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South Carolina dealers announce merger

St. Barts Yachts and Charleston (S.C.) Yacht Sales merged in an effort to strengthen their presence in the Southeast, the dealerships announced.

The two will operate under the St. Barts Yachts brand, maintaining headquarters in Charleston, S.C., with locations in Oriental, N.C., and Orange Park, Fla.

“It’s a strategic business decision. Now is the time to position for growth, and joining forces with Charleston Yacht Sales is a no-brainer. Peter Dodds has been very successful in this industry, and working together will be more advantageous than competing against one another,” St. Barts Yachts founder Chuck Laughlin said in a statement.

Laughlin founded St. Barts Yachts in 1987, and it grew to become one of the leading dealers in the Southeast. Of the 44 North American Beneteau dealers, St. Barts Yachts is one of only 12 that have achieved recognition as a Beneteau Certified Platinum Dealer. Moreover, St. Barts was awarded the Beneteau USA Presidents Service Award for 2011.

In addition to representing Beneteau and Sabre, St. Barts Yachts provides brokerage services and a service department experienced in boat commissioning, repairs and maintenance.

Charleston Yacht Sales has been one of the South Carolina Lowcountry’s leading brokers of sailboats, sportfishing boats, trawlers and motoryachts for more than 40 years. After joining Charleston Yacht Sales in 1970, Dodds purchased the business in 1979.

In 2002, he was one of the first 50 yacht brokers in the country to achieve the designation of Certified Professional Yacht Broker from the Yacht Brokers Association of America.

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