A customer might have trouble finding Passage Marine’s office around the back at 4080 Middlepoint Road, but it doesn’t really matter, because the marine mechanics will come to you.
Last year Chris Chambers and Megan Lane saw a need for a mobile mechanic and decided to fill the niche. Chambers drives, flys and boats all over the Island to get to remote locations that need a mechanic, while Lane manages the paperwork.
Chambers said the key to success is being prepared.
“All the stuff that people would normally keep at their shop, we just keep in organized bins and we take them to the job site with us,” he said.
So far, he hasn’t been stuck onsite and unable to finish the job.
“If we are out there and there is something we need, we will stay an extra day and have it flown in, whatever it takes to get the job done,” he said.
Chambers got his foot in the door of marine mechanics working at Painters Lodge after moving to the Island from the U.K. He started out as a dock boy and worked his way up, discovering a love of mechanics along the way.
After completing his heavy duty mechanics ticket, he work at two different companies in town before starting Passage Marine with Lane.
Lane, originally from Quebec, moved to the Island 10 years ago.
She and Chambers met working at Painters Lodge. She was a dock girl at April Point, he was a dock boy at Painters.
At the moment she is finishing a degree in business at NIC. She knew it was helping after sitting down to do the year end financial report with an accountant and actually understanding what was going on.
Business has been booming. The pair weren’t expecting to hire a second mechanic until after being in business for two years, but they hired in July and will probably hire someone else before next June.
“The community has been really supportive,” Lane said. “[Chambers] has made a lot of contacts working in the marine industry so there is a lot of people that know his reputation as a good worker so that was helpful as well.”
To celebrate the success of their first year of business, the team decided to give back to the community that has been good to them. So the duo cleaned out the SPCA’s back yard using a bobcat and a dump trailer.
“Even though we work together we don’t get to see each other much, so the project at the SPCA was really great for that cause we could actually put some time into a project together,” Lane said.