Our Story

Ted Bair, founder and patriarch of Quality Boats, was a sales executive with Weyerhauser Paper Company in Chicago in 1973 when he saw an ad in the Chicago Sun Tribune for a marina located in Clearwater, FL. Tired of traveling and concerned he might miss out on the growth of his young family, Ted and his wife Linda moved to Clearwater. Armed with $40,000 and a dream they bought the marina known as Quality Boats.

The Bair’s moved to Florida with newly born Dan, 3 year old David, and 10 year old Diana. Ted operated Quality Boats as a one-man show, quickly earning the reputation locally as a hardworking, loyal, and passionately ethical business man. He headed up many local civic and charitable organizations and events. Although Ted worked 364 days a year, off only for Christmas, family was always his #1 priority.

From a very young age Ted would take his sons Dan and David out fishing every Sunday morning, instilling in them the importance of family. Rarely catching anything more than their Dad’s wit, jokes and appreciative views of nature, Dan and David experienced firsthand the incredible impact boating can have on a family. Their passion for sharing these experiences with other families was the driving force behind the creation of Quality Boats’ customer cruise club, Quality Cruisers.

Quality Boats is Tampa Bay’s Premiere Boat Dealership, sitting among the leaders in the Marine Industry. The Bair’s expanded the original marina location in 1991, doubling its original size. Truly a visionary, Ted bought a lot on U.S. Highway 19 and built our first showroom in 1985. In the late 1990’s, the Bair’s bought the north adjacent lot to its original showroom on U.S Hwy 19 and built Ted’s ultimate dream, a state-of-the-art showroom that opened in 2001, positioned today at the intersection of U.S Hwy 19 and Haines Bayshore Road. Recognized by Florida Architecture Magazine as “Steel Building of the Year” for 2002 , Ted’s pride and sense of accomplishment are shown throughout the dealership with his own special custom touches and décor.

Historical photo