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Former dealership employees landing on their feet

When Nautical Enterprises closed its doors in mid-June, the 75 people who worked for the West Coast's largest dealership found themselves suddenly out of a job. Despite the poor economy and its affect on the marine industry, most of those people have secured new employment.

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That was evident at the San Diego Yacht and Boat Show last week, according to Barrett Canfield, who was vice president for Nautical's Southwestern Yachts division.

"It was amazing for me to see just about every one of the former Nautical employees working somewhere in that show," he told Soundings Trade Only. "Everyone landed back in the industry that they trust and love and it was very visible at that show.

"We just all have different color shirts now," he added.

For his part, Canfield solved his unemployment problem by starting up his own dealership - South Coast Yachts - and taking over the Beneteau line in the same territory he covered for his former employer. He's even occupying the same San Diego office he did when he was with Nautical Enterprises.

"It's going to be plug-and-play," he said.

Canfield said he's had a tremendous amount of support from Beneteau customers as well as other marine companies - from delivery captains to canvas makers to marinas - whose businesses were affected by the closure of Nautical Enterprises. And he got the financial backing he needed from Rick Day, a Beneteau customer who Canfield says has a very keen business sense.

"We just absolutely believe in the market and in the industry," Canfield said of himself and his new business partner.

Read more about South Coast Yachts in the September issue of Soundings Trade Only.

— Melanie Winters

m.winters@tradeonlytoday.com

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