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Our Story...from the beginning
Bruce's Marine has been in business since 1979
Bruce Johnson started out his working career as a millwright and certified welder in Thunder Bay, Ontario. While visiting relatives in Howardville, Manitoba just north of Riverton, Manitoba, Bruce met the love of his life, Jo-Anne Sveinson. Around the time of his marriage to his wife Jo-Anne in 1970 he started his own trucking and construction company. While Bruce maintained a successful business, he found himself away from home more often, than not. With the impending arrival of their first child, Bruce started dabbling in the recreational sports industry as a mechanic. He did this part time from 1974 – 1979 while still running his own trucking and construction company.
Bruce and Jo-Anne moved to Gimli, Manitoba in 1979 with their four-year-old daughter Amy. The family looks back fondly at those humble beginnings, reminded of the time when Bruce worked behind their mobile home, fixing his very first outboards, at a tarp covered bench. In 1982, with a building permit in hand, Bruce along with the help of family and friends laid the foundation for his very own marine service repair shop. A garage was then moved on to the foundation and thus began what would become the beginning of a family legacy, Bruce’s Marine Sales and Service. That initial building was used as our service bay, showroom, parts room and office. It is still in use, as our showroom. Having a building resulted in Bruce being offered outboard and sterndrive franchises from Mercury Marine Limited, which he accepted.
Bruce’s Marine Sales and Service was incorporated in 1988. Bruce and his wife Jo-Anne have been the sole partners and owners of the company since its inception.
Over the years, Bruce has obtained the following factory certifications: Mercury Marine Factory Certified Master Technician for both Mercury Outboards and Mercruiser Sterndrives. He is also certified in the following technologies: 2-cycle, 4-stroke, Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI), and Optimax. He also obtained CatMaster Technician status through Arctic Cat Snowmobiles training center. Bruce certified with Bombardier Marine Products for Evinrude E-TEC’s and Direct Injection Outboards, and Johnson Carbureted and Four Stroke Outboards.
Never missing an opportunity to adapt to the needs of their market area, Bruce and Jo-Anne had the following franchises as they saw fit: Mercury Marine Outboards, Mercruiser Sterndrives, Arctic Cat Snowmobiles, Champion Boats, Misty River Boats, Lund Boats, Glastron Boats, EZ Loader Trailers, Johnson Outboards, BRP Marine Products, Volvo Penta Outboards and Marlon/Karavan Trailers.
Bruce’s experience as a professional truck driver has benefited the company immensely. It has allowed the company to be on the leading edge of the boat hauling needs of our client base. Over the years, we have hauled and moved boats for Canadian Coast Guard, including the Coast Guard Vatka and 119 Thunder Bay. We have also been responsible for commercial and private vessels as large as 70ft overall length. Our client base has boats as small as 10 – 12 ft, 18 – 24 ft runabouts, 18 – 32 ft pontoon boats, and cabin cruisers in the 24 – 45 ft range, as well as, a large sailing community.
A multi generation family business with 40+ years of experience
Bruce has been an outdoor enthusiast his entire life. He has enjoyed hunting and fishing in some of Canada’s most remote areas. His work as a marine technician has taken him as far north as Wager Bay, Nunavut. He has flown into several fly-in fishing camps and Manitoba Hydro Outposts. His work on the winter roads has crisscrossed the province. Just a few years ago, Bruce and Jo-Anne loved to spend their summer days and evenings on their yacht in the Gimli, Harbour. However, they have since decided to simplify their lives by selllng the yacht and downsizing to a pontoon boat. Being the outdoor enthusiasts that they are, they now enjoy regular morning cruises drinking coffee on their pontoon boat before coming into work. Their life experience allows them to have a unique perspective on the needs and concerns of our customers. Despite getting on in years, Bruce continues to be the first to arrive and last to leave. A work ethic he has passed on to the future generations of this family legacy. Expect the best from Bruce’s Marine and their staff and you will not be disappointed.
