John Keenan was born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, but at the age of 5, John’s parents loaded the 5 children into 2 station wagons and moved to the “Yachting Capital of the World”. Besides a 4 year enlistment in the United States Coast Guard, John has always resided in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, not more than 10 or 15 miles from the original Keenan homestead.
“I can’t remember not being around boats, even when flying was my passion, I was always flying to a boat. Looking back at it, my fondest memories always have a boat in them. Whether it was on a trailer, in the slip, or under my feet while underway, I see big white smiles and the suntanned faces of both family and friends.”
John remembers being 6 or 7 years of age, and learning how to drive a friends 8′ homemade wooden hydrofoil covered with fiberglass. The boat had a 6hp Mercury motor that only had Neutral & Forward. To get reverse you spun the hand tiller 180 degrees. “You better learn how to dock fast, that boat would plane off!” It was John’s first experience with semi-displacement hulls!
Since then John has personally founded and sold “Keenan Window and Screen”, bought and sold more than one and in some cases many: cars, boats, condos, homes, airplanes, and commercial buildings even in Bimini, Bahamas and Medellin, Colombia.
Needless to say John is very comfortable with negotiations and closing tables. “I have never felt that there are any boundaries on where, what or when business (especially closings) can be done. Just that they are done ethically, and with that said all parties should leave feeling great about the closing, it is always for the betterment of the big picture!”
John started selling yachts for Denison Yacht Sales after working as an Insurance Agent in the Marine Industry. For 3 years he called on Denison Yacht Sales as a Marine Insurance Agent. One day, after talking to Bob Denison and explaining that insurance “just did not fit my personality, I think I might go back in the window business, I’m not sure”, Bob called (no probably texted) John and asked him to consider joining the “Denison Team”. Ever since that discussion, John has been been part of Denison Yacht Sales.
John adds, “Boats, the marine industry, and Denison Yacht Sales, what a blessing, everyone should be part of something that is so good, fun, interesting, exciting, and rewarding”.
Location: Denison Yacht Sales Florida
Office Phone Number: 954.763.3971
Cell Phone Number: 954.793.7455
Associations: FYBA (Florida Yacht Brokers Association)
Last Boat Owned: Boston Whaler Outrage
We are back home in Quebec City and we are very pleased with our transaction. We have used our new boat to get in the Bahamas during our summer vacations and it ran flawlessly. We do appreciate all of it: from the Flybridge to the engine room. We just love it!
Again, we like the way how you have handled everything in this transaction. To make such a move from 1,800 miles away, you have been the key player in this transaction. You helped us find boat that was mandatory for our family. Having a family of 5 is not always easy.
We had to have 3 staterooms as our first objective. The second one was having a plenty of space to accommodate the family. You just nailed it and gave us some advice on some specifics as far as the power plant we were looking for. And more, when the deal started to take place, you have been able to handle our tight schedule for our summer vacations and with your expertise and professionalism, everything ran smooth just like there was no roadblock in this transaction. If we have to look for our next boat in the next couple years, we will definitely look to do business with you & Denison Yacht Sales for sure.
Thank you and you are welcome on our new boat anytime we are in Florida!
- Frédéric Gingras // Québec City, Canada
Buying a yacht, knowing nothing about boating is a nonsense decision, but I wanted to surprise my husband and decided to go through with the adventure!
God was so good to me that He put John Keenan in my path. My yacht broker, John Keenan was all I needed to make my husband’s dream become a reality in less than 4 hours.
John found surveyors and lifted the boat out of the water for a full inspection and report. Financing was approved without me even meeting the finance broker in less than a week. Yacht insurance was ready in less than an hour. Our new yacht was brought from Marco Island to Miami with John onboard. The closing took less than 30 minutes.
John is a professional, honest, trustworthy gentleman, that goes out of his way to exceed my needs. I will always be in debt to him. There are things you can’t pay with money. Not a single detail was left out. John helped me give my husband his new yacht, even with a captain!
Thank you John and God bless you.
- Yazmin Gonzalez // Azimut Yachts Owner
I have just finished the arduous task that most boaters eventually face and that is selling my beloved boat. I called Denison Yacht Sales, who have an excellent reputation for selling my type of boat, a Meridian 411 Sedan Yacht. I luckily was put in contact with their yacht broker, John Keenan.
