It’s 1979 and I can’t find exactly the parts I need for my boats. It seems that when I need a Perko cleat, the local marine supply stocks only Attwood or Wilcox Crittenden. Special orders are not an option even when paid in full in advance. Frustrated, I spent the year researching the world of marine supplies. Having owned boats since 1961, living on the water since 1960, and even attending a college surrounded by water, I figured why not turn a lifelong passion into a business. Puttering with 3 ½ horsepower and 5 ½ horsepower Evinrude outboards and a homebuilt plywood boat in the early 60s was a far stretch to the complex repowers that we perform in today’s market. College meant 4 years literally on the water almost daily. SUNY Maritime College Ft Schuyler is the oldest maritime school in the United States. A military college that turns out mates and engineers with bachelor’s degrees coupled with military training for the Navy, Coast Guard, Reserves or Merchant Marine. A 4 year B.E. in Naval Architecture, a 3rd Assistant Engineer’s License Unlimited Horse Power, (issued by the U.S. Coast Guard), and a Commission in the Naval Reserve packed into 4 years seemed like a whirlwind education. Add in wrestling with some of the best in college wrestling, sailing with heavy hitters including Gary Jobson of “America’s Cup” fame. Rowing, glee club, and working numerous jobs to lessen the college loans rapidly accumulating, it was a hectic 4 years. Traveling to Europe every summer on the Training Ship Empire State IV provided much valued experience actually operating an 8,500 horsepower ship while visiting countries both in the Mediterranean and North Sea. Although with jobs and the heavy course load it didn’t always seem so, but what a wonderful experience. Add in a year of Watch Engineer and college teaching afterwards and a number of years sailing as a 3rd Assistant Engineer then as a 2nd Assistant Engineer and finally as a 1st Assistant Engineer, I gained valuable experience and knowledge much prized by the manufacturers that used that knowledge and learned ability when we became factory service for the many manufacturers we represent today many years later.