Bruce and Jo-Anne’s daughter Amy worked part time at the family business while attending Gimli High School. Amy excelled at the high school level and graduated with distinction in the summer of 1993. While in school she pursued any subject that would assist her in the family business. She loved the variety and challenges that they each presented. Some of the courses that she recalls having been a benefit were Power Mechanics, Welding, Accounting, Keyboarding Skills, Woodworking, Drafting, Law and Psychology. At the age of 17, prior to graduating Amy was certified by Mercury Marine as a Mercury Outboard and Mercruiser Parts Specialist. She also attended a Mercury Marine Authorized Service Training Facility where she received two additional certificates acknowledging that she Majored in the Maintenance and Service of both Mercury Outboards and Mercruiser Sterndrives.
Amy took the opportunity to work for Manitoba Parks and Recreation for the first two summers after she graduated. Scoring the highest mark on the job interview she was granted the only permanent position and became responsible for the maintenance in and around the Boundary Creek Marina and the Tennis Court area in the Winnipeg Beach Provincial Park. During the time off from her summer position with the Manitoba Government she attended studies in Business Management and Accounting of which she received her certification.
Amy married her husband Clint Bochurka in the fall of 1998. She has continued to work full time while raising a family of four children. Her current position is Vice President of the company and she shares the accounting responsibilities with her mother Jo-Anne. Amy has had a part in every aspect of the company in the 30 years she has been involved with the family business. One of the things she appreciates the most is having the privilege of working with both her parents, her husband, Clint and their children.
Clint Bochurka joined the workforce at Bruce’s Marine just prior to his engagement to Amy. Prior to that, Clint grew up in a family run business with backgrounds in heavy equipment, mining, drilling and blasting. Clint worked with his father both before and after school on weekdays and all day on weekends. In spite of, the long hours he put in at work, he graduated from Gimli High School with honours and distinction in 1994. Clint qualified to receive his Class One Commercial Drivers License at the earliest possible date, after receiving it, he used his license to haul various types of limestone rock, gravel, soils and often did snow removal in Winnipeg, MB. Clint received at certificate of achievement at Red River College for Soil and Aggregate Training Level One in February of 2000.
When the opportunity arose for Clint to take factory training through the various franchises carried by Bruce’s Marine, he promptly accepted and excelled. Not only did he certify with Arctic Cat and Evinrude/Johnson as a mechanic with the award of excellence, by 2006 he received the coveted Master Technician Certificates from BRP. He was one of only four technicians in North America to receive the Master Technician title.
Clint never forgot his roots in the heavy construction industry and kept his training up to date over the years. He also started and ran his own trucking and hauling company which he operated while Bruce’s Marine had it’s slower off seasons. As a member of Manitoba Heavy Construction Association, he has his certificate as a COR Auditor, Leadership in Safety Excellence, Auditor and Principles of Health and Safety Management. Clint also has numerous certificates with Construction Safety Association of Manitoba.
Clint has attended Mercury Marine University for his training along with his eldest son Sinjin for the service and maintenance of the various models of Mercury Marine Outboards and Mercruiser Sterndrives. Clint received his triple certified status for the various Mercury Outboard platforms as well his Mercruiser Technician Certification in March of 2019. As of January 2022, he had completed 190 courses through Mercury University. Those courses included Mercury’s V12 Installation, Predelivery and Maintenance courses, as well as, the newly released Mercury CZone, Mastervolt and Next Gen Digital Throttle Shift courses.
Sinjin Bochurka has been working full time at Bruce’s Marine since his graduation from Gimli High School in the summer of 2018. His primary areas of study were in the areas of music, woodworking and drafting. Sinjin played the trombone as a member of the Gimli High School Junior and Senior Orchestra Band, Jazz Band and Jazz Orchestra. During his final year of high school, Sinjin took the initiative to pursue studies outside of the school curriculum and attained his first three levels of American Sign Language.
Sinjin’s Training and Certifications: As of January 2022, he has successfully completed 180 Mercury University courses. Sinjin received his Mercruiser Inboards Technician Certificate in December of 2018. He received his Mercury Outboard, Four Stroke and Optimax Certificate in March of 2019. When Sinjin passed his Mercruiser Drives and Transoms instructor lead training and lab in March of 2019, he was the youngest Triple Certified Mercury/Mercruiser mechanic in North America.
