Captains, crew and industry professionals are invited to join us on the first Wednesday of the month (Sept. 7) at Longbow Marine Worldwide Yacht Chandlery in Ft. Lauderdale. Started a couple years ago by industry veterans, Longbow offers parts, supplies, and connections in the yachting hub and is a repeat Triton Networking host.
Take a minute to learn more from owner and engineering specialist Simon Addrison. Addrison spent about a decade on deck, as an engineer, and as a captain. He came ashore in 2003 and worked with Richmond Marine before starting Longbow in 2014.
- For those who haven’t heard of Longbow Marine, what do you do?
Longbow Marine is an all-around chandlery offering worldwide service. We support yachts in every department, and we specialize on the engineering side.
The most challenging thing we do is source parts and products. I spent about 10 years on yachts, and when you run a boat, you know everything about that boat, bow to stern. When you work in a business like this, you have to know every boat. I thought I was pretty knowledgeable about boats until I started doing this. It’s humbled me, really.
- When captains and crew call, do they know what they need, or do you have to start from scratch?
It’s a 50/50 split, I’d say. A lot of them will have the part numbers and relevant information, but for a lot of engineers and captains, the paperwork is just not available. The manuals get lost along the way as boats change hands and ID markers are painted over or removed. The move toward having everything digital has made it a lot easier to know which equipment is on the boat, but there are still a lot of times where the crew have no way to know what they have onboard.
So many things are custom built to order in yachting. Unless you can scrape off years of paint to find a serial number, we have to keep digging until we work out the exact match or replacement part.
- Captains and engineers can buy the parts they need themselves. Why use a chandlery?
You really save a lot of time and money using a company like ours. Yes, a boat can get its own parts directly, but that means time away from the boat. Let’s say a boat is at Derecktor’s and you need to go to the hydraulic shop and the machine shop and the parts store and the hardware store. You’re going to spend an hour going to each of those places, with the traffic and everything. That’s a lot of time away from the boat. The guy the captain needs to send will be the chief or the second, and you’re paying that guy a lot; he needs to be onboard overseeing the refit.
The other side of it is that crew like to get off the boat now and then, so they are happy to run over to the hardware store or the parts store. Then they just call us for the more challenging stuff that they can’t find. But that’s fine with us. You have to prove that you can do the hard stuff, then they can see that it’s easier to use us rather than driving around finding things themselves. Couple that with the support that we offer once the yacht has left Ft. Lauderdale and we are in a position to make life a lot easier on board when it comes to resupply and replacement parts.
- Why start a chandlery in Ft. Lauderdale?
Because everything is here. The shipyards are here, the marinas are here. There’s easy access to the Caribbean. Cargo flights are quick and easy. You might think being around a manufacturing hub would be better, but it’s not. So many manufacturers have warehouses here. Miele makes their machines in Germany, but they have a warehouse in Florida.
- How do you set yourself apart from the other chandleries?
Our engineering knowledge and our personal service. We’re not a massive company; I control everything firsthand. Every order that comes through comes in front of me. That makes it easier for me to make sure the company is on track.
- What’s the best part of your job?
Solving issues. You absolutely never know what is going to land on your desk in the next 30 minutes. We had a client recently that hit bottom down island and damaged their props. We got the call about lunchtime on a Thursday. We had the props taken off, delivered here, reworked, and back to them by Sunday in time for them to make their scheduled Panama Canal crossing.
It’s always a challenge. It’s all about logistics, and having some pull with manufacturers, and being able to expedite things with some of them. I love it.
- What’s the one thing you wish captains knew about Longbow?
Our capabilities. We offer a really personal service. We try to know the boat inside out so we can make the captain, mate and engineer look like superstars.
Mark your calendar to network with us on Wed., Sept. 7, from 6-8 p.m. at Longbow, 1305 S.W. First Ave., Ft. Lauderdale (33315), about a block north of the popular Tap 42 bar and restaurant, just west of Andrews Avenue. For more information about Longbow Marine Worldwide Yacht Chandlery, visit www.longbowmarine.com or contact the company through firstname.lastname@example.org and +1 954-616-5737.