Metro Boating sells more Blackjack bay boats than anyone else in the country for a simple reason. “We sell all over the U.S.,” says Tim Mistretta, the sales manager at the New Orleans-area dealership. “People come to us for the level and quality of rigging we do. We’re super technical and a big accessory dealer. That’s what we’re known for.”

How an emphasis on accessories — including Boat Outfitters leaning post tackle centers — has helped make Metro Boating the nation’s top Blackjack dealer

Blackjacks are limited production, higher end boats, and the factory consistently has more demand each year than they can meet. To help keep up, the company depends on their dealer network to install electronics and other accessories. “They do basic electrical and plumbing at the factory,” says Mistretta. “They do what they do really well, and then we do the rest.”

So offering customers the option of a leaning post tackle center for their new Blackjacks made perfect sense for Metro. “When we offer an accessory to a customer, especially an expensive one,” says Mistretta, “I want to be sure it’s something where a year down the road they’ll say, ‘I’m so glad I bought that.’ This fell into that category.” An angler himself, Mistretta has a leaning post tackle center on his personal boat and knows the value firsthand.

Discovering Boat Outfitters

The challenge was sourcing the tackle centers. Mistretta started researching, discovered Boat Outfitters and ordered an “off the shelf” design that would fit well under the leaning post shared by both the 224 and 256 Blackjack models. From there, he started working with the Boat Outfitters design team to customize the unit for a perfect fit and to improve its utility for Metro customers.

The Perfect Fit

After three iterations, he settled on the current design, which features slots for six standard-size Plano-style waterproof trays and two deep waterproof trays, a bulk-storage drawer, and pliers, knife and leader-spool holder inside the cabinet door.

“Boat Outfitters was great to work with,” Mistretta says. “They seemed genuinely interested in designing and building a product specifically for our customers, even before we started selling a lot of units.”

A Go-To Option for Customers

Boat Outfitters’ investment in developing the tackle center for Metro paid off quickly. “We did some marketing, and they just took off,” Mistretta says. Now, a large portion of the new Blackjacks that Metro sells go out the door with a tackle center installed. “It’s always a go-to option for our customers,” Mistretta says. “We just keep them in stock. I’ve got six right now and two more ordered.”

After-Market Plus

Metro also does a brisk business selling the tackle centers aftermarket. “Guys will see one on somebody else's boat and ask where they got it,” says Mistretta.

“Then they call us.” Boat Outfitters’ dealer pricing makes the tackle centers a profitable enterprise for Metro. “It was important to us to make it affordable,” says Mistretta. “We worked with Boat Outfitters to begin with and came up with a quantity we needed to order for them to meet us right where we needed to be on price.”

Adding Value for Dealers

Boat Outfitters offers a wide variety of off-the-shelf tackle centers that are compatible with the aluminum leaning posts found on many of today’s center console boats, including Sea Hunt, Sea Fox, Key West, Robalo, Tidewater, and others. If none are an exact match for the brand(s) your dealership represents, Boat Outfitters can adapt an existing design to your needs or design a solution from scratch. 

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