By Rusty Chinnis
sun staff writer
On Saturday and Sunday Nov. 12 and 13, Cannons
Marina on Longboat Key will celebrate its 50th anniversary
with a boat show, sale and fishing seminars.
Come see the latest in boats and motors while learning
techniques that will maximize your fish-catching ability.
For more than 50 years, Cannons has catered to the areas
boaters and anglers, providing new and used boats, motors,
expert marine maintenence, tackle and bait.
The following boating and angler clinics and demonstrations
will be held for all ages during the celebration:
Saturday, Nov. 12
11 a.m., Dr. Randy Wells, Mote Marine, "
Five Generations of Living Bottlenose Dolphins in Sarasota
Noon, Captain Scott Moore, "Top Flat Fishing
Secrets Revealed in Sarasota and Perico Bays."
1 p.m., Tom Tomao, Cannons service manager, "Extending
the Life of Your Yamaha Outboard Motor."
2 p.m., Captain Scott Moore, "Casting Clinic
for All Ages; Increase Your Distance up to 50 Percent."
Sunday, Nov. 13
Noon, Captain Justin Moore, "The Key to
Fishing Tarpon off the Beach."
1 p.m., Captain Rob Roberts, "Offshore Fishing
2 p.m., Captain Scott Moore, "Kid's Fishing
Clinic, (ages 7-12). Learn smart equipment choices,
casting efficiency and bait selection.
Throughout the two-day celebration, Cannons will hold
prize drawings for guests, including items from Grady-White
and Scout Boats. Yamaha Outboard Motors will offer a mini-stereo
system with AM/FM/CD and speakers. Harrys Continental
Kitchens will offer refreshments and birthday cake both
days from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Cannons Marina is located at 6040 Gulf of Mexico Drive,
Longboat Key, ICW marker 33, and specializes in boat sales,
service and rentals. Cannons features Grady-White boats,
Scout boats and Yamaha outboard motors.
A 50-year historical perspective of Cannons Marina and
Cannons-by-the Sea Cottages is as follows:
During the early 1950s, the Miller family often vacationed
on the west coast of Florida. Paul Miller, a successful
Detroit businessman, had always loved the area and enjoyed
the family times spent here. While on holiday in Sarasota,
he decided to take his family fishing on the northern
end of Longboat Key. As he drove north on Gulf of Mexico
Drive, he stopped at Cannons Marina, then Cannons Boat
Dock, and met Ernie Cannon, the owner. In the l940s, Cannon
had established Cannons boat rental business, and had
built four cottages which remain, even today, as Cannons
by the Sea Cottages. Miller, looking for a career change
that would allow him to spend more time with his family,
saw the potential of Longboat Key and agreed to buy the
business in August 1955. Miller and Cannon sealed the
deal with a friendly handshake.
Miller then moved his wife, Dorothy, daughter, Sally,
and four-year-old son, David, from their comfortable and
urban life in Detroit to Cannons Cottage No. 3 on Longboat
"Longboat Key of the 1950s was a rugged and remote
sandy barrier island where rabbits, raccoons and rattlesnakes
lived, and Gulf of Mexico Drive was a narrow paved road
loaded with potholes and lined with Australian pines,"
Miller continued to run the boat and cottage rental business.
Everyone in the family pitched in, including David, who
began his training in the business and learned to count
by preparing bait orders for the boat customers.
In the early 1960s, new boat and motor sales were added
as an attempt to keep parts and replacements available
for the boat rental business. It didn't take long, however,
before the new boat and motor sales became very successful.
After having spent a large portion of his childhood learning
the business, David Miller finally acquired Cannons Marina
from his father in 1972. Under David's leadership, the
company was restructured, with a greater focus on new
boat and motor sales, as well as on boat rentals.
Today, Cannons enjoys success both nationally and internationally
as an award-winning dealer.
For more information about Cannons Marina, visit www.cannons.com.