John was charming, articulate and very thorough in presenting the options available to me in how I should proceed in selling my boat. He was very aggressive in obtaining buyers and put my boat in a pristine, “boat-show” presence that lead to the sale of the 411 Meridian in a relatively short period of time. John made the process from initial contract to sea trial and closing seamless and easy.
I highly recommend John Keenan to be your yacht broker.
- Frank Alvarez-Gil
“I have purchased several boats in my life, but never as fast as this one! From the very first minute I met my yacht broker John Keenan, I realized that he was an honest and enthusiastic salesman! I felt very comfortable at all times.
As soon as we found the right boat, I challenged John to complete the whole purchase process in a record time. The result was incredible: I boarded the boat for the first time at 8AM, the survey of hull and engines was completed by 2PM and at 4:30 PM, I was at the helm navigating towards my home!
This unprecedented quick deal was only possible thanks to John. He carried out with extreme diligence all the necessary steps to close the deal in a few hours! Not only he did everything to make things happen right and fast; he went far beyond of his broker duties, providing me all the assistance with technical and other issues long after the purchase of the boat.
I strongly recommend John to anyone who is interested in buying a yacht, not only for his skills and experience in the field, but also for his genuine interest in satisfying the needs of a client.”
- Nicolas Keglevich, Miami, FL
“In my opinion I could not expect to discover a finer example of a yacht salesman than John Keenan. I approached the purchase of a boat on the international market with much trepidation, however from the minute I met John Keenan I was made comfortable that I was in good hands.
John carries out his dealings with the utmost honesty, integrity, and enthusiasm and his exceptional interpersonal skills make him a pleasure to work with.
John extended his warmth and genuine friendship toward me and in a very short time also won my absolute trust. Not only did John help me find a boat and broker a deal but he also did a lot of extra work that went far beyond the call of a regular sale. I cannot reccommend John more highly to anyone in the market for a boat and would like to thank John wholeheartedly for his assistance in the process.
John Keenan is a great asset to the Denison team and his own conduct makes him a great ambassador to the company.”
- Mick Wild, Wild Drilling Pty Ltd., Australia
“I am an “older” sea dog having owned boats from 16′ – 60′ over the last 40 years. My most recent pursuit of a vessel started in February here in Florida and through my usual investigative due diligence, I had the good fortune of encountering yacht broker John Keenan.
I became quickly impressed and confident in John’s abilities primarily due to a few fundamental traits of his that were very important to me, namely: (1) He was clearly a “boat lover and a hands on operator”, (2) He was an overwhelming wealth of information as it related to the three manufacturers that I was considering, (3) He was prepared to invest as much time as was going to be required to find me “my boat” and finally (4) Not once during the process did he ever make me feel pressured or pushed.
Through constant detailed communications by telephone and email John continued to furnish me with boats for my consideration. Although John and I lived 200 miles apart, once we began to focus in on a particular vessel, John would take the time to drive to a variety of locations throughout southern and southwest Florida, view the boats, take photos and then report back to me with full photographs along with his professional opinion regarding the condition of the boat, the reputation of the boat against its competitors and the pricing compared to industry comparable. As a veteran boater with a wealth of knowledge regarding various vessels, I found his assistance to be “priceless”
John joined me on the sea trial and through the complete vessel survey. Once purchased John personally arranged and participated in the delivery of the vessel from Miami to Cape Coral and has followed up to ensure that “all is well”
Purchasing a vessel can be a very stressful experience at the best of times however engaging the assistance of a true professional such as John can extinguish most, if not all of the stress and actually add some fun to the process. I can’t say enough about John’s skill set other than to encourage anyone in the market for a boat to give him a call and let him charm you with his extremely professional approach to the yachting business.”
- John Smrke, Cape Coral, Florida
“Thanks to John Keenan at Denison Yacht Sales we had the easiest major purchase of our lives. John found us a terrific boat and then guided through the purchase process. He was at our side the whole way with gentile reminders, tips and hints that allowed us both to thoroughly enjoy “getting our boat”.
As he gradually put things into place our confidence in him removed any anxiety that usually accompanies major purchases. We would strongly recommend that if you are looking for a yacht, you talk with John.”
- Mike & Jan Mahoney