Full Throttle

Randy and Kim Sweers are a different type of power couple, one that brings the highest level of performance on the water and off it.

“If you’re not scared, then you’re not going fast enough,” Randy Sweers says.

For racing throttleman Sweers, it’s that innate need for speed, that glorious adrenaline rush that makes him the perfect pitch man for his company, FastBoats Marine Group. With nearly 20 years of experience in offshore racing (along with several championships and accolades), Sweers not only breathes his sport, he is the sport.

Leaning against an office wall, the thoughtful and polite Sweers – wearing a black company polo, dark loafers with blood-orange laces and no socks – reflects on the beginnings of his company. It should come as no surprise that Sweers’ life on the land mirrors his life when competing on the water. It’s on full throttle, and Sweers would have it no other way.

Nowadays the tight-knit 20-member company is a multi-million-dollar organization – thanks in part to Sweers’ wife and managing partner, Kim, and her streamlined and systematic background acquired from the corporate world – with headquarters in Pompano Beach and a satellite office in Aventura. Though its name has “fast” in its title, the full-service FastBoats Marine Group has more than just high-performance boats in its fleet, expanding to incorporate fishing boats, center console and other crafts. They are even the exclusive dealer for Midnight Express Boats, a leading manufacturer of performance fishing center console boats used by various government agencies.

Sweers’ foray into the boat business began in Ontario, when the native Canadian would travel to South Florida to import small boats to potential Canadian buyers. After earning his MBA from the University of Toronto, Sweers moved to South Florida to work at Champion Marine, selling high-performance watercraft. After a few successful years there and then moving on to other marine craft dealers, Sweers wanted to start his own organization. As he puts it, “You’ll never get rich working for someone else.”

With a reputation as a seller of high-performance boats, 48-year-old Sweers says, “Everyone knew me as ‘the fast boats guy,’ so I eventually evolved that into our company name.” In 1994, he founded Florida Powerboat Brokerage, and in 2001 Sweers changed the name to FastBoats.com. Sweers even remembers the first new boat he ever sold: a 38 Cigarette Top Gun to a Canadian owner named Fred.

For Sweers and his wife, Kim, 46, life in the fast lane eventually landed them in a prime position as one of South Florida’s premier watercraft dealers. With their expanded fleet, the company has rebranded itself as FastBoats Marine Group. As managing partner, Kim helped transform it from a $4 million company in 2001 to a $30 million one in 2008. Her previous background as a vice president of sales and marketing for a data company proved valuable in structuring FastBoats into the reputable organization it is today. Kim has even expanded FastBoats’ scope by winning bids with the City of Miami to manage its fleet and mooring vessels, and the City of Miami Beach to service its marine boats as well as provide parts and replacements.

Community-oriented and a visible leader in several South Florida non-profits, Kim keeps FastBoats moving forward with her business savvy, reminded every day to take the company to the next level with a Wayne Huizenga quote affixed to the top of her computer monitor. “Be fiscally conservative so we can be operationally aggressive,” it reads. But it isn’t that quote alone that keeps Kim going on a day-to-day basis. Next to Mr. Huizenga’s quote is a bright pink Post-it note from the Sweerses’ 7-year-old son, Chase. On it, Chase writes, “I love you Mom.

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