Networking with West Marine and The Triton
Posted on: 11/20/2014
Networking with West Marine
Date(s) - Dec 3, 2014
06:00 pm - 08:00 pm
Holiday season kicks off with Triton networking with West Marine
Join the search for nutcrackers as The Triton networks on the first Wednesday in December at West Marine’s largest store. We’ll gather on Dec. 3 from 6-8 p.m. at the flagship store in Ft. Lauderdale at the southwest corner of South Andrews Avenue and State Road 84.
Until then, learn more from Benjamin Duggan of West Marine Megayacht Supply.
Q. Tell us about your largest West Marine store?
Our Ft. Lauderdale store is 50,000 square feet of retail space with more than 90 associates. Nearly 18,000 square feet features footwear, apparel and accessories. There is an expanded fishing department that rigs lines and tackle, a full-service rigging department for everything from docklines to lifelines and an expanded electronics department with vessel simulators and a full Simrad glass bridge.
We have a processing depot with six delivery vans delivering twice a day from Miami to West Palm Beach. We also have an international shipping department that can ship direct or prepare palettes for freight forwarding.
Q. How does West Marine help yachts?
West Marine started in 1968 as a place to buy docklines and boat parts. As we continue to grow, we evolve to meet the needs of anyone who lives, works or plays on or around the water.
In terms of megayachts and their crews, we continue to refine to meet their unique needs. We have more than 260 stores and a nationwide delivery infrastructure that can save captains and crew time and money. We have the largest selection of products in the industry and many ways to get it to you.
For more detailed needs or service, our megayacht specialist Amy McCann and I work at our megayacht supply office.
Q. What is your boating background?
My father was given the symbolic key to Port Everglades in 1963 for bringing the largest private yacht to enter the port; it was only 109 feet. I came along nine years later and have been on or around boats in Ft. Lauderdale since birth. My playgrounds during the summers growing up were the yards along Dania Cut. Some kids went off to summer camp; I explored Derecktors and Broward Shipyard. I have worked for West Marine for the last 15 years and have been at the helm of West Marine Megayacht Supply for the last four.
Q. How do you differ from other supply and provision companies?
Our greatest strength is selection and convenience. We have over a million products available with free delivery to most coastal areas. We provide a catalog service, online ordering and have a call center that provides warranty assistance or troubleshooting with any product we sell.
Q. What if a yacht is in another country and needs service?
We are trained in the nuances of international shipping and can provide the necessary documentation that accompanies the shipment.
Q. How do West Marine brands stack up to name brand products?
West Marine product used to be sourced from overseas, but our customers let us know quickly how important quality is when we put our name on something. As a result, we have spent the past 10 years focusing on the quality of our private label products. Many are manufactured and labeled for us by well-known names in the industry. In many cases, when you buy a West Marine private label product, you are getting the equivalent brand name product at a better price.
Q. What is interesting and new this season?
For me, it is the continued development of electronic navigation. Many of the manufacturers continue to evolve integrated systems to be easier and more efficient. We are almost at the point one can operate a 200-foot yacht through an iPhone or Android (please do not try this at home). Also with things like Simrad radar that emits zero radiation, the evolution never ceases to amaze me.
Q. What do you see for the future of megayachts?
I see a change in design and development. Architects are challenging the traditional thought process behind designing yachts. I read quite a few yacht building magazines and see conceptual renditions of large yachts that look more like pieces of art than a traditional vessel.
I also see changes in alternative fuels and propulsion. As we speak, there is an American builder working on a 150-foot-plus yacht that will have electric propulsion.
Aside from this, I see prosperity for the immediate future. I see a great season descending on Ft. Lauderdale and I’m excited to be a part of it.