Cobalt – First Boats, then Wine

My article about Pack and Paxson St. Clair and Cobalt Boats in the May issue of Soundings Trade Only was a real pleasure to write.  I have known Pack for many years and seen him at numerous boat shows and NMMA conventions. We had a fun and rather lengthy interview on the phone before writing the article. There is no doubt that Pack is a real gentleman. And he is another amazing and innovative entrepreneur in the boating industry. Starting his boat building business with a small business loan, Pack built it in to one of the top brands in the industry. And now his son Paxson is taking the brand forward with the introduction of an innovative, top of the line pontoon boat.

Pack and his wife Jill enjoy their Cobalt wine
Pack and his wife Jill enjoy their Cobalt wine

But Pack’s innovation and entrepreneurship didn’t stop with Cobalt Boats. He then successfully got in the California wine business with…that’s right…his Cobalt wine. And as you can see from this pic, Pack and wife Jill enjoy their Cobalt wine.  He sent me a couple of bottles of Cobalt wine that my wife and I enjoyed. On the bottle it reads, “A shared passion for excellence and quality brought together an esteemed boat-builder, Pack St. Clair, and a respected vintner, Steve Sherwin. One afternoon in the cellar over a glass of red wine, they decided to create something special for you to enjoy.” And you will enjoy it.

After this May article came out, I received numerous favorable comments about Pack. For example, Jack Aylesworth, formerly an advertising executive with Johnson Outboards wrote, “Enjoyed your story on Pack St Clair in Soundings Trade Only. I remember Pack quite well starting back in 1973 when I was setting-up boat shows for Johnson. I was always impressed to see him sleeves rolled up cleaning boats and helping to setup his displays. Certainly not a typical owner prima donna. He was always a gentleman and one of the industry’s nice guys and you couldn’t help wishing for his success.”

Another industry leader emailed, “Cobalt’s reputation speaks directly to the quality issue.” A dealer who doesn’t sell Cobalt boats emailed the comment, “Pack and Paxson both seem to be first class folks.” Another comment emailed to me was, “I’ve known Pack since BIA and NAEBM merged and always considered him to be the kind of gentleman they just don’t make anymore.” I totally agree with this comment.

John Dobbertin, another industry veteran, emailed, “Great story on Pack St. Clair….super classy guy. In addition to my days at IMTEC, I used to help Tom Rooney produce the San Francisco Sports & Boat Show. I recall Tom referring to ‘some chap who has set up business in the filling station across the way.’ Great move.”

Click to read the full story that I wrote about Pack and Cobalt, “Keeper of the Culture,” in case you didn’t see it in the May 2015 issue of Soundings Trade Only. (Reprinted with permission from Soundings Trade Only.)

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About Ben H. Sherwood

Ben H. Sherwood is a marine industry veteran and a marketing consultant who operates Sherwood Marine Marketing in Pleasant Prairie, Wis. For more info, click About on the main menu.

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