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Our whole history

Johnson’s Boats & Motors has been in business since 1966.
In 1960 Joel & Esther Johnson owned Johnson's camping Resort which is now Buffalo Lake Campground. Joel was also doing outboard motor repairs at the campground. In 1966 Joel & Esther bought the current Johnson's Boats & Motors property. He moved a small building from the campground to what is now part of the service center building at Johnson's Boats & Motors. The Johnson's ran the business until August 24, 1970 when they sold it to Fred & Marie Cedarleaf. They ran it until October, 17 1980.

Karl, a former printing specialist decided on one rainy 4th of July weekend in 1980 to take the plunge into the marine business. "I had my mid-life crisis and bought a marina," quotes Karl. Karl & Bette then moved from Beaver Dam, WI to Montello, bringing their 3 children Dawn, Shannon & Chara.

When Karl & Bette bought the marina, it was a one man shop with one boat in the yard. The marina also had lawn mowers, snow throwers & a bait shop. Greg Benedict was the head mechanic and Greg soon took Dawn, who was 18, under his wing. Dawn being the only mechanical one of the family loved working on outboards. From little on Dawn was fixing the chain on Shan's bike and just grew into what she is today.

While Dawn was focusing on the Outboards, Shan at 16 was working part time when he wasn't in school. He started doing piering and the rigging of boats. It didn’t take him long to find his niche and head up the pier crew and be a top salesmen.

Karl also came to realize within a year that he wanted to specialize in the boating business and he decided to drop the lawn boys and focus on Pontoons! Finally in 1989 we became known as "The Pontoon Capitol" specializing only in pontoons!

In 2006 Karl & Bette decided to retire and sell Johnson's Boats & Motors to their daughter and son-in law, Russ and Dawn Rainey. Russ and Dawn are the 2nd generation to own and operate Johnson’s Boats & Motors.

A lot has changed since 1980 like drive in test tanks, storage buildings, a bigger showroom and service center but some things remain the same; The tradition of outstanding customer service that so many have come to rely on, offering quality products at a fair price. We also strive to maintain the BEST customer service before, during, and after the sale!

We are proud to offer lots of different styles, sizes and colors in our pontoon and fishing boat inventory! We will be happy to answer any questions you may have. We want your buying experience to be a pleasure and your boating days happy & trouble free!

524 Underwood Ave.
P.O. Box 540
Montello, WI  53949


October 20, 2017

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PH: 608-297-2562
Fax: 608-297-2277