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This profile was last updated on 3/25/15  and contains information from public web pages.

Paxson St. Clair

Wrong Paxson St. Clair?

Chief Executive Officer

Phone: (620) ***-****  HQ Phone
Email: p***@***.com
Cobalt Boats LLC
1715 N 8Th St
Neodesha , Kansas 66757
United States

Company Description: Cobalt Boats is committed to the best possible browsing experience for our customers. This site conforms to Web Standards and works any resolution 1024x768 or...   more

Employment History


  • University of Kansas
25 Total References
Web References
Cobalt Life - Cobalt Boats Blog, 25 Mar 2015 [cached]
"We are fortunate to have almost 100% attendance from our dealer partners and we appreciate them taking a few days out of their schedules to attend our meeting," said Paxson St. Clair, CEO of Cobalt Boats.
Cobalt Life - Cobalt Boats Blog, 7 May 2015 [cached]
I used to see St. Clair over the years at International Marine Trades Exhibit & Conference shows and NMMA conferences, and we have known each other for a long time. He was one of the first board members of the National Marine Manufacturers Association, along with such industry notables as Eddie Smith, Dave Parker and others. He also was the third chairman of the NMMA.
Independence has a population of 10,000 and is just 13 miles from Neodesha. Both towns are basically farm communities.
"My dad was a lumber salesman, calling on lumber dealers all over southeast Kansas, northeast Oklahoma and southwest Missouri," St. Clair says. "He was still calling on dealers when he was 85 but then had to stop only because he was getting macular degeneration. He lived to be 97."
St. Clair apparently inherited his father's determination.
St. Clair says he'd be hard-pressed to find a crew with the work ethic and pride of his 700 employees.
Learning about fiberglass
Boating has always been a St. Clair family passion. "As a kid," St. Clair says, "I grew up boating. My dad bought a 14-foot Lone Star boat with a 35-hp Evinrude. We boated almost every lake in Kansas, and then we came down to boat on the Grand Lake of the Cherokees in Oklahoma. I wanted to put a new Evinrude V engine on the boat, but it wouldn't handle it. So we got a used inboard boat to water-ski with."
St. Clair went to the University of Kansas, where he was an end on the football team. "After graduation from college I worked in the lumber business for a couple of years, doing what my dad did - covering a territory in northeast Kansas and southeast Nebraska," he says.
When the insurance company said in 1967 that St. Clair and his partner needed to make something other than the slides, Pack said, "Well, we'll just make boats. And they did.
"We copied some boats. St. Clair says.
IMTEC was an eye-opening experience for St. Clair. He saw a lot of large boat companies, such as Glastron, Sea Ray and even Outboard Marine Corp., which were making midpriced boats. He realized that to survive he had to go where they weren't. He had to find a niche market.
"We came home from IMTEC and really scrapped this whole line of boats that we had copied, except for the two tri-hulls that were of our design," St. Clair says.
So St. Clair called the printer who was just about to print his very first brochure and said he had to change the name. "How much time do I have to get a new name for the brochure? St. Clair asked.
The printer said he needed the new name by noon that day to deliver the brochures in time for the show in Chicago. "I hung up the phone and didn't think about a new name for more than about 5 or 10 minutes," St. Clair says.
"That first IMTEC show was a pretty humbling experience," St. Clair says.
When they returned home, St. Clair and his team started their new concept.
"We moved from Chanute to Neodesha," he says. "Neodesha gave us a building if we would move the plant there. So with our SBA loan we started building just two new boats. But we made sure that they were the very best there were, high-quality and the most expensive. We finished the first new top-of-the-line boat just before Christmas that year."
St. Clair had heard about the San Francisco Boat Show at the Cow Palace. (I worked that show for OMC for several years, and it was excellent.) At that time, St. Clair says, Cobalt's only California dealer was in Fullerton.
"I took our first new-generation, high-end, expensive and pretty boat out there," St. Clair says. "I wanted to see if I could get a dealer there and hopefully get to display the boat in the Cow Palace show. I called on every dealer in San Francisco before the show, but couldn't get one to take the line. Then I called on all the dealers in areas surrounding San Francisco but still didn't get a dealer. Most of them said, 'Son, I like your boat, but you are just too expensive.' So at that point I was beginning to question my new concept of building top-end boats."
Then St. Clair learned he couldn't get his boat into the Cow Palace to display it at the show. Still determined, he made a deal with a Mobil station across the street from the arena. He parked his boat there, close to the sidewalk, and worked the 10-day show from that spot.
"I talked to lots of people as they went by and handed out a lot of brochures," he says.
"The other big asset we have is our employees," St. Clair says. "We have several second and third generations working at Cobalt."
St. Clair's son Paxson joined the company in 1989 and became CEO in 2007. "Paxson is doing such a good job running the company now that I do my best to stay out of his hair," St. Clair says with a laugh. "Sean Callan, my son-in-law, is president and runs production and engineering. He is also key in the organization."
Says Paxson St. Clair: "I travel to a lot of boat shows around the country.
"We recognize that the pontoon market has been growing and felt there would be a market for a Cobalt pontoon with yacht quality," Paxson says.
"We have gotten some great ratings for our Cobalt wine," St. Clair adds. "Our first vintage was 2005. … Our wine bottles have a Cobalt logo on the front."
St. Clair now makes his home in Lawrence Kan., where he graduated from the University of Kansas. He spends most of the year there and enjoys going to the university's football and basketball games. In the summer he and his wife travel often to a home they have at Grand Lake of the Cherokees in northeastern Oklahoma near the Kansas and Missouri borders. This is the lake where his father often took the family boating as Pack was growing up. He drives to the plant about once a week.
"When I come to the plant each week, I like to spend all my time out in the plant," he says.
Cobalt Boats - Our Company - Press Release, 13 Dec 2013 [cached]
It's always interesting at our service schools that we learn as much or more from this great group of professional people as we share with them in our seminars" said Paxson St. Clair, CEO of Cobalt Boats.
Paxson St. ..., 29 Dec 2014 [cached]
Paxson St. Clair
Cobalt Boats
Cobalt Boats - Our Company - Press Release, 28 Sept 2012 [cached]
"We are fortunate to have almost 100% attendance from our dealerpartners who take a few days out of their schedules to attend our meeting" says Paxson St. Clair, CEO of Cobalt Boats.
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