Woodinville, WA – 20 November 2017 – Bruce H. Blakey, founder and president of WESMAR (Western Marine Electronics), announced today that he has sold his company to local businessman Roger Fellows. The sale became effective November 1, 2017.
Today, captains navigate, smooth their rides and dock their boats with WESMAR. Work boat operators deliver cargo under the most difficult of conditions with WESMAR’s help; fishermen increase their catch and improve efficiencies using WESMAR; fire departments perform water rescues; passenger ferries safely load and off load passengers; and governments protect their waterfronts – all with the help of WESMAR equipment.
Blakey founded the company in 1965 to develop sonar to help commercial fishermen find fish. His company developed the world’s first solid state sonar and the world’s first color radar, and as the size of private yachts grew, the company added the development of bow and stern thrusters and roll fin stabilizers, answering the need for commercial-grade equipment for yachts to add comfort to cruising and protection in crowded, windy conditions. Over the years the company has adapted these basic ideas into a suite of highly sophisticated products that serve the needs of commercial and non-commercial, private and public marine operations, municipalities and governments around the world.
Blakey guided his company through some of the most tumultuous times of the marine industry’s history, and thanks to innovation, vision, and sound financial practices, WESMAR remained while many others closed or switched to overseas production. Along the way his innovative product designs and early attention to automation created recognition of him as not only an industry leader but also an industry pioneer.
From its beginning, WESMAR exported its products throughout the world. Today the company remains the only U.S. marine sonar manufacturer to design and build products in the USA. WESMAR has twice received the Department of
Commerce’s E-Award for Export Excellence; and has been honored by the Washington State World Trade Association for its contributions to the state’s exports.
Blakey is selling his life’s work to a new innovator whom he says is poised to take the company and its products to new heights. The name of the company will remain the same. Headquarter operations will remain in Woodinville, Wash., and employees will remain with the company, says its new owner and President Roger Fellows.
