Completing Their
Several boats later, Arizona couple finds their favorite
By Rebecca Blackson – Photos by Brady L. Kay
Completing Their
Several boats later, Arizona couple finds their favorite
By Rebecca Blackson – Photos by Brady L. Kay
In the middle of the hot, arid, and cactus-covered desert of Arizona, there exists a boater’s paradise with warm, clear lakes and river waterways stretching for 60 continuous miles. Situated amid this splendid year-around boating oasis is Lake Havasu, where pontoon owners Brian and Sherry Friedrichsen have retired to spend sunlit afternoons cruising past palm trees, the famously relocated London Bridge, and a community of other boaters.

Over the last several decades, Brian and Sherry have owned a myriad of different boats—an entire fleet if they’d kept them all. Recalling Campbell boats, fishing boats, a Biesemeyer flatbottom, a Howard speed boat that could go 100 mph, and a Southwind deck boat, Brian admits, “We’ve owned a lot of boats.”

But after owning and piloting so many different vessels, they’ve ended on their favorite of all, the SunCatcher pontoon from G3 Boats. With help from their favorite dealer Mark Curry at the local Just 4 Fun Powersports, Brian and Sherry recently purchased their second SunCatcher—a new 26-foot Elite—a comfortable, passenger-friendly pontoon loaded with amenities.

man driving a boat in Lake Havasu with the London Bridge in the background
So Much To Love
Although they loved their first SunCatcher Elite, a 22-foot model, they fell in love with the newest version sitting as a stock model on the sales lot of Just 4 Fun.

“We immediately loved the colors when we saw it—a warm brown caribou-colored pontoon with black painted logs. It’s a beautiful boat and unique for the area,” Brian said. Though the boat originally came with a 250hp Yamaha, Brian knew the Diamond Elite line always pairs with the 300hp. Not wanting to settle for anything less, he upgraded to the 300hp and acknowledged, “Honestly, the cost difference between the two engines was negligible, and we haven’t had a lick of trouble with a Yamaha motor.”

With the Biminis down the Friedrichsens can easily run 50 mph across the turquoise water of Lake Havasu. And the ride, Sherry said, is smooth. “It just rides so nicely. For our first outing on Easter weekend we took six friends with us to Three Dunes, a nice beach with sand dunes.” With hot dogs, salads, and bunny rabbit decorations, their first big outing was a hit and a great way to break in the boat.

As a longtime fan of the G3 Elite, Brian said, “I love the way the SunCatcher comes out of the water. It’s a pontoon that rides really well because of the lifting strakes.”

Sherry is happy with the convenient phone chargers, especially the iPhone charger that works as soon as you rest your phone on it. She also appreciates that each lounger has a small cubby with USB chargers. And because their new SunCatcher is the 26-foot model, Brian said, “The ride is just so much better than the 22-footer.” They’ve also loved the ease of connecting Bluetooth with the Polk Audio system. Sherry was happy to play music for our interview, and Brian said, “The Polk system rocks! I read some negative reviews, but none of them are true. I’ve had zero problems with the audio.”

man driving a boat with a woman sitting next to him
boat engine is use
Roads That Led to Havasu
Both originally from California, Brian lived in Victorville and Sherry grew up in the San Fernando Valley. Yet Lake Havasu City was a favorite vacation spot for them beginning in the early 1970s, and for years they owned a vacation home here. After retiring, they made Lake Havasu their permanent home, noting its laid-back community, neighborly, low-crime atmosphere, and adventure-packed options for things to do. “People are cool, we never run out of things to do, and you just don’t have to worry about much here,” Brian said.

Brian spent his career as a Ford mechanic, and still loves to tinker. He does a little maintenance on the SunCatcher and turns the rest over to Mark’s dealership. Sherry worked for General Credit Forms for 30 years, managing clients’ needs for business forms, cash registers, and credit card terminals. For one of her top clients, First Hawaiian Bank, she flew to Honolulu, Hawaii, every year so she was used to the easy-going, tropical atmosphere that makes her feel so at home at Lake Havasu.

