Boats have always had the power to inspire people. They have been the impetus behind countless songs, paintings, works of literature and early retirements. West Marine's founder and chairman, Randy Repass took his own passion for boating, channeled it into a prosperous business and revolutionized the way people shop for boating supplies.
What has become the world's largest boating supply retailer started modestly enough in a garage in Sunnyvale, CA. Repass, who was disappointed with his job at a Silicon Valley technology firm, turned to his love of boating for relief from the cold, impersonal nature of the high-tech industry. In 1968 he began selling nylon rope by mail order under the name West Coast Ropes. Occasionally, adventuresome customers would even drop by to pick up their orders in person.