Ken Hayes started working at Cruisers Yachts on September 27, 1971, right out of high school, as a boat assembler. He quickly progressed up the ladder to become a boat inspector, CPG Manager, and Production Supervisor in just five years. For the next decade, he wore every managerial hat imaginable between production, CS & Parts, Quality & CSM, Sales, and Customer Service Manager Quality Control. But this is where he thrived – assuring every yacht that left the line had his seal of approval. In 2005, he became the Director of Customer Service and continued for the next 17 years, using his expansive knowledge to improve the company and provide excellent yachts to customers.
Hayes traveled the world meeting with customers and dealers along with assisting in the repair and set up of yachts. He was heavily involved with the Cruisers Yachts’ Rampage line for both generations of products in the ’90s and 2000s. He also participated in several major boat shows, dealership Rendezvous, and company dealer meetings. He led the service department for the last 32 years of his career.
Ken Hayes comments, “It was an honor to watch the company’s growth unfold right before my eyes during my time here and seeing all the success that followed. But the thing I loved the most about working at Cruisers for so long was the people. Getting to work with all the thousands of amazing individuals within Cruisers was a blessing that I will cherish forever.”
Mark Pendersen, Cruisers Yachts President, comments, “Ken impacted Cruisers Yachts in so many ways during his time here, especially by implementing an inspection program in the mid-’70s that helped provide us with the high-quality boats we have today. He will be greatly missed, but we are so thankful for all the time and effort Ken has given to making Cruisers what it is today. His positivity and passion for the product and customers were infectious. He always made sure to do what was right for them. I think this is a true testament to our values here at Cruisers. Showing how family oriented we are and want to make sure that our team members are passionate and proud of the work they are doing and can see themselves growing with us.”
Many of the people Ken got to work with during his five decades with the company only had kind things to say about him, his dedication to improving processes, and his strong presence around the facility.
During his retirement, Ken has been fixing up his 1966 Chevy Chevelle, enjoying time around the house with his loved ones, spending more time with his 97-year-old mother and continuing to enjoy his time out on the water.