North Light Yacht Club and Emerald Coast Marine announced a merger to form the Emerald Coast Marine Center, The new company is led by three boating industry veterans including Shawn Talpey, president & chief operating officer; Keri Doscher, vice president; and Jeff Orbin, vice president of marketing and development.
The new partnership creates a comprehensive boat sales, service, rental, marina and yacht club experience for boaters throughout the Florida Panhandle. This collaboration was made to position ECMC to deliver an elevated, seamless boating experience for customers through the combined efficiencies, strengths, talents and resources of both companies.
“Our goal is to provide our clients with the most personalized, responsive and enjoyable boating experience possible, both oceanside and dockside,” said Talpey, who founded Emerald Coast Marine with Doscher in 2015.
Talpey and Doscher previously worked together for several years in senior management roles at Legendary Marine where they helped lead their former employer to become the Boating Industry Top 100 Dealer of the Year for two consecutive years, placing the company in the Top 100 Hall of Fame.
Emerald Coast Marine leased space at North Light Yacht Center in the spring of 2016 to accommodate its new boat sales and service dealership. Conversations ensued the following winter to discuss the long-term benefits and opportunities of creating a joint partnership with North Light Yacht Club. With a shared vision for creating a unique, all-inclusive boating experience to benefit boaters in their market, the principals from both companies discussed and analyzed strategic merger option, with a favorable outcome.
“NLYC was originally established as a dry storage and wet slip marina in 2008. While it excelled in marina operations and customer service, the company’s growth was limited by the lack of an on-site sales and service marine dealership,” said Orbin. “We knew our business would thrive and our clients would benefit from the additional products, services and club enhancements that an on-site marine dealership and more staff capacity could offer. We believe this new partnership with retail expert Emerald Coast Marine is a great decision for our business and especially for all of the customers we collectively serve.”
The next few months will directly reflect the new vision and major enhancements for the facility.
Plans include the recent acquisition of an adjacent property that will be utilized to expand the sales facility by building a new, indoor showroom with additional customer parking. A new service, parts and accessories department will be built within the existing dry storage facility to provide store frontage for marine parts and tackle. The current ship’s store will be consolidated, providing expanded space for a new Yacht Club lounge. The pool and spa area will also receive a major renovation to provide more privacy with poolside cabanas, along with the addition of a tiki bar, the latter of which will be facilitated by onsite waterfront bistro vendor, FUEL.
In addition, plans call for the launch of Emerald Coast Water Sports this spring, featuring a rental/boat club to provide an affordable alternative to boat ownership. The rental/boat club will offer products including new center consoles, dual consoles, deck boats, high-performance pontoon boats, stand-up paddleboards and kayaks.
ECMC will also launch an event social calendar in response to client requests. On tap for 2017 includes an on-water “BoatUp/FloatUp Movie Night,” “Rock the Docks Concert Series,” “Boats and Brunch” and other activities.
“We know exactly what is required to operate a highly successful marina and new boat dealership, and we are very excited to bring this experience and best practice to the regional boating community,” said Doscher. “However, as a locally owned and operated company, we also bring full-service principles that are deeply rooted in southern hospitality. Our customers and members should expect to be treated with the highest level of professionalism and with the personal touch befitting dear friends. Our goal is to deliver an exceptional high level of service while balancing casual comfort and class in order to truly elevate the Gulf Coast yacht club and boating experience.”
In the coming weeks, changes to the ECMC brand will be more evident across all platforms as the merger transition concludes. Visit www.emeraldcoastmarinecenter.com for more information or call 850-389-8318.