The Triton hosts networking with AERE Docking Solutions on February 6 in Ft. Lauderdale. All yacht crew and industry professionals are welcome to join to enhance connections in the industry. Stay tuned to www.the-triton.com for details.
Until then, learn more from Mike Yorston, Galactic sales manager.
Q. What is Praktek?
The company was started in 1998 by Gary and Vicki Abernathy when they moved to Florida. Since they had worked in the high-tech industry, they named the company Praktek to mean Practical Technologies. This was before they entered the marine industry.
Q. So what’s AERE?
It is the brand name of our inflatable products including fenders, work platforms and inflatable docks. In 2011, the Abernathys renamed the company AERE Docking Solutions since the industry knew the product name and not the corporate entity. This also allowed us to provide other products used at dockside such as fender covers, lines and fender hooks.
Q. Your primary business is fenders. Tell us more.
Every boat needs fenders and we have more than 40 sizes and types including standard fenders, round ball fenders, and flat mat fenders. We can also make custom sizes for any boat requirements. Our fenders are on boats from 20 feet to more than 400 feet, and we also provide commercial grade fenders to commercial vessels such as towboats and barges. We have provided fenders for use by the U.S. Coast Guard and Navy.
Our smallest standard fender is 9 inches-by-22 inches; our largest standard fender is 8 feet-by-20 feet. That will cover almost any vessel afloat today.
Q. What is the science of fenders? Is there a formula to choosing the right one?
You have to review the following items: boat length, boat weight and type/location of dockage. A larger boat at a nasty dockage will require more and larger fenders to protect the vessel. We actually have sizing information on our Web site’s FAQ section (www.aeredockingsolutions.com).
Recently, a salvage company has been using our 18-inch-by-96-inch heavy-duty fenders as beach rollers to salvage boats off the beach in New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy.
Q. You also sell all sorts of fender accessories. How did you become experts in all these areas?
We started to make our own fender covers early in the company’s existence and then discovered the Fenda-Sox brand in the UK. We originally imported them as North American distributor and acquired the company in 2008.
Fenda-Sox covers for all fender types, sizes and brands are now manufactured at our site in Coral Springs, Fla., from all-American raw materials.
We work with leaders in the marine industry as partners for many premier products including fender hooks, fender whips, dock lines, chafe gear, and dockside fendering supplies. We pride ourselves in supplying the highest quality products available.
Q. What sets you apart from other companies in your field?
First is our customer service. We will do almost anything for our customers around the world. We have actually delivered 4-foot-by-20-foot fenders to a 400-foot yacht at Miami’s cruise ship terminal so they could tie up safely. Our crew had the fenders deployed, waiting for the vessel to arrive.
We are also a one-stop shop for outfitting new builds for their docking requirements. We’re the only inflatable fender company offering so many options including our new inflatable work platforms and jet ski docks and soon-to-be-released inflatable docks for freshwater lakes and ponds.
Our Fenda-Sox fender covers can be embroidered with a name or logo and add a bit of “bling” to the vessel. And crew love the Yacht Sox slippers we make from the soft fabric.
Q. What part of the world do you do business?
We are an international company and have dealers and customers in every country where you find a boat. We travel frequently to support and train our dealers around the world. Last fall I attended the Monaco Yacht Show and then traveled throughout Italy meeting with our dealers, builders and customers. I’m a lucky guy.
Q. Why do crew love your fenders?
With back injuries being the most common worker’s comp injury, crew love how lightweight our fenders are. They are a back saver for men and women. They also love how well the fenders perform when things get interesting.
We were told a story about two large sailboats racing into port (with their owners onboard) when the crews realized that a collision was imminent. One quick thinking crew member went to the bow of their boat and threw our fenders in between the vessels, saving thousands of dollars in damage to the boats, but leaving embarrassed captains.
The networking event will be held February 6 from 6-8 p.m. at Coco Asian Bistro and Bar in the Harbor Shops, 1841 Cordova Road, Ft. Lauderdale 33316, +1 954-525-3541.
For more information contact AERE Docking Solutions +1 954-345-2373, firstname.lastname@example.org and visit www.aeredockingsolutions.com.