2004; got into the boat business in 1998.
Previously, I had my own business for a few years. I also worked at Hampton Watercraft and prior to that, where I got my start in the boat business — I want to thank John Scoglio for giving me the opportunity — that was at Long Island Boat Center in Babylon.
My role is head technician, shop foreman companywide across all locations. I do turn wrenches occasionally. I also give a lot of technical support to the other staff. I do work with sales, manufacturers, assisting with warranties, authorizations.
We sell boats, we broker boats, we repair boats, we offer dockage. At the water club location we have a pool, restaurant on site. We offer a lot of amenities throughout all of our locations. Getting people out on the water to spend time with their families is the main goal.
We have 11 technicians on site here, so when something that’s more complicated is facing one of our technicians and he needs a little assistance, I do get involved. I can’t handle everything. We’re still learning every single day. If you haven’t learned every single day, then you’re not doing your job well. So, when things are actually above my head, I reach out to our manufacturers. We work with Volvo Penta, Mercury, Mercruiser, Yamaha. We also deal with a Regal boat factory, Cobalt.
My role here at the marine, I feel it’s a prestige. I started out as a technician and worked my way up to the position I have now. I do see families who come in to buy boats for the first time or they’re recurring customers. Seeing them disappointed in boats not working — when you get it fixed, you see the enjoyment that it brings them, that they can actually get back out into the water with their families. It’s quite rewarding.
The industry, as a whole, I really enjoy it. As a little kid, fishing on the pier in Mount Sinai, seeing the boats go in and out, I always wanted to be on a boat to go fishing, but it just wasn’t in the cards. Twenty years ago, it became in the cards for me when I bought my first boat, and I’ve enjoyed it ever since.
“The Work We Do” is a Suffolk Times multimedia project profiling workers around Riverhead Town.