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Veteran sails salesmen team up

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By Lucy Chabot Reed

Bob Meagher III is selling Super Sailmakers and has joined his competition at North Sails.

Now the regional sales manager for the southeast U.S., Meagher joins Mike Toppa directing the company’s future. The two men had been competitors for decades.

“We always said, what if,” Meagher said. “What if we worked together? What would that look like?”

Now they will, and work to build North Sails’ presence in the Southeast.

Competitors for decades, Mike Toppa and Bob Meagher III now work together at North Sails. Photo by Lucy Reed

“I didn’t have someone with that business strength or the management skills that Bob has,” Toppa said. “This is a perfect fit.”

North Sails is the top sail maker in the world in terms of volume, technology and market share.

Toppa created the North Sails franchise in Florida, and sold it back to the company two years ago.

“It was a cool challenge to start my own business with a great brand in sailing,” Toppa said.

Super Sailmakers, the South Florida Doyle Sailmakers franchise, concentrates on small boats, but recently had made a push into the larger boat market, including racing boats. Toppa, twice part of an America’s Cup winning team, and North Sails dominated in that space. Longtime Super Sailmakers sales rep Peter Grimm is also making the move to North Sails.

North Sails’ newest technology — 3Di — is the lightest, strongest and most durable sail on the market, according to the company.

“They are perfect for superyachts where the sails are huge and susceptible to lots of stress,” Toppa said.

Meagher’s father took over Super Sailmakers in 1988. The family is selling the brand to a South Florida sail manufacturer.

“The thing I enjoyed the most was working with my old man,” Meagher said. “But he’s been working less and less, so more of the business fell to me.

“What will occupy my day now is considerably different,” he said, a smile lighting up his face. “Instead of employee issues, broken machinery and health plan decisions, I’ll be traveling and talking to people and selling great sails.”

Lucy Chabot Reed is publisher of The Triton. Comments are welcome below.

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About Lucy Chabot Reed

Lucy Chabot Reed is publisher and founding editor of The Triton.

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