Boatbuilder Profile: Jon Clermont, Director of Customer Care and Service
Jon Clermont, BBW's Director of Customer Care and Service

Boatbuilder Profile: Jon Clermont, Director of Customer Care and Service

As you’d expect, BBW’s Director of Customer Care and Service, Jon Clermont can diagnose and fix almost anything—within reason of course. And he can explain everything about your new boat from how to set up the navigation system to how to operate the entertainment system.

But he didn’t always plan to become such an expert boatbuilder. In fact, it was only after he’d started his career (selling advertising space in the Wall Street Journal!) that he realized…building boats might be way more fun and rewarding than selling ad space in the Wall Street Journal!

“It was during my time selling ad space when I started imagining working on boats when I somehow found out that Boston BoatWorks was only a short subway ride from the office building where I worked in Post Office Square. So, I went there. And I met with Scott Smith and said, “What would it take to be hired here?” 

He said, “Well, if you want to do systems or electrical, you need to go to the Landing School.”

So, like many of BBW’s highly trained boatbuilders, Jon enrolled in the “systems program” at one of the best schools in the country that teaches timeless art and modern craft and skills of boatbuilding–The Landing School. And he learned systems from the best. But, instead of going back to BBW when he graduated, he went sailing…sort of.

“After I graduated from the Landing School, a I drove across country with a buddy bound for Ensenada, Mexico. The ‘plan’ was to try and working on boats there.

“We ended up working with a couple from Corpus Christi that were trying to get their old 63-foot sailboat that had been sitting in Ensenada for a few years back to Texas. We ended up helping them fix it up for six months. And when they were finally ready to head back through the Canal and back to Corpus Christi they said, “Well, would you like to be the crew?’ 

“I’m excited to be back working on the boats along with showing customers, (like 43z owner Ted Hoaglin, center) how to use them,” says Clermont (right) along with BBW founder Scott Smith (left).

“We of course said, “Sure.’”

But they didn’t make it very far.

Soon, Jon was back home in New England. And eventually, he returned to BBW. This time, he got hired as a systems installer. That was in 2008. He’s been here ever since.

“I started in the dead of winter,” he says. “It was cold in the shop! At first I was like ‘I had this cushy desk job and now I don’t even have a place to hang my jacket while I install bow thrusters or windshield wipers or whatever.’ But I loved every minute of it.

“It was fun. I love that BBW attracts people from all over the world. There are lots of guys from Brazil and Vietnam and El Salvador. And we were NOT slow. It was actually going gangbusters. And then the MJM 40z came along and it got even busier.”

Jon eventually worked his way up from installer to being the systems department head. “I loved managing and training most of the new guys. I was in that position for seven years, and I loved learning the ins and outs of every installation too.” Along the way, Jon took on the responsibility of serving as BBW’s Safety and Compliance Officer, looking after the well-being of our precious team.

He also conducted new owner orientations, which is the hand-off in the continuum of ‘boating’ at BBW which we define as an enjoyable past-time you do with friends that includes dreaming about boats, designing the boat for you, building and commissioning and owning and operating. Your friends at Boston BoatWorks are there to support you every step of the way. 

He then moved into becoming BBW’s Director of Customer Care and Service. “The customer service manager job was quite autonomous. I loved doing new boat orientations (stay tuned to see recordings of them all on our youtube.com in the future). And it was also fun to hop on a plane and help new owners get oriented to their new boats all over the country too. BBW gave me full authority to provide solutions to customer problems on the spot, I can direct ship replacement parts or engage local experts to correct an issue as quickly as possible. I like showing our customers the kind of company that is standing behind them supporting their enjoyment of the water. Minor fixes are the perfect time to get that across.”

But Jon’s new role may be his best move yet. Now all of Jon’s skills and nearly 20 years of experience can be focused on helping our customers get the most out of the boat they already own.

“I’m excited to be back working on the boats along with showing customers how to use them,” he says. “And I’m extremely excited about our new ‘Upfit Program.’ We’ve already done several all-glass cockpit enclosure upfits this winter.”

And other packages including upfitting electronics, entertainment, and underwater lighting as well as adding a lifting swim platform are also in the works. 

That means there has never been a better time to have your boat exactly the way you want it than right now. In fact, do yourself a favor and give Jon a call today. He’ll take great care of you!

Because we really mean it when we say, “Nothing is more important to us than helping our customers enjoy their time on the water!”