The Triton is hosting its annual Poker Run on Dec. 5 to raise money for the Triton Scholarship at Broward College.
The Run starts at 5:30 p.m. at National Marine Suppliers, next stop is Hall of Fame Marina, with the final stop at West Marine in Ft. Lauderdale. Poker hands are $10 each, riders pick a card at each stop and the best hand wins.
The Run will end by 6 p.m. at West Marine for regular Triton Networking. If you can’t join us for the Run, join us for networking and perhaps donate to the goal of raising $7,500 for the scholarship to help students through the marine training program this year.
Until then, learn more about Benjamin Duggan of West Marine Megayacht Supply.
Q. How did West Marine get it’s start?
What has become the world’s largest boating supply retailer started modestly enough in a garage in Sunnyvale, Calif. In 1968, our founder Randy Repass began selling rope by mail order under the name West Coast Ropes. Occasionally, adventuresome customers would stop by to pick up their orders. Today, West Marine has more than 300 stores in 38 states, Puerto Rico and Canada. The company now carries more than 50,000 products, ranging from the rope that started it all, to the latest in marine electronics.
Q. Tell us about your largest store in Ft. Lauderdale.
Our Ft. Lauderdale store is the largest in our fleet with more than 50,000 square feet of product, service and customer experience. We listened to customers, learned about the marketplace and opened a location that truly transcends everything we have previously experienced as a company. If it transcends our experience, imagine what the customers experience. The location is a one stop shop complete with a rigging center and parts center. We also have a forward
distribution center that can make deliveries six times per day. We conceptually carry everything we offer as a company and have a customer service department that can provide anything beyond.
Q. What special services do you offer megayacht captains and crew?
While the West Marine Megayacht Supply division is worldwide, our main office is located within the Ft. Lauderdale store. Through this office, we are able to provide competent staff that can handle any supply and logistic needs of any yacht locally or worldwide. The store itself provides convenient access to all of our products on demand seven days a week. We also offer sourcing for hard to find parts and delivery nationwide. We will either provide the solution you are looking for or provide the resource to complete the mission.
Q. Who will megayacht captains and crew work with?
The captains and crew will receive better than expected service from any one of our 90 store associates. For larger or more complex orders, we have three offices located in the southeast corner of the store. There captains and crew will find Frances Petropoulis, Brian Rassmussen and myself.
Q. How do you help yachts in international ports?
For our vessels travelling to foreign ports, we have two main distribution centers and 19 regional distribution centers which are capable of international shipping. We are able to prepare necessary paperwork and consolidate as needed. We can either ship small packages direct or delivered palletized orders to any freight forwarder nationwide.
Q. You’ve been in business for a while, have you seen any trends in yachting?
The most immediate trends are design and technology. Yachts continue to evolve in form and function. Every year I think we have reached the limit of what can be created and every year I’m surprised again at the impossible becoming possible.
As far as technology, as crews get younger and younger, technology plays a bigger and bigger part. From your smartphone, you can scan the UPC code of an empty bottle of deck cleaner. Almost immediately, you know where to find it and at what price. With that same phone, you can monitor conditions on a vessel and manage supply inventories. Staying ahead of that curve will be crucial for successful suppliers.
Q. Tell us about the flybridge centerpiece in your Ft. Lauderdale store.
The design for the flybridge comes from a Hargrave 140-footer. Hargrave has been a loyal customer to our wholesale division of Port Supply. It seemed natural to partner with them to build a spectacular centerpiece in a spectacular store. Hargrave also provided many of the yacht images you will find throughout the store.
Q. Sustainability is incorporated into your recent concepts, tell us more?
Sustainability is one of the most important parts of our mission statement. The amount of impact 300-plus stores has on the environment is considerable. It’s fantastic that we have absolute control over that impact and take huge measures to reduce it. Sustainability is not just about our impact, for us, it’s about preserving an environment where everyone can enjoy boating. We are in the boating business and we need to be a big part of being a steward to the places where people go boating. It just makes sense.
National Marine Suppliers is at 2800 S.W. 2nd Ave., Hall of Fame Marine is at 435 Seabreeze Blvd. and West Marine is at 2401 S. Andrews Ave., Ft. Lauderdale (33316), +1 954-400-5323 and www.westmarine.com. To donate, make checks payable to Broward College Foundation. And click here.