On one side of the street stands a spacious two-story building with aisle after aisle of new outboard motor parts. Shiny and bright, this is Stone & Sons Marine. At first glance, this motor repair shop may seem typical of the thousands of repair facilities across the country and around the world. It is what lies on the other side of the street that is the heart and soul of the Stone & Sons legacy. There are no polished marble floors on the other side of the street. What you find is amazing It’s almost a museum for outboard motor parts, some dating back to 1932.
Jack Stone, Sr. has built a mighty business from his humble beginnings – operating out of the bed of a “service vehicle” (his old pickup) back in 1958. Walking through Stone’s warehouse, you get the impression he has collected every used outboard motor from that time until now. Indeed, he has. Stone boasts the largest inventory of new and used Evinrude and Johnson parts in the world. Boat owners across the country are glad he and his son, Jack Jr., have gone to the effort. Instead of an outboard motor gathering dust for months or years, they can contact the company and be back in the water within a few days. Room after room of motor parts, some still bearing the residue of years of use, coupled with thousands of boxes of nuts, and bolts, are enough to make you wonder if Stone has employed an army of mechanics to make sorting parts their life’s work.Pointing to over 500 used outboard motors, Stone Jr., whose nickname is “Outboard Jack,” says, “These are just cores, our product in its raw form. We take this stuff that is junk to most people and we tear it down and clean the parts.” The company uses special machines to restore the parts and bring them back to life.
Stone Jr. says a surprising number of old Evinrude and Johnson motors are in existence in the United States and around the world. Boat engines don’t wear out as quickly as car engines, he says, because the average boater puts only 20 hours a year on a motor. But owners of those motors are often unable to find parts to repair them, he says. In fact, it was the lack of availability of parts that gave Stone Sr. the idea for concentrating on the parts business. When he took in engines to repair, he often had difficulty locating parts. “My vision was a good service department and parts availability, so people would not have to go hunting everywhere for parts,” he says. “When we disassemble an engine we put the parts in inventory. That’s the only way you can have a complete inventory.” When asked how long some of the parts would sit on shelves before they are sold, Stone Jr. says that many of them may never be sold. But because the company has accumulated so many motors and parts through the years, when a customer orders an obscure part, such as a cowling to a 1964 model Johnson motor, Stone & Sons usually has it.
People are amazed when they find previously “discontinued and unavailable” parts, Stone Jr. says. “What amazes them the most,” he says, “is when somebody comes in with a screw or a bolt and I can tell them that it is a 1954 model seven-and-a-half horsepower exhaust cover bolt.” Stone Sr. credits Outboard Marine Corp., the parent company of Evinrude and Johnson, for helping his business grow by providing parts contracts and recommending Stone & Sons Marine to customers as a parts supplier.
With Stone Sr. as the catalyst, the company is changing with the times. He has come along way from operating out of the back of a truck. These days, outboard motor owners around the world can locate parts at Stone & Sons via e-mail. Whatever he does, Stone Sr. takes pride in a job well done. “It is exciting to me to be able to please people and to do excellent work,” he says. “It has been a very gratifying experience.”
Mon. - Fri. 7:00AM to 7:00PM Stone & Son Marine
3410 Oak Forest,
Houston, TX 77018.
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