The Troutt business started in August, 1972, in Viburnum, Missouri as a Western Auto owned by J.C. and Doris Troutt and operated by Joe and Kathy Troutt. In looking for ways to expand, we went to the marine industry with Aluma-Weld/Xpress Boats and Mercury Marine Outboards and did 100% of our business in custom Outboard Jet Drives.
The “Troutt Special” has been very beneficial to our business. It meets the river bass fisher’s needs by being very durable, having long range capability and exceptional performance, and it runs shallower than anything we have ever built.
Once again, as progress came for our business and in March of 1998, the Troutt Family decided to build a new facility 40 miles North of Viburnum in St. James, Missouri. As the Xpress Boats started rolling through from plant to customer with everything moving well in the new area, J.C. and Doris, decided to retire. Left to run the family business was their oldest son, Joe and his wife, Kathy and their son, Chris. Another son, Vick and his wife Loretta and Vick’s son-in-law, Preston. Also left to hold down the family business was J.C and Doris’ daughter, Judy Bell. After getting another year down Judy retired in December of 1999.
In 2003, Vick and Loretta decided it was time for them to retire from the family business. Which left Joe and Kathy wanting to bring in some new family members to the team. So in December of 2003, they asked their son-in-law, Jeff McMillen and his wife, Kim, along with their children to move to St. James and join in on the family business. Jeff helps Joe in Sales when he isn’t busy building the boats in the back shop for our customers. Kim is our Finance & Warranty department and now helps her dad, Joe, with sales. Then later on in 2004, Chris’ wife, Robin, joined in to help the family business, helping us in Sales, Parts and Office Clerk.
To fill the service gap, Chris Troutt, Marine Service Manager, runs the 5500 sq. ft. service bays with certified mechanics with combined experience approaching 55 years. As the old goes away and the new comes, Troutt & Sons went completely computerized in 1998 and entered the Internet area in 1999 with our website www.trouttandsons.com, and entering Boat Trader on line later that fall. In 1999 we let the Western Auto part of the business go and we took on selling Yamaha Outboards.
Our new 11,000 sq. ft. facility has 5500 sq. ft of show room to display Xpress package boats and boating accessories while trying to fill as many customer needs as possible. We sell exclusively aluminum boats, with Xpress Boats and Mercury Outboards being our flagship products: Xpress Hyperlift X-series is growing rapidly in the Midwest to help us meet our sales goals. Troutt & Sons boat line includes Alweld, Alumacraft, Blazer Boats, Lund, Miracle Marine (M2) along with Xpress Boats. Our Boat Trailer line consists of Bear, Rivercraft and Backtrack/Xpress. Mercury and Yamaha makes up our Marine Outboards line. Along with all our long list of marine parts and accessories. In 2005, we expanded our business again by building another new 80×160 show room/storage area for all our new boats to be displayed year round and to keep them out of the weather. 2006, has started off being a great year so far, we are in the midst of updating our website, so hopefully everyone will enjoy the new look.
In August 2006 we sold the Yamaha ATV, SideXSide ATV, Parts and Accessories to another dealer. This will help us focus more on our marine dealership and hopefully to expand our business in the future.
So far in 2009 we have expanded our boat line with a new pontoon line, Veranda Marine, which is manufactured by Aluma-Weld/Xpress Boats. Veranda has seven different series and 23 different models, with retail prices ranging from $20,000 to $50,000. We also took on a line of gun safes by Champion Safe Co., they have several different series to choose from, so check out the website for more details. Also in 2009 we announced that we will no longer be a LUND Dealer.
April 2011, Kathy had to retired from the family business due to health issues and continues to hang out at home while we carry on the family business. At that point Judy came back into help us part time with the bookkeeping. Kim has added the title of Sales to her job, helping her dad, Joe, with Sales on a daily basis. She also continues to do the Finance & Warranty along with the normal daily duties of the family business.
In 2012-2013, we became a dealer for Gator Jet Boats, which is located in Cuba, Missouri. They build “custom inboard jets”. You can find more information on them at their website www.gatorjetboats.com or go to our website page, Gatorboats.
42 years later and as we continue on, we are now having the 4th Generation helping us in the family business, especially after they get out of school and summertime, that is quite the fet in this day and time. 2014 was another great year for us, and hoping that continues in 2015.
We would like to take this time out and thank everyone that has helped us throughout the years and that we do appreciate each and everyone of you. We also wanted to let say how much we appreciate our past, present, and future customers and if we can help you with any of your recreational needs in the future, please let us know.
Just remember, It’s All About Fun At Troutt & Sons.
Joe & Kathy Troutt