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Looking Back at Six Decades of Cannons Marina History

Longboat Key in the 1950s

Today, Cannons Marina is a thoroughly modern boat dealership. We offer top-of-the-line boats and boating equipment, from Grady-White boats with their cutting-edge SeaV2 technology to Yamaha outboards’ latest models.

But did you know that Cannons actually began life as something else entirely?

In the late 1940s, a man named Ernie Cannon established a remote fishing camp on Longboat Key, which at that time was comprised of only dirt roads and a single bridge mainland. In those days, wild hogs and rattlesnakes outnumbered people.

In the 1950s, Paul Miller, a Michigan engineer in search of a simpler life, moved to Southwest Florida with his wife, Dorothy, and their two young children, Sally and David. Struck by the area’s profound beauty and pristine waters, Paul traded his engineering career for the romance of Florida’s boating life. In 1955, on a handshake, he purchased Cannons Marina from Ernie Cannon.

David was only five when he started working at the marina, counting bait for local fishermen and tourists. Like his dad, David was innately drawn to life on the water, and so he spent his formative years learning every aspect of the business. After returning home from college in the 1970s, David purchased Cannons from his father.

Cannons Marina

The rest, as they say, is history. Cannons has grown into one of the most respected boat dealers in the country—while celebrating 67 years of uninterrupted family ownership . David, co-owner Lucile Capo and Cannons‘ equally devoted team of professionals are dedicated to providing the highest quality of service while maintaining true to Cannons‘ roots. And while Longboat Key has grown into a manicured destination, the surrounding waters maintain their peaceful, pristine allure.

We’re looking forward to the next 67 years of helping our clients realize their boating dreams. If you’re ready to get on the water, we’re here to help.