We are also happy to announce that Sinjin has added Marine Canvas and Upholstery training to his skill set. Sinjin travelled to the USA and spent several months there to attain certification. Thankfully, he did not take up their offer to stay there to work and teach at the school.
Sinijn’s interests include music, basketball, woodworking, camping and the outdoors. He is an active volunteer in the community and still tries to find ways to assist the High School Band programs. His well rounded, respectful and kind personality is appreciated by all our customers. Sinjin is always looking for ways to go the extra mile so he not only meets customer expectations, he exceeds them!
Viggo Bochurka is our newest and youngest employee. At first it was difficult to find a job that Viggo enjoyed at the family business. After all, can you name a fourteen-year-old that finds vacuuming, dusting and taking out the garbage enjoyable… will his younger sister? Amy can often be heard telling her kids, “You be able to find a part for our customers because you touched it when you were cleaning; or this is how you learn to work; or everyone has to start somewhere.” That being said, we believe the following to be true: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
Beginning in January 2022 Viggo was asked to start entering various inventory items for sale on the Bruce’s Marine Online Store. We are happy to say that Viggo is quite enthused with his new assignment and has learned how to navigate the entry process very well. He is excited with the growth opportunity that this position has. As time progresses, he will be tasked with processing orders and prepping them for shipment.
Viggo loves to play video games and is interested in learning how to build a computer from scratch. He is a natural born athlete and loves outdoor sports. Viggo enjoys fishing at the Gimli Harbour or near his Grandparents home. Viggo will receive his Boat Operators licence through Gimli High School’s Outdoor Ed program. He is also learning to play guitar in their Music Program. Come in and meet this cool kid after school, on weekends or during his summer break.
Angelica Bochurka is the second eldest grandchild of Bruce and Jo-Anne and is an extremely hard worker. Angelica also achieved her Level 3 in American Sign Language when she was in her mid teens and has maintained her ability to communicate using ASL.
Angelica graduated from Gimli High School in June of 2021. In recognition of her academic excellence, leadership capabilities, and civic involvement Angelica received a Brunswick son’s and daughter’s scholarship. Because she only works part time at Bruce’s Marine, it is not uncommon to see her painting boat bottoms, polishing gelcoat or detailing boats in the early morning hours. While she helps with some of the accounting, and works the showroom floor, Angelica prefers to get her hands dirty and loves when she gets to do engine tear downs with her father in the service shop. She is also been trained in boat detailing and gelcoat restoration.
Angelica explored working a variety of jobs in our community as a way to decide what she would like to do as a career. You may have seen her patrolling or cleaning the Gimli beach or Pavilion, when she was working for the RM of Gimli. She has worked as a cashier, customer service agent and at an automotive parts counter in Selkirk. Angelica really wanted to become an apprentice as an automotive technician but her experience with gelcoat restoration and knowledge in the marine industry opened the door for her to work as an Automotive Collision and Repair apprentice. We wish her well in this endeavor.
Angelica’s favourite pastimes and recreational activities include music, power mechanics, welding, woodworking and drafting. She has recently taken an interest in weightlifting as well as boxing. Angelica played the tenor saxophone as a member of the Gimli High School Junior Orchestra Band, and Jazz Orchestra. Angelica has played as a member of the Interlake Eastman Honour Band, and as a talented musician, plays several instruments. She was also a member of the High School Choir and is experimenting with her own song and music writing. As mentioned earlier, during her grade nine year of high school, Angelica took the initiative to pursue studies outside of the school curriculum and received her first three levels of American Sign Language. She has volunteered for the school and in the community and completed a term at Gimli High School in an Internship as an assistant teacher for the Grade 7 and 8 shops classes.
Wolfe and Luann
Wolfe is your go to person for Sailing Lessons at the Gimli Yacht Club. He owns and operates Prairie Ocean Cruising. Wolfe and Luann have a great blog on their site that opens up the world of sailing and life aboard a sailboat. Check out their blog that highlights the adventures, and travels of Wolfe, Luann!
For more information visit www.prairieoceancruising.com