ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — When he was growing up, Steve Taylor spent a lot of time around boats, from spending time on New Mexico’s lakes with his grandfather to building boats in his parents’ garage.
“I was spending all my time on boats, I might as well get paid for it,” Taylor said.
He eventually did just that, starting Taylor Marine in Albuquerque with his wife, Brigitte, in the early 1970s. Nearly five decades later, however, the Taylors have decided they’re ready to call it quits, putting the local business up for sale.
“We knew at some point it was going to happen,” Taylor said.
The first iteration of the shop opened in a 5,000-square-foot space on Yale Boulevard SE, before the company moved out to 4201 Hawkins NE in the late 1970s, in what’s now Journal Center. Taylor said the building was the first on the street west of Jefferson Street NE, joking that “our only neighbors were jackrabbits and coyotes.”
“It was out in the boonies,” Taylor said.
The business became a hit with New Mexicans looking to go boating everywhere from Elephant Butte to Lake Powell, and in 1992 the Taylors opened a facility on Pan-American Freeway to repair and show off a variety of different boats.
However, Taylor said the 40,000-square-foot facility was purchased by BMW to provide space for its new showroom in 2001, and the company significantly scaled back its operations. Today, Taylor said the company is open four days a week and primarily repairs boats and sells parts and accessories, ranging from fuel tanks to propellers to anchor lines.
While Albuquerque may seem to be unconventional territory for a company focused on boating, Taylor said the variety of terrain and lack of insects found in muggier climates makes New Mexico a great landing spot for boaters willing to travel.
“We’ve actually got some pretty nice boating grounds,” he said.
The Taylors put the company’s assets – including the remaining marine-specific parts and the company name – on the market earlier in July, with an asking price of $193,000. Taylor added that he’s already heard from several people, ranging from established names in the boating business to hobbyists.
For Taylor, a pilot, selling the company means more time to fly his Piper Merdian airplane. In the past, Taylor and his wife have flown as far as the Bahamas, and he said he wanted that continue. Even after the sale, Taylor said he plans to keep his other business, the aviation company Aircraft Widgets, and sink more time into its day-to-day operation.
“I couldn’t totally retire,” Taylor said. “I’d go nuts.”