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We've all heard that old joke that the word boat is an anagram for "bust out another thousand." Well, my husband owns a boat, so I can tell you that is all-too-often true. Back in 1968, boat enthusiast Randy Repass was frustrated by the lack of selection and indifferent customer service he faced in finding the parts and accessories he needed, so he decided to do things differently. He began as a small garage-based operation selling ropes by mail order, and opened the first West Coast Ropes store in 1975. From the beginning, providing exceptional customer service was his top priority. As the company grew, its product line expanded and the name changed to West Marine to more accurately reflect its broad selection of merchandise. Today, West Marine is the biggest specialty boating supply retailer in the nation, with over 300 stores in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada.