As the boat show season heats up this month, join us on the third Wednesday for Triton networking at Ward’s Marine Electric. This is the fifth year Ward’s has hosted Triton networking in October and the events get bigger and bigger.
Join us as Ward’s celebrates 10 years in their new building by looking back to the first 10 years of the company, back to the 1950s when Ft. Lauderdale was still a small town and the swell was the biggest worries boaters had.
The theme is Beach Bash. Think surfboards, woody station wagons, and “Where the Boys Are”. There will be music, food, and the chance to tour the facility. Until then, get to know a little more about Ward’s from Chief Operating Officer Kristina Hebert.
Q. Tell us a little about Ward’s Marine Electric. What do you do for yachts?
The short quick answer is everything marine electrical. The longer answer is peace of mind; to both owners and captains alike.
Ward’s is involved with every aspect of power generation and distribution on yachts. We have a 10,000-square-foot parts warehouse and we sell and distribute more than 15,000 marine electrical components. Our staff of 20 ABYC-certified marine electrical technicians diagnose, repair, and upgrade electrical systems. Almost all of our services and products can be customized to any size vessel.
We see safety and reliability as the highest priority for any seagoing vessel. There will never be a time when we sacrifice these values because of the scope of the project or size of boat. With us, it’s all about customer satisfaction and keeping the trust captains have in our products and services.
Q. Ward’s has a few departments crew may not of be aware of, tell us about those.
For the longest time our marketing brand stated: sales, service, and engineering. These departments are the foundation of our business. Over the last few years we’ve added panel production and manufacturing to the list of services available.
In order to keep our quality standards we started designing, installing and customizing panels in-house. All types of panels are manufactured on site. Our panel production department is responsible for all the painting, engraving and wiring that goes into each project.
Q. So what’s new with Ward’s since we talked to you last year?
This year we are celebrating 10 years in our current facility. While we have operated out of numerous facilities over the years, we have always stayed true to the philosophy my grandfather established long ago: Safety and customer satisfaction above all else.
After successful completion of a prototype installation on USCG cutter Midgett, Ward’s has received the contract to install a real-time hull stress monitoring system on board the 378-foot Hamilton-class cutter series. We developed the system in response to a USCG requirement to help prolong the service life of the Hamilton-class fleet during the rollout of the National Security cutters.
We also combined several divisions (engraving, paint, manufacturing and inside repair) into one division called Inside Services. Production stages and efficiencies are measured more frequently and with greater consistency under single management.
The engraving department has a new state-of-the-art laser engraver and paint booth system. Today’s modern boat owner wants a unique look and the ability to put his/her own stamp on their boat. Together these new tools will allow us to do just that. We recently built pump control boxes for Titan Salvage for equipment being used in the salvage of the Costa Concordia.
Our switchgear division has completed the design of a three-generator switchboard with emergency switchboard. All Ward’s switchgear is manual first and automated second. An automation fault shall never prohibit a power source from being manually connected and providing electrical power to the vessel.
And we’ve added a service coordinator to our service team. Pam Archard has many years of experience in this capacity and has already made the process of scheduling service and technician dispatch much more efficient.
There’s more, so I hope your readers will stop by on Oct. 16 to see it all for themselves. We are excited about the positive changes that occurred during this past year and look forward to the next decade.
Q. You are president again this year of the Marine Industries Association of South Florida. The closest most crew get to MIASF is the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, which MIASF owns. What role do crew really have in the boat show?
Yacht crew drives the economic engine of the show. The fuel, provisioning, repairing, dockage fees, presentation and communication with current and potential clients play a significant role in the success of FLIBS. Ward’s Marine is a founding exhibitor of the show and we are delighted to see such a large cluster of crew in one location to present our products and services.
Find Ward’s Marine Electric, (+1 954-523-2815, www.wardsmarine.com) at 617 S.W. Third Ave. From 17th Street, take Andrews Avenue north to Southwest Seventh Street, make a left across the railroad tracks to Third Avenue and make a right. See you there.