Last spring, boats.com visited Lake Union Sea Ray and learned a few things about the cruising lifestyle not only from the dealership but also some of its customers. We started out getting to know the company’s set-up at their flagship store on Lake Union in the heart of Seattle, where we recorded the first of three videos on cruising.
We met the president and founder, Kevin Roggenbuck, who opened the company’s doors in 1987 with his wife Connie. “We started out boating through the islands,” he said, “and we had so much fun we decided we had to get more and more people involved in it. To this day, our fondest memories are of those years, boating with the kids.”
The business grew to three stores—Seattle, Bellingham, and Tacoma—each of which appears well suited to the type of boats and boating done in its area. Lake Union Sea Ray now sells close to 100 models—not only Sea Rays but Boston Whalers, Bayliners and several other brands.
While Sea Ray and cruising have always been central to the company’s mission, smaller runabouts and tow boat models also put many boaters on the water. And many of them shift into cruising boats and yachts as they realize how plentiful the opportunities are in the area.
The Seattle store is the hub, sited on Lake Union, close to Lake Washington to the east and Puget Sound to the west, the latter easily accessed through a set of locks. Many of the larger models that the dealership sells can be seen in and around the main building or in its two “floating” showrooms. The service facility is located next door, a couple of docks down the lake front.
Roggenbuck described the options cruisers have: “You can easily get to Roche Harbor in the San Juan Islands, where cruisers love to congregate. Or head south to Tacoma and visit the museums. You can also go clear up to Desolation Sound, where you can get away for two days or two weeks and never see another person.”
Editor's Note: This video is the first in a three-part series. Be sure to check out The Journey – Cruising with Lake Union Sea Ray, part 2 and The Destination – Cruising with Lake Union Sea Ray, part 3. Promotional consideration for this article was provided by Lake Union Sea Ray.