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By Andi Bourne

Kra-Z's - Keeping Riders Out on the Snow


November 16, 2017

Andi Bourne, Pathfinder

Kra-Z's Service and Repair owner Karl ZurMuehlen in his showroom. Kra-Z's is a satellite store for Gull Boats in Missoula. ZurMuehlen offers new and used snowmobiles and watercraft as well as his custom-built, stand-up personal watercraft (green on the right). He is a service and parts dealer for Ski-Doo® and can work on snowmobiles, boats and personal watercrafts.

SEELEY LAKE – Ski-Doo® riders in Seeley Lake will not be left in the cold this winter. Seeley Lake residents Karl and Shannon ZurMuehlen opened Kra-Z's Service and Repair Nov. 1 in Seeley Lake in the building connected to Parts Plus. Through a partnership with Gull Boats, they offer Ski-Doo snowmobiles in the winter and watercraft in the summer. They also have Ski-Doo parts and services to keep riders on the snow in the winter and custom built stand-up watercraft, boat parts and services in the summer.

Karl has been snowmobiling since he was seven years old. He has always "been a Ski-Doo guy" riding Ski-Doos for the past 22 years. His nickname has always been Kra-Z.

"I was just more comfortable on the Ski-Doo. I've always ridden the Ski-Doo and I just like them better," said Karl. "It's all in your personal preference."

For the past seven years he worked for Kurt's Polaris in Seeley Lake and learned boat repair and winterization.

"We just decided it was time to branch out and do something on my own," said Karl. "I've always wanted to bring Ski-Doo into Seeley Lake. My original goal was just to get belts and oil and things just got a little bit bigger and a little bit bigger."

The ZurMeuhlens approached Gull Boats about partnering with them in Seeley Lake. Because of Karl's relationship with them, he said they kept offering him more and more. He is now a satellite showroom for their new and used merchandise.

Since Karl is not a certified, licensed dealer, he only displays Gull Boat's new and used units. All the paperwork for the sale must be completed at their Missoula office, where the inventory is titled and registered.

Karl will display customer's snowmobiles or watercraft if they want to sell it. Then all the paperwork can be completed at Kra-Z's.

"If a customer has a Polaris they want sold, I would tell them to take it to the Polaris dealership," said Karl. "Curtis [Friede] is right there, we are good friends. I have a lot of respect for him and I've worked for him for a long time. I'm not interested in competing with or stepping on his toes in any way."

The only time Kra-Z's will have a Polaris on its floor is if Gull Boats has a Polaris they want displayed in Seeley Lake.

Kra-Z's also offers a full line of Ski-Doo parts, services and Ski-Doo oil. Until this year, if someone lived in the area or came to ride their Ski-Doo, they could not even get a belt or a gallon of oil.

Karl is able to work on just about any machine and can get parts within a day or two. Because he is not a certified BRP technician, he cannot do warranty work on Ski-Doo snowmobiles, however, he can do all non-warrantied work including fixing clutches, hifaxes and bumpers.

Kra-z's can also help you to arrange a half day, all day or multi-day guided snowmobile tour with the Rich Ranch of which Shannon is one of the managing family members and she and Karl both work as snowmobile guides.  They are happy to customize rides for a variety of riding abilities.

Karl is currently in the process of completing Bret Rasmussen's instructor training program with hopes of being able to offer Ride Rasmussen Style clinics in Seeley Lake.

Kra-Z's has the new 2018 Ski-Doo Summit 850 on display. Karl will be offering demo rides one or two days a week. Those interested are encouraged to stop in the store and sign up.

"I will just take you out, it doesn't cost you a dime," said Karl. "I pay for the fuel, I pay for everything. We just take you out and you test it and see if you like it or don't like it."

Andi Bourne, Pathfinder

Kra-Z's Service and Repair is located in the old sporting goods store next to Part Plus on Highway 83 in Seeley Lake.

In the summer, he will be flooring watercraft for Gull Boats. Kra-Zs offers boat summarization and winterization, shrink-wrap storage, servicing and some repair.

Karl will also be selling his custom built, stand-up jet skis that he has been building as a hobby since the 1980s.

"Mostly I'm just trying to get people in the door and see what happens," said Karl. "Eventually I would like to become a Ski-Doo dealer in Seeley Lake. For now my biggest thing is I'm trying to help people not miss a day on the snow. I don't want people missing out on riding ever, for any reason."

Kra-Z's will be open Thursday – Monday from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Call Kra-Z's store at 677-0713 or customers can reach Karl directly after hours on his cell phone, 406-499-0168. Find him on Facebook at Kra-Z's Service & Repair.


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