InTheBite chats with Patrick Durso, of BoatMat Corporation, Melbourne, Florida.
Patrick Durso is the president of BoatMat Corporation, an endeavor he spearheaded in 1999, kicking off with the company’s first yachting product: the BoardingMat. Since that time, Durso and his team have been providing boaters around the world with top-of-the-line products, designed for their specific needs while out on the water. And listening to what customers want for their boats is a key part of what Durso does. Because for him, it’s those customer-owner relationships that makes being a part of this company that much better.
What’s new with your business?
The newest thing related to InTheBite customers would be the 60-inch model boarding mat that we’ve never offered before. We were asked by our customers if there was a larger size available so we put it into our product mix. It’s made for sportfishers and it gives really great protection on boats. We just started offering this the past year, we never offered this size before, and now it’s a standard size and pretty low cost for what it does for protecting the covering boards.
How was the business started?
I grew up boating and fishing in South Florida in Pompano Beach and I was sewing as a 15 year old. The business started 20 years ago in the late 90s when a friend of mine at the time approached me and asked me to make a cover for them to put on their boat. There was an opportunity to put another product in our mix and like any other product, it took some time to develop and market it and see if there was a demand. So we ended up making one then we went to some of the catalog houses and it was a hit. It just exploded. We already sold products for the fishing industry and then we started making mats for boats.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Being with my family. My daughter is a volleyball player so supporting her and being with her and my son. And I’m an avid boater. I enjoy the Florida Keys. I like the water, the chill, laid-back lifestyle, it’s just a relaxed vibe there. I’ll be headed to the Keys next month.
What do you like about the industry you’re in?
The close friendships and the relationship I’ve made over the years. The relationships I’ve cultivated over the years, that is the most important thing to me. It’s a tight-knit community.
Editor’s note: This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.