By: Eric Dolman
Chris Jones started his career in the marine transmission industry before he really knew it. His father worked at Borg Warner in Muncie, Indiana for nearly 40 years and Chris became fascinated with gears and transmissions during his childhood. Some, even then, would say he knew more about the Borg Warner marine transmissions than some of the people who designed them.
Once Chris grew into his passion as a young adult, he moved to Florida and started his career as a technician at Transmission Marine, eventually becoming their General Manager. During his 30+ year tenure at Transmission Marine, Chris helped grow the company from a small upstart into the largest Borg Warner (now Velvet Drive) and Hurth (now ZF) distributor in the country. Transmission Marine is also the place where Chris truly became an expert in the field of transmission services and became a household name as the go-to guy when his peers throughout North America and beyond had difficult questions or needed hard-to-find parts or gearboxes. His expertise extends into bow thrusters as well.
In 2009, Chris decided to form his own business and founded Chris Jones Marine in Summerville, South Carolina (http://www.chrisjonesmarine.com) with a particular focus on rebuilding Capitol Gear, Borg Warner/Velvet Drive, Hurth, Paragon, Twin Disc and Newage transmissions.
One reason why Chris prefers rebuilding boat transmissions rather than repairing them is because rebuilding a unit ensures the job is done right and every small detail is carefully analyzed and addressed. The process starts with a phone call or e-mail to determine the possible cause of a specific failure or to uncover clues the issue may have been caused by other sources within the boat (i.e. misalignment of the prop shaft, engine or cooler issues, etc.). The source of the failure is the key ingredient to understanding how Chris’s customers can once again have a healthy boat ready for years of use. After all, not all transmission failures are caused by faulty transmission components. Something caused them to fail. This attention to detail is one reason Chris earned such a loyal following over the years and it saved many customers a lot of money in the process by guiding them through an analysis of their boat as a whole.
Once the initial analysis is complete, the unit is shipped to Chris Jones Marine where the unit or units are taken apart and undergo a comprehensive analysis. The quotation and timing for the rebuild project is then shared in detail with the customer and the rebuild can begin.
Chris’s lifetime of experience of learning every layer of the marine industry, from small local workshops to large distributors to the OEM and their supplier networks is helping him grow his customer base and notoriety today. Chris has earned a loyal following in the marine industry, in part, because of his connections but mostly because of his dedication and passion for the product, boating and the people with whom he has worked for so many years. In short, there are very few people as connected to the marine world as Chris and his peers know it. That is why they call Chris before anyone else to help find a solution to their problem or, often, just to say hello to a trusted friend. So should you.
Chris Jones Marine, LLC
501 Woodward Blvd
Summerville, SC 29483