Service yard saviors: Kevin Davenport

Kevin Davenport, a tournament support specialist for Triton Boats, spends more time on the road than at home in the Arkansas Ozarks. Life as a road warrior comes with its mundane nuances, such as finding the best places to eat and stay while traveling the country.

Davenport, like his peers, qualify as the best food and lodging critics on the Bassmaster Elite Series. They travel, eat and work together. In any given tournament town, you can always tell businesses that make the cut. You will see the logo branded trucks parked out front and on multiple days. 

“It would be pretty rough traveling solo,” he said. “We look out for each other.”

Davenport took a break during Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest benefiting Texas Parks & Wildlife to talk about his life on the road. Here is what he had to say.

Where are you from and how much do you travel?

I am from Gassville, Ark., and last year I traveled 220 days. 

What is your job title and how long have you been at it?

I am a tournament support specialist for White River Marine Group, and specifically Triton Boats. I have worked for Triton now for four years.

Beyond the technical training what does it take to be good at your job?

I go way back. In the early 1990s I started building boats for Champion Boats, and then Bass Cat Boats. I worked on the assembly lines so I have a good idea about how boats are made, how to work on them.

How do you travel and what kind of work can you do?

I have a Ford three-quarter ton pickup truck with a camper shell. Inside that are various boat parts. I also tow a backup boat, a Triton 21 TrX. It’s the boat most of our guys run and one of our best tournament models. 

What kind of service do you perform?

I work on the plumbing like pumps and the wiring, mostly minor things.

That’s pretty good. When you aren’t working on boats what do you do?

Some of the other crews with more products get overloaded so I pitch in and help them. We are all here to keep the guys on the water. If they are on the water, then they can do good things for our brands.

What does your work week look like?

At the beginning of the week we set up the service yard. Every place is different, and we eyeball it out.

How do you set it all up?

Like here, it worked out best for us to be away from the weigh-in venue at this fish camp. A lot of the anglers launch here, and it still is convenient to the weigh-in.

What about practice days?

After we get set up practice begins. We might have guys coming in needing transom bolts tightened up, things like that. They are making sure everything is good to go for the tournament. 

And then tournament days?

Tournament days can be long, depending on where we are and what kind of work is needed. We stay until the last boat is repaired. That can be late. Dinner sometimes is late, but that’s our job. We are back at it early the next morning, usually at least an hour before takeoff time.

What is one tool you cannot do without?

My screw gun. When you are working on boats you can’t do without it. 

Do you have any travel quirks?

We are all pretty good food connoisseurs. We eat a lot of Mexican food. It can’t go wrong most of the time. We also like to eat whatever food is the specialty in a given area. 

What do you most like about your job?

I like the family part. Even when I’m home the guys or the anglers check in. My wife laughs and asks why I don’t get enough of them on the road. I also like to fish. If I can’t go then at least being around it is the next best thing.