Jim and Bonnie Johnston are the owners of Diversified
Marine and Equipment Sales, located at 2530 Highway 101 in Florence,
and the word “diversified” in their business name is a
meaningful one. The Johnstons don’t limit their sales to just
marine equipment, but are also a marine repair, service, sales and
consignment center, with a “few” other things to offer like
Pacific metal buildings, quality woodcraft sheds, RV, trailer and
vehicle sales and consignments, complete detail service on RVs, cars,
trucks and boats...the list seems to go on and on!
Jim is a veteran who has owned and operated his business
with his wife Bonnie since 1989. And other than the part-time employee
who does yard maintenance, the couple runs the business by themselves.
“I do sales, advertising, you name it,” says Jim.
“We’re a small family/veteran operation here.”
In 1985 Jim was leasing his own inventory when he got
into open and enclosed trailer sales (utility and cargo). He and Bonnie
had owned a second home in Florence since 1983, and in 1992 they moved
there permanently. “Florence is a nice town to live
in: we’ve got good shopping here and as you drive through
town you can see how clean and well-kept it is. The climate is great,
we’re only an hour from Eugene, and we think it’s a good
centrally-located place on the Oregon coast to live in and do
business,” said Jim.
As the company name implies, Diversified Marine and
Equipment Sales does full service boat and marine repair on new and
used boats. They also sell used boats and motors. “I actually had
a company with the same name in Eugene since 1989 that we sold in 2006,
so when we moved here, I just kept the name and here we are still
operating,” said Jim.
When the Johnstons first moved to Florence, they opened
up a trailer sales operation, but that quickly expanded into trailer
consignments and rentals, boat, motor and trailer repair service, plus
used boat, RV, vehicle and equipment sales. They eventually branched
out into selling Pacific metal steel buildings and quality woodcraft
sheds, and doing sales, rentals and consignments of dump trucks,
backhoes, bucket trucks and other heavy equipment. “I have a
satellite operation at Bayshore Automotive in Coos Bay where they sell
trailers for me, too,” said Jim. “I think that other for
one person in Newport, I’m pretty much the only trailer sales
operation of any size on the Oregon coast.”
Jim wanted Shopper readers to know they do their own
in-house financing, with special financing for veterans. They also take
trade-ins and will buy used vehicles. Their trailer rentals are for
open or enclosed trailers from 18 to 24 feet, which will move
“pretty much an entire household, if you need to,” says Jim.
The Johnstons are also very involved with the community
of Florence. “We loan our trailers to needy organizations like
the Boys and Girls Club or Habitat for Humanity,” said Jim.
“We try to be a good neighbor in the business community and give
back what the community has given us. We love living in
Diversified Marine and Equipment Sales is open Monday
through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm, and in the summer they expand their
hours to Saturdays from 9 to 5.
I asked Jim what the future holds for his company, and
he replied, “we’ve gone through some very tough times since
2008...those were the toughest years since I’ve been in business.
We’ve seen a lot of operations close, but our doors are still
open...that tells us we have the ability to survive. We see the economy
really turning around and business has improved dramatically. Right now
we’re selling trailers and boats from Washington to California,
so we have a really good outlook for the future!”
If you’re looking for a store that has marine
repair, service, sales, consignments and much, much more, call
Diversified Marine and Equipment Sales at 541-997-4505 and find out how
you can get a “whale of a deal”!