Making the Impassable Possible for Four Decades —And still Going

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The History of Marsh Master®


In 1971, John B. Coast, an avid duck hunter and a mechanical engineer with extensive machine design experience, was challenged by some fellow hunting partners in a duck lease south of Morgan City, LA to build a machine that could get them into hunting areas that were remote and inaccessible. John accepted the challenge and went to the drawing board. In the summer of 1971, he designed and built a small marsh buggy that was used very successfully on that duck lease for several years. In 1980 he realized that what he had learned over those years could be applied in the commercial market. After much thought, prayer and encouragement from others, his vision was realized. Coast Machinery became the home of the Marsh Master® Amphibious Marsh Buggy, a lightweight, high flotation, aluminum marsh buggy with pontoons inside a rubber belt track system.

In July 1981, the first Marsh Master® Amphibious Marsh Buggy was delivered to an oilfield surveying company in Lafayette, LA. That machine is still in use today. Over the years, the basic design was improved, refined and expanded to include the MM-2 model as well as a variety of attachments.

Child sitting in old model of Marsh Master<sup>®</sup>

Marsh Master®, Your go to, when the going gets tough.

When it comes to engineering, fabricating and servicing Marsh Master® amphibious buggies, every detail, even down to the smallest part, is taken into account to make sure our customers are satisfied. Manufacturing well-engineered, reliable equipment and providing quality service after the sale have been hallmarks of Coast Machinery for four decades and counting.

Marsh Master® vehicles are presently being used by electric utility companies, contractors, surveyors, environmental companies, oil and gas companies, search and rescue and municipal/government agencies, simply because they can go through terrains that limit or stop other track type or wheel type vehicles. Ask anyone who’s operated one, and they’ll tell you that the Marsh Master® Amphibious Marsh Buggy is known worldwide as a quality piece of equipment with exceptional capabilities.

The Machinery Experts Behind Marsh Master®

Working in swamps and marshes is challenging work in a challenging environment. The people behind Marsh Master® Amphibious Marsh Buggy are committed to providing solutions to make your project a success.

JOHN B COAST

The origins of Marsh Master® starts with John B Coast. John began his adventure in 1971 after fellow duck hunting partners challenged him to build a machine that would allow them to hunt marsh areas that were inaccessible. A graduate of LA Tech University in mechanical engineering, he spent his early work career as a mechanical development engineer for companies such as Union Carbide and Ethel Corporation, then started Coast Machinery LLC in 1970 designing and manufacturing production machinery for the plastics industry. In 1971, he builds his first small marsh buggy for personal use. What started out as a hobby project came to life ten years later as a commercial endeavor after selling his packaging machinery patents to Glad®. Due to the success of that original machine and the potential and need that he saw for a rubber track marsh buggy in the marketplace, he applied for a patent and began manufacturing and marketing the unit commercially. The first Marsh Master® rolled off the line and was sold in July 1981 to C.H. Fenstermaker, an oilfield surveying company based out of Lafayette, LA. In 1984, John was granted his patent from the USPTO for the unique design of a rubber belt track system encircling a pontoon. That first machine was in heavy commercial use until 2016 and now has come back home to Mr. Coast to be used as his personal hunting buggy—a true testament to the quality of the build. 

Today, John serves as director of engineering and is still very much involved in using his keen eye and passion for designing and building.  He is mentoring his team at Coast and is passing along his 55 years of knowledge to the next generation of Coast engineers and skilled craftsmen. 

When he’s not working on a Marsh Master®, John is spending time with his wife of 63 years and his large extended family with many grandkids and great grandkids. He still shares a passion for his favorite place on earth—America’s largest river bottom swamp: the Atchafalaya Basin. In the winter, you will find him hooking up his Boston Whaler and heading out to his little piece of heaven—his camp on the banks of the Atchafalaya River. His other passion is his desire to see people come to know Jesus Christ and he partners with faith based ministries all over the world to share the Good News. 

Email: johnb@marshmaster.com

Office: 225-753-1323

JOHN S COAST

Growing up in the family business, John Jr. has been around the Marsh Master® since an early age. John grew up playing on the Marsh Master® and learning all aspects of this unique machine. After graduating from Louisiana State University, then excelling in sales for many years with Peterbilt of LA, he and John Sr. decided it was time for him to join the family business in 2004.   

John is now the President of Coast Machinery LLC and leads all of Coast’s business units. He is passionate about the family business and all things Marsh Master®. His passion, innovation-driven mindset, and out-of-the-box thinking about how to successfully do jobs using the Marsh Master in the toughest wetland environments has been of great value to the company and customers. His number one motivator is seeing a customer use a Marsh Master successfully to complete a seemingly impossible job.

Outside of Coast Machinery, John enjoys spending time with his wife of 25 years, his two daughters, family and friends. In his free time, you can find him hunting and fishing in the swamps and marshes of coastal LA or involved in activities at his local church.

Email: johns@marshmaster.com

Office: 225-753-1323

Direct Line: 225-757-5908

TYLER MILLER – ME. PE

As Production Manager, Tyler oversees the Marsh Master® production line from start to finish. From the time it enters the welding jig until it rolls off the assembly line, Tyler makes sure each Marsh Master® order is completed to perfection. He is also heavily involved in engineering new products and designs, as well as inventory management and control. 

