West Marine Kayak Products

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About West Marine Kayaks

What has become the world’s largest boating supply retailer started modestly enough in a garage in Sunnyvale, CA. Mr. Repass saw an opportunity to improve the way people shopped for kayak supplies. According to Mr. Repass, he was frustrated by the experience of shopping in local chandleries for the parts he needed to outfit his modest daysailer. “Boat supply stores in those days were usually dark, disorganized places staffed by a couple of salty, but indifferent clerks who preferred swapping sea stories with one another to helping customers find what they came in to buy.” In 1968 he began selling nylon rope by mail order under the name West Coast Ropes. Occasionally, adventuresome customers would even drop by to pick up their orders in person.

“I decided from the beginning that I wanted to take care of people,” says Mr. Repass. “The high-tech industry I had been working in didn’t provide me with an effective way to do that. But the boating industry gave me the opportunity to really enjoy my work and interact with customers who shared my interests. I was having a blast and building a business at the same time.”

The first West Coast Ropes store opened in Palo Alto, CA in 1975. Besides carrying the quality rope the business was built on, the original store stocked a small selection of basic boat supplies including anchors and fenders. Though the selection was meager at first, the service was outstanding. “We were, and continue to be, a company of boaters helping fellow boaters. From salespeople to top-level management, our associates are intimately familiar with the boating needs of our customers,” says Mr. Repass. “We believe that it’s just as important to offer knowledgeable service and support as it is to offer top-flight products.” – West Marine Kayaks

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West Marine Kayak Products