Besides cruising around Lake Havasu, the couple also spend their time riding with a motorcycle group called the Havasu Hangover Gang, where they originally met Mark as well as countless other friends. On Wednesday nights when the gang is riding south, the Just 4 Fun dealership is the meeting spot.

Hobbies coincide enough that many of their motorcycle friends also go boating with them. When these couples were ready for their own pontoon, the Friedrichsens enthusiastically sent them Mark’s way. Sherry said, “Our friends Ron and Judy bought a 24-foot SunCatcher from Mark. And Steve and Sue purchased a 22-footer with a gray interior.” They’re happy to recommend Mark and his team because he’s become such a large part of their boat buying experience over the years that he’s almost like one of the family. “Working with Mark is just so easy. He’s very fun,” Sherry said.

man and woman sitting on a boat
chrome SunCatcher logo on a boat
steering wheel on a boat
recliner chair with cupholders on a boat
Turning Friends Into Family
If it sounds like Mark has become just a member of the family, it’s because he believes all of his customers, not to mention his employees, belong in his family fold. Mark said, “Our customers know we love them, and everybody that buys at Just 4 Fun Powersports ends up being family.”

When Mark and his wife were married two years ago, they had over 230 guests in attendance. Mark explained, “We had all of our employees, which are family, and our family, which are family, and we had the Harley clubs, which are family, and fishermen, which are family, and our customers, who of course, are also family.”

Opening the business in 2016 with his father George Curry, Just 4 Fun Powersports began in an office trailer with just a small paved lot while their new building was under construction. Now in a building with three bays, they use outdoor space to display the boats instead of an indoor showroom since the weather is nearly always sunny and winter wear means a thin jacket.

And they’re happy to be a major SunCatcher dealer. Mark said, “We’ve been one of their top ten dealers every year since 2017; we love that they are such a personable company.”

Just 4 Fun also deals Skeeter Boats, Coach Pontoons, and Vanderbilt Luxury Pontoons, rounding out an array of offerings that ensures there’s something for everyone.

“Our tagline is family owned and value priced. We don’t believe anyone should pay MSRP; we think that’s a blue sky number,” Mark said. He reminds all sellers in Arizona that they get a tax credit for their trade-ins, so most end up getting more than they originally thought they would.

man launching a boat
line of boats for sale
people who work at a boat dealership
Kindness Karma
And his customers respond in kind. This February when Just 4 Fun had an anniversary party for a customer-appreciation event, nearly 200 people attended to enjoy the live band and food. Mark said, “The event was to thank them, not to sell boats, and yet people still came and shopped! The support was amazing. People came to our event and said, ‘We don’t actually have a boat,’ and I said, ‘Well, here they are; what kind do you like?’”

Though he’s almost 65, Mark has yet to retire. And his enthusiasm is contagious. He said, “If you’re passionate about what you do it’s not a job. I can’t wait to come to work every day because I love helping people get out on the lake.” He also loves his crew, admitting that, “I have a great team. This whole operation is a family.”

Reciprocal relationships keep friendships strong and the business booming. Mark appreciates Brian for being the kind of customer that will let him know when there’s an issue on his boat, even if he’s already fixed it himself because of his mechanic experience. Mark said, “One of the many things I love about Brian is that he lets me know about problems in case it comes up for other customers. That’s how things get fixed at the factory level—when we communicate a common issue we keep seeing so the builders can address it.”

Happy to be a warranty provider for many different brands, Mark said, “Our end game is to get people on this lake to enjoy what’s fun. Next week it’s going to be 100 degrees and that’s why boating is the right industry to be in here.”

This aquatic playground in the middle of Arizona is wide open for water adventures of all kinds, and Brian and Sherry are making the most of it on their state-of-the-art new SunCatcher.

For More Information
Just 4 Fun Powersports
Polk Audio
Yamaha Marine