Marine recreation has always been a part of the Beaudoin family. Some of Darwin Beaudoin's most cherished memories are of days on the boat his father Leon purchased when Darwin was two.
Bonnyville, Alberta, where the Beaudoins live, is also commonly known as the Lakeland district. The Beaudoin family took a leap of faith one day in May 2012 and decided to take their love for marine powersports and the great outdoors and turn it into a business. They now own L&D Marine Rental and rent out personal watercraft.
The Beaudoin family works together to ensure success. Leon fills the role of mechanic and maintenance technician. Darwin focuses his attention to customer service and marketing. Even Darwin’s mother and girlfriend lend a hand to accommodate the many tourists who visit their area.
“It’s just easier for people to rent machines, rather than bringing their own watercraft with them,” Darwin said.
Some of their clients are from Edmonton, others own cabins on the lake and simply want to get out and enjoy the adrenaline rush of the Sea-Doos. Other customers already have a boat but want to experience another side of marine fun.
The first machines they purchased for their rental fleet were two Sea-Doo GTI SE personal watercraft. These 149 cc Rotax engines pack a walloping 130 horsepower, which makes for a fun and agile machine in the water.
“A personal watercraft is a sportier style of ride than a boat," said Darwin. "A basic model Sea-Doo has a higher top speed than most boats, and the handling is untouched. You are also much closer to the water, so you get wet. A Sea-Doo can also do almost everything a boat can: pull a tube, kneeboard, or waterskis, no problem; 130 (horsepower) is a lot. They seat up to three people or 600 pounds.”
Most of L&D Marine Rental's units are rented for use on Moose Lake, which is known for its warm waters and sandy beaches. They offer free delivery to Moose Lake, but if customers would like to travel to a different lake, all their units are on trailers for easy transport.