of Kerr's Marine Tool Company
"Used by Better
Founded by Bob and Helen Kerr, Bob Kerr's Marine Tool Company
became a corporation in 1963. Before incorporating, Kerr's
Marine was a marine business in Winter Garden, Florida, (located
of Orlando) for 21 years. During that time, Bob worked on many
Outboard Motors and recognized a need for a more suitable holding
fixture than a wooden board held with a vise. With Helen's
encouragement, Bob designed and patented many of the tools that
are sold today.
Their son, Jim Kerr, purchased the marine business and
Bob and Helen began their new career, manufacturing
outboard engine repair
equipment. Their son-in-law, Fred Crabtree, joined the Tool
Company in 1964, and served as manager until 1992,
leaving to become general
manager of the Lake Apopka Natural Gas District. Jim Kerr
sold his marine business and worked for the tool company
the Marine division at Walt Disney World.
The Kerrs, unable to afford much advertising, traveled
the U.S. selling their equipment out of the back of their
truck. They made many friends throughout the marine industry
and their tools quickly became known worldwide.
In 1974, Bob and Helen's daughter, Sue Crabtree began working
part time for the company, while also caring for three school
age children. As the children grew, they also became interested
the business and worked there during summers and holidays.
In the early years, it was a struggle. Good help was hard to
find and expensive. Many nights Bob and Fred would work to build
the tools while Helen and Sue packed the orders. After Bob retired
in the early 90's, Helen, Fred and Sue ran the business.
Today, the Crabtree's eldest son, Jim Crabtree, is the General
Manager and their daughter, Karen Barton, is the office manager.
They have held these titles since 1991, although they have
worked for the company many years. Sue now works part time.
son, Andy Crabtree, is a self-employed graphic artist and designs
the company's catalogs and website. The whole family continues
to be involved in the success of Bob Kerr's Marine Tool Co.
Even though Bob passed away in 1997 and Helen in 2001, Bob Kerr's
Company continues to make the marine repair shop a more efficient
and cost effective service shop for their customers. Bob Kerr's
Marine Tool Company is celebrating their 40th year of manufacturing
service equipment. Their tools can be found at vocational schools,
military bases, state and national parks, rehabilitation centers
and marine dealers worldwide.
This family committment to our customers spans three generations
and we continue to stand behind our products.
Bob Kerr's Marine Tool Company • Winter Garden, Florida