Trapper Custom Marine technicians possess ultimate certification – The News

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Trapper Custom Marine can boast of something rare in the world of Yamaha outboard motor repairs.

The Marco Island boat dealer and Yamaha sales and service center boasts two of only 229 Yamaha Outboard Master Technicians in the U.S. – Tom Cook and John Sullivan.

It’s a designation that is not easily attained, according to Cook, of Marco, and Sullivan, a Naples resident.

“It’s a very hard test to pass.” said Cook, 25, of Yamaha’s highest certification for its outboard motor technicians.

Cook, who became a Yamaha outboard master technician in September, said he was the only one of eight people who passed on the day he tested.

Both Cook and Sullivan said they passed the certification requirements on their first attempt.

Sullivan, 38, earned the designation in 2009.

“It’s as high as you can go,” said Sullivan.”It’s like anything else. You want to go as high as you can go to make a living.”

Technicians have to earn the right even to take the test, having first to log six years with a Yamaha outboard dealer to become eligible.

Next, candidates must complete six week-long courses at Yamaha marine service school in Kennesaw, Ga.

Successfully completing those courses is required to take on the final master technician exam – which consists of five sections, each containing 20 questions, with each section focused on a specific topic.

Cook and Sullivan said getting five wrong in a section means failing the test.

The company requires its technicians to complete six continuing education webinar classes annually, Cook and Sullivan added.

“If you don’t (take the continuing education classes), you have to start all over again” in the master technician certification process, said Sullivan. “They don’t want you to lapse.”

Sullivan said Yamaha Outboards releases so many new products each year it’s essential that technicians stay up to date.

Yamaha Outboard Master Technicians can renew their certification every two years by completing an annual webinar class.

The certification is especially valuable in Florida, where boats tend to be used year-round and because of the saltwater environment, Sullivan said.

Cook said the certification also is a plus for customers.

“They know the motor will be worked on properly,” Cook said. “They can have confidence that we’ll fix the issue the first time and they won’t have to worry about coming back. We can fix it right and not overcharge them and we can troubleshoot it down to the exact part.”

Neil Travis, Trapper Marine’s general manager, said the dealership is proud to have two technicians with the certification on staff.

The presence of Cook and Sullivan “means that our service department has the knowledge and experience to analyze, troubleshoot and repair Yamaha outboards across the entire spectrum of models and systems,” said Travis.

“And it showcases Trapper Custom Marine’s commitment to providing Marco Island and Naples with the best-trained, most-qualified technicians to service and work on our customers’ Yamaha outboards.”

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