Triton Networking is squeezing in a second event on the second Wednesday in November at Longbow Marine, a chandlery in Fort Lauderdale. Captains, crew and industry professionals are invited to join us.
Until then, take a minute to learn more about Longbow from owner Simon Addrison, who spent about a decade on deck, as an engineer, and as a captain. He came ashore in 2003 and worked with in the chandlery business before starting Longbow in 2014.
Q. Tell us about Longbow Marine. What do you do?
Longbow Marine is a marine chandlery. We can source and locate most any part, product or service needed for the Engineering, Deck and Interior departments. We are seeing more and more demand for equipment that meets the class requirements as well as a growth in our safety department. We are constantly looking into new products that can make the vessel’s daily operations run smoothly.
Q. That’s really smart. This industry is all about building relationships.
We have an ever-growing network of people we work with that allows us to provide just about any kind of service anywhere. If there is not a reliable or knowledgeable company available to provide service in a given port we can arrange for techs to go in the field get the job done.
Q. Captains and engineers can buy parts themselves. Why use a chandlery?
To save time and money. Let’s say a boat is at the shipyard and needs parts from the hydraulic shop and the machine shop and the parts store and the hardware store. The guy the captain needs to send will be the chief or the second who is going to spend an hour or more going to each of those places; we all know what the South Florida traffic is like. That’s a lot of time away from the boat when he needs to be onboard overseeing the refit.
Some 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. And that’s fine with us. Couple that with the support that we offer once the yacht has left Fort Lauderdale and we are in a position to make life a lot easier when it comes to resupply and replacement parts.
Q. Can you help someone who doesn’t really know what they need?
Yes. Most captains and engineers will have the part numbers and relevant information, but for a lot of them, that 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. We keep digging until we work out the exact match or replacement part.
Q. Tell us about your team.
Our inside core guys are all still here; people come and they don’t want to go. Phillip, Jeremy, Hunter and Isvy have all been with us from the start. We have hired two new drivers, Katie and Dylan, and have purchased another new vehicle to match with our exponential growth as a company.
Q. Tell us about you.
This all started when I was working at a diving school in Greece in 1989. On a trip going to Greece from England, I stopped in Antibes and I ended up getting daywork in an engine room. After I finished working at the dive school I went back to the south of France and got long-term daywork.
From there I got a job on the biggest, baddest Lurssen at the time. I think it was 34m, which was huge then. I worked with the engineer and then got a crew position. I stayed and worked from the bilge up. I am the all-round, troubleshooting guy.
When you run a boat, you know everything about that boat, bow to stern. When you work in a business like Longbow, you have to know everyone else’s boat. I thought I was pretty knowledgeable about boats until I started doing this. It’s humbled me, really.
My wife, Jodi, is the one who can source parts, do the shipping and the accounting. She’s the biggest all-arounder amongst us. She’s been in this industry from high school starting at Lewis Marine and moving to the specialized chandlery business in the late 1990s.
Q. What’s the one thing you wish captains knew about Longbow?
I’ve been sourcing parts since 2002; you can’t learn that overnight. Even with the Internet, it’s not easy. Parts change, they get updated, the part numbers change. It’s no good if you send a part to South America and the crew goes to fit it in and it’s two millimeters out. We are very detailed oriented, and we offer a really personal service. We get to know the boat inside-out so we can make the captain, mate and engineer look like superstars.
Join us for Triton Networking on Wednesday, Nov. 14, from 6-8 p.m. at Longbow Marine, 1305 S.W. First Ave. in Fort Lauderdale (33315), about a block north of Tap 42, just west of Andrews Avenue. For more information, visit www.longbowmarine.com or contact the company at +1 954-616-5737.