West Marine is an American company based in Watsonville, California, which operates a chain of boating supply and fishing retail stores. The company has nearly 300 retail stores in North America, including Puerto Rico and Canada, and previously had seven franchised stores in Turkey.
The company was founded in 1968 by Randy Repass in Sunnyvale, California, with the name West Coast Ropes, selling nylon rope from Repass' garage. The first retail West Coast Ropes store opened in 1975 in Palo Alto, California. With the acquisition of assets from West Products in 1977, the company changed its name to West Marine Products, Inc. In 1978 West Marine established a wholesale division called Port Supply. In 1991, the first West Marine stores opened on the East Coast of the United States, in Miami and Annapolis, Maryland. In 1993 the company went public on the NASDAQ exchange (symbol WMAR).
In 1996, West Marine merged with E&B Marine, to target a larger customer base of power boat enthusiasts. In 2003 the company acquired the BoatU.S. Product Division.
In December 2007, Geoff Eisenberg replaced Peter Harris as the company's president and chief executive officer.
By 2009, the company was more than three times as large as its nearest competitor, Boater's World, which closed that year, shutting all its stores nationwide.
In April 2012 the company announced that Eisenberg planned to resign. In June 2012, Matt Hyde, a 26-year veteran of REI, became the new president and CEO. In his previous capacity at REI, Hyde served as an Executive Vice President, with responsibilities for retail sales, marketing, direct sales, and real estate.
West Marine currently offers more than 75,000 products online, in stores, and via mail-order catalog.
In July 2008, West Marine opened its first franchise store in Istanbul, Turkey. The newly formed company, East Marine Denizcilik ve Turizm A.Ş trades as West Marine Turkey and was majority owned by Rahmi Koç and İbrahim Yazıcı. In March 2009, the second store was opened in Kalamış and June 2009 saw the opening of the third franchise store in Bodrum. The fourth store, in Marmaris, opened in October 2010 with more stores planned around the coast of Turkey. On January 1, 2015, all seven West Marine Franchise stores in Turkey separated from West Marine and became Eastmarine.
In October 2014, West Marine announced that it would close all of its Canadian stores by 2019 as their leases expired; seven of the ten stores in Canada were to close in 2015.