After 13 years in the marine business, Ian and Shari Macpherson and Lorraine Bell have sold and transferred ownership of the well-established Stones Boatyard and Marine Store and Nanaimo Yacht Charters and Sailing School. The new owners are a group of local businessmen, passionate boaters and long-time friends who are excited to build the establishment and continue to evolve and grow.
Equal partners in the endeavour include some well-known names on the island. Brothers Tony and Mike Harris of the Harris Group of Companies include an auto group of eight dealerships that have been an integral part of Nanaimo for decades, as well as Tom Harris cellular which is the largest authorized Telus dealer in BC with over 50 locations. Ken Schley of Kelland Ventures was the founder and former owner of the successful Vancouver Island grocery chain Quality Foods and Andrew Babuin worked with Finning as an account manager for more than 15 years. With new energy and vision for the future, this team plans on honouring and building upon the quality services that are already in place.
“Ian and Shari built a really solid business and we will continue to give customers that standard of care as we grow and evolve what we can offer to the boating community,” says Babuin, who will be the new general manager.
Babuin, a passionate boater says it’s his dream to be working in the industry. “I’ve been around boats my whole life. It’s a passion and I love being around them all day. It feels so natural to be here.”
At Stones Marina, there is a full-service boatyard and haul-out, along with the marine store and chandlery for boating equipment needs. Nanaimo Yacht Services and Nanaimo Yacht Charters & Sailing School offer chartering and sailing instruction. Long-time boatyard manager, Nick Webster, and a dedicated team of employees who have been with the companies for years will continue to work with the business.
“It’s a smart set up, everything is available to the boater,” says Babuin. The boatyard offers boat and general repairs, marine engine repairs, a boat hoist and one of the largest marine travel lifts on the island. They also offer boat cleaning, detailing and bottom painting. The Nanaimo Chandlery has boating supplies on hand, including marine paints, polishes, cleaners, sealants, electrical supplies and more.
Nanaimo Yacht Charters and Sailing School offers charters in both power and sail. Their fleet features favourite cruising brands from 30 to 60 feet, including boats from Lagoon, Bavaria, Dufour, Beneteau, Jeanneau, Hanse, Catalina and Hunter and Bayliner.
Babuin says it’s a privilege to be able to offer services that legitimately help people. “Our crew is so good at what they do, we can have customers in and out as efficiently as possible so they can get out there and go boating, which is what we are all here to do.”
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