Written By: Alan Jones, Former Editor Boating World Magazine
Andy & Carolyn Dinin, Mooresville, NC on Lake Norman
Dealer: Race City Marine Mooresville, NC
Dogs: Annie and Remi, Catahoula Leopard dogs
Grown kids: Scott, Brittany and her husband Chris
While Andy and Carolyn Dinin had never owned a boat until 2019, they belonged to a boat club that allowed them to try out many different styles of boats but it was the pontoons that seemed to be the best match for them and their two dogs, Anni and Remi.
“My wife, Carolyn and I went to the Charlotte Boat Show last year and saw the Barletta brand for the first time and were really impressed,” said Andy. “The first thing we noticed was the extremely attractive colors and finish. But the real eye-opener was the quality of the boat, the attention to detail and the construction; I call it German engineering. Compared to other pontoons we saw, there was no comparison.”
Soon after the show, the Dinins visited Race City Marine in their hometown of Mooresville, NC in April 2019. “We looked at a few Barletta models, took one out for a test drive and the rest was history,” said Andy. “My wife and I have always been in some sort of service-oriented business, so we know what great customer service feels like and we received what might just be one of the very best sales and customer service experiences of all time. Being first-time boat buyers, we really appreciated that the focus of our salesman, Jeremy Walls, and the owner, Matt Santomenna was centered around our needs and what model best matched our lifestyle.”
“There was no pressure to buy,” said Carolyn. “They just focused their attention on asking and answering questions. Instead of trying to up-sell us to the top-of-the-line L-Class, they recommended the E 22 QC and worked with us to select the right options for our family while keeping it within our budget. We are proud to say we were the first family to own a Barletta on Lake Norman, North Carolina. Now, I think there are 80 of them out there.”
“Barletta’s customer service is equally impressive, said Andy. “After our purchase, we even received a personal welcome call from Barletta president and co-owner Bill Fenech. One time we had a very minor docking incident and the team at Barletta not only provided instructions on how to fix the cosmetic problem, they even sent touch-up paint without me asking.”
“There are so many things we love about our Barletta,” said Andy. “It runs so quietly over the water due to the VIP technology/construction and once you get her up to plane she just whispers across the water and handles very well. Sometimes you can’t even tell if the Yamaha F150 is running. Oh…the USB power plugs at every seat, Hertz premium sound and the power Bimini top are cool features too. Our dogs enjoy the slide-out water and food dish, which is a feature our guests always notice. The rear swim deck is roomy and gives us plenty of room to store a floating island or a tube and provides a huge platform to fish and dive from. Sunset cruises, tubing, kneeboarding and lounging with friends on Lake Norman are by far some of our most favorite family activities. Our Barletta has such comfortable furniture and over 16 Yeti Ready cupholders so it makes it easy to entertain and manage beverages.”
“I love just cruising around, sunning and relaxing on the Barletta with friends,” said Carolyn. “The plush captain’s chairs, lounge seats and ottoman/cooler make for a comfortable environment. Having lots of open space is a real plus, especially for our dog, Remi, who probably puts a couple of miles a day walking around on board. He loves to swim while Annie is more of a wader; she likes to keep her paws on the ground at all times. Lake Norman has 600 miles of shoreline and we love to beach the boat and hang out with our other boating friends.”
Now that they have their own pontoon, boating has become a much larger part of their lives. “Our Barletta is great for entertaining friends as well as our grown kids, Brittany and Scott,” said Carolyn. “We enjoy going to local restaurants like Port City Club, Poke Bros and Apps and Taps who have outdoor seating, restricted indoor seating and take-out service. Being able to go boating during the COVID-19 is a positive distraction for our family. Our marina, Skippers Landing has been really careful to ensure we are safe so we can continue to enjoy boating through these times. Thanks to our Barletta, boating has become a big part of our lifestyle.”
(Sidebar) Race City Marine, Mooresville, North Carolina
Mooresville, aka “Race City” is just a short drive north of Charlotte and depending on who’s at the wheel it could be a very short drive since many of its residents work at the more than 60 NASCAR team headquarters and racing businesses located here. When Matt and Lynette Santomenna opened Race City Marine in 2008, the timing couldn’t have been worse as the recession was just starting to take hold. Matt had just quit his corporate job at GE and began servicing boats with a borrowed bag of tools and a service bay. After that humble beginning, things began to pick up.
In 2011, they became a Nautique dealer and quickly built a reputation for outstanding customer service with a No-Pressure Guaranteed sales philosophy. “We had been approached by several pontoon companies to be their dealer on Lake Norman,” said Lynette. “But it wasn’t until we met Bill Fenech, the president and co-owner of Barletta Pontoons that we got really excited. Although they were new to the pontoon industry, we could tell there was a big difference in the quality of both the product and the people behind it. It was clear they were trying to carefully build a dealer network of like-minded people who shared the same core values who would not only deliver first-rate service but would treat people like family. Our first Barletta buyers were Andy and Carolyn Dinin are such an amazing family. Their friendliness and outgoing nature have made them great ambassadors for the Barletta brand.”
This fall, Race City Marine will be moving a mile down the road to their new, state-of-the-art, 12-acre facility.
Looking to join the Barletta family? Find your local dealer by clicking here: Barletta Dealer Near You