After graduating Summa Cum Laude in mechanical engineering from Louisiana Tech University in 2010,  Tyler began his work career with Coast Machinery.  Since day one, he has been able to work alongside John B Coast to learn every aspect of the Marsh Master® and has been instrumental in implementing several innovative design improvements as well as streamline the manufacturing process. While working at Coast, he earned his PE (Professional Engineer) accreditation and license.

Outside of Coast Machinery, Tyler enjoys spending time with his wife and son, serving with ministries and missions at his church, various outdoor activities or building or fixing something.  

Email: tmiller@marshmaster.com

Office: 225-753-1323

MATT KING – CPA

As Chief Financial Officer, Matt is responsible for the accounting, human resources, and business management of Coast Machinery.

Matt joined the Marsh Master® team in 2019 after spending 5 years as CFO with an international mission’s organization. He graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University in 2009 and became a licensed Certified Public Accountant in 2013.

Outside of Coast Machinery, Matt enjoys spending time with his wife and 4 daughters. In his spare time, he enjoys a competitive round of golf with friends. 

Email: mattk@marshmaster.com

Office: 225-753-1323

Direct Line: 225-753-0328

BJ KLING

Our Parts Manager, BJ Kling, has been with Coast Machinery since 1983 when Coast was only 3 employees. He grew up working with his hands and is passionate about all things mechanical. He is a trained machinist/millright, but is also an excellent troubleshooter, mechanic, and product support specialist. The experience and knowledge he’s gained throughout the past 40 years has been of great value to our customers. If there is anybody at our company that knows the ins and outs of a Marsh Master®, new or antique, it’s BJ.

When he’s not at the office, BJ enjoys working on his property, rebuilding hot rods, fixing things for family and friends, or various mechanical projects in his personal machine shop/garage.  If you get a chance, ask BJ for a Marsh Master® story… he has many from over the years and they are quite entertaining!

Email: bjk@marshmaster.com

Office: 225-753-1323

TOMMY LEBEAU

Tommy is Coast Machinery’s Mechanical Development Engineer. Tommy leads the continual improvement and refinement of legacy designs as well as the design of new cutting edge products for the future.

Tommy grew up on a farm in Northeast LA where he was always helping to keep the machinery operational. This fueled his love for heavy machinery and his passion for problem solving. In 2016 Tommy graduated from Louisiana State University Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in Mechanical Engineering. While at LSU, Tommy was a walk-on free safety and special teams player for the LSU football team under coach Les Miles and a four-year letterman. While there, he earned numerous awards and honors including Scholar Athlete of the Year. After graduating, Tommy and his wife moved to Houston where he worked for three years excelling as a design engineer for a pump and compressor manufacturer.  Desiring to get back to his home state and work in the machinery design field, Tommy joined the Marsh Master® team in January 2020 and has brought our engineering team to the next level.

When he’s not working on Marsh Masters®, Tommy is spending time with his wife, two children or extended family, in the boat fishing, in the duck blind or deer stand, or helping to lead a youth group at his church.

Email: tommy@marshmaster.com

Office: 225-753-1323

BRETT SANCHEZ

Brett Sanchez, our Rental Manager, has been with Coast Machinery for 7 years. He manages the logistics of renting our machinery for wetland work all over the United States.

Before working for Coast Machinery, Brett and his older brother owned and operated a civil construction company in Baton Rouge. His passion for heavy machinery, the knowledge and experience from operating and maintaining that equipment, leading employees and managing multiple job sites and sub-contractors has given Brett a depth of knowledge that is of great benefit to our rental customers.

Outside of Coast Machinery, Brett enjoys spending time with his two kids, working on his property, church activities, and doing some deer hunting in the winter.

Email: brett@marshmaster.com

Office: 225-753-1323

Direct Line: 225-757-5046

CHIP ANGELE

Chip Angele, our purchasing manager, works with each of our vendors to ensure the thousands of inventory parts are ordered, in stock, and available for our production, service and parts department. From bolts and washers to diesel engines, Chip works with our vendors to ensure each component’s quality is ordered to the Marsh Master® standard and is here for our manufacturing or customers’ needs.

Prior to joining Coast, Chip worked in the construction equipment dealership arena—his whole working career having roles in parts, purchasing and service management. Chip’s knowledge and personable style has helped Coast Machinery establish and maintain excellent relationships with top quality vendors and bring standard operating procedures to ordering, receiving, and billing inventory shipments.

When he’s not at Coast Machinery, Chip enjoys spending time with his wife and son, fishing, working and hunting on his deer lease, and camping.

Email: chip@marshmaster.com

Office: 225-753-1323

Direct Line: 225-753-1327

PAUL MCGREW

Paul McGrew, our Service Manager, oversees our service department and crew of Marsh Master® certified diesel and hydraulics mechanics.

Before working at Coast Machinery, Paul was the service manager for a large mobile equipment company for twenty years. His knowledge of mobile machinery repair, the Marsh Master® brand, and his passion for taking care of our customers is second to none.

Outside of Coast Machinery, Paul enjoys spending time with his wife, two daughters and extended family; fixing things for friends and family; working and hunting on his property; or camping.

Email: paul@marshmaster.com

Office: 225-753-1323

Direct Line: 225-757-5541

Marsh Master<sup>®</sup>

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