Brooks intends more than just a pretty facade

Published on Thu, May 24, 2001 by Brendan Shriane

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Brooks intends more than just a pretty facade

By Brendan Shriane

Conveniently located just around the corner from Blaine’s boat ramp, owner Bob Brooks hopes the new, expanded Blaine Marine Services will be the perfect place to stop off for a cup of coffee, ice cream, some bait or even a new propeller before heading off for a day on the water.

Brooks bought Moby Dick’s New and Used Marine Consignments from Don and Alyce Gammons in December, and began renovating the building. Demolition began in February and construction started in early April. The $100,000 project will add a 3,000 square foot showroom and reception area with the convenience store and consignment shop that will bear the Moby Dick’s name. The Gammons will continue to run the shop.

The new convenience store at 199 Marine Drive will sell fishing supplies, espresso, ice and ice cream. Brooks has also applied for a liquor license to sell beer and wine. Blaine Marine will sell sports-related and souvenir clothing, hardware and some tools as well as the snacks and consignment parts. “We’ll be a lot more parts-oriented,” Brook says.

“We’ll provide everything a boater could need, we hope,” Brooks said. “Once they cross the tracks, we don’t want them to have to go back.”

When the construction is done, the only thing left from the original building will be the roof trusses and the center and outside posts. Brooks had a new furnace put in and a new roof is on the way. He thinks the port and city will be happy with the new look that matches the port’s buildings.

It’ll be an enormous change. When Brooks bought the company last September, it had only two employees and one of them had just put in his notice. Now he has five full-time employees in the repair shop and is looking for another mechanic. He will also be hiring part-time employees to work at the store that will open the first week of June. The grand opening is slated for June 22.

Brooks said he went ahead with the expansion because the harbor is growing – adding an average six new pleasure boats a week. It’s only two-thirds full and Brooks thinks more commercial boats will be moving out as the state buys back commercial gillnetter fishing licenses.

The expected growth coupled with the lack of a nearby parts store makes good economic sense to Brooks who says, “In the past when boaters needed something, they had to jump down to Bellingham. We want to end that.”

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