New Florida dealership forms in merger

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Emerald Coast Marine is led by vice president of marketing and development Jeff Orbin (left), vice president Keri Doscher; and president and chief operating officer Shawn Talpey.

Emerald Coast Marine is led by vice president of marketing and development Jeff Orbin (left), vice president Keri Doscher; and president and chief operating officer Shawn Talpey.

North Light Yacht Club and Emerald Coast Marine said today that they merged to form Emerald Coast Marine Center.

The new company is led by three marine industry veterans — president and COO Shawn Talpey; vice president Keri Doscher; and vice president of marketing and development Jeff Orbin.

The company said the new partnership creates one of the most comprehensive boat sales, service, rental marina and yacht club experiences for boaters in the Florida Panhandle.

“Our goal is to provide our clients with the most personalized, responsive and enjoyable boating experience possible, both oceanside and dockside,” Talpey, who founded Emerald Coast Marine with partner Keri Doscher in 2015, said in a statement.

Talpey and Doscher previously worked together for several years in senior management roles at Legendary Marine, where they helped lead their former employer to the highly coveted No. 1 retail boat dealership ranking in North America for two consecutive years.

Emerald Coast Marine leased space at North Light Yacht Center in the spring of 2016 to accommodate its fast-growing new-boat sales and service dealership. Conversations ensued the following winter to discuss the long-term benefits and opportunities of creating a joint partnership with North Light Yacht Club.

With a shared vision for creating a unique, all-inclusive boating experience to benefit boaters in their market, the principals from both companies discussed and analyzed a strategic merger option, with a favorable outcome.

“NLYC was originally established as a dry storage and wet slip marina in 2008. While it excelled in marina operations and customer service, the company’s growth was limited by the lack of an on-site sales and service marine dealership,” Orbin said.

“We knew our business would thrive and our clients would benefit from the additional products, services and club enhancements that an on-site marine dealership and more staff capacity could offer. We believe this new partnership with retail expert Emerald Coast Marine is a great decision for our business, and especially for all of the customers we collectively serve.”

Plans include the recent acquisition of an adjacent property that will be used to expand the sales facility by building a new indoor showroom with additional customer parking. A new service, parts and accessories department will be built in the existing dry storage facility to provide store frontage for popular marine parts and tackle.

The current ship’s store will be consolidated, providing expanded space for a new yacht club lounge. The popular pool and spa area will also receive a major renovation to provide more privacy with poolside cabanas, along with the addition of a tiki bar; the latter will be facilitated by onsite waterfront bistro vendor Fuel.

Plans also call for the launch of Emerald Coast Water Sports this spring, featuring a rental/boat club to provide a unique and affordable alternative to boat ownership. The rental/boat club will offer products that include new center consoles, dual consoles, deckboats, high-performance pontoon boats, stand-up paddleboards and kayaks.

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