December 2017

West Marine: For the Well-Lived Water Life

Author: Kitty Bartell

Angler, paddler, sailor, boater, or beachcomber…water life is intrinsically tied to a life well-lived in the Lowcountry, and from their new shop located just behind the emblematic sea turtle statue at the Sea Turtle Marketplace on Hilton Head Island, West Marine continues taking customers right where they want to be: to the water. Their move from mid-island to the north end came at about the same time as the business’s new owners, Monomoy Capital Partners, took the helm.

Their grand opening weekend in late September further solidified West Marine’s commitment to the local community with 10 percent of the sales over the two days going to local charities, including the Coastal Discovery Museum and their sea turtle preservation project, and the Hilton Head Island Community Sailing Club. Philanthropy is a significant component in how the company positively impacts the community. “If it’s about kids on the water, I find a way to support it,” McEwin said.

A 21-year veteran with West Marine, McEwin has traveled the country as a trainer and manager in markets from east to west, north to south, and finds the Lowcountry to be a sweet spot when it comes to water life. “I’ve been to two authentically unique water environments in all my travels; one is here, and one is Monterey Bay in California. In these places, I’ve enjoyed the beach, waterfowl, water life, and animals, not to mention the fishing and boating opportunities. Port Royal Sound is completely unique. Plus, here we have the rivers that add a whole other level. That’s why I like driving over that bridge every morning. What you’re looking at is one of the more incredible environments in the world.”

Having a West Marine team member who intrinsically connects with the local environment at the helm of their island store benefits customers. The result is a McEwin-built team of customer service specialists. “We try to have somebody who know something about nearly everything in the store.” Not only do customers find the service experience to be top-drawer, they are able to ask questions of experienced anglers, paddleboarders, kayakers, sailors, and more.

West Marine is a shopping destination with everything from on-, in-, and off-the-water equipment, parts, clothing, and toys for grownups and children. Their expanded clothing and shoe department has traditional and trending brands for everyone from dedicated anglers, to grandparents looking for land and sea entertainment for visiting grandchildren. “Kayaks, paddleboards, towables. We get asked, do you have flippers? We have flippers and snorkels and beach toys,” McEwin said. Check out their $45 rod/reel/fully-equipped tackle box in a range of sizes—perfect for beach or pier fishing.

From sport, to entertainment, to serious hardware, to finding just the right binoculars for watching water life from a Lowcountry porch, West Marine is perfectly positioned to equip anglers, paddlers, sailors, boaters, or beachcombers for a life well-lived.

West Marine is located at 430 William Hilton Parkway, Hilton Head Island. For more information, please call (843) 686-5351 or visit westmarine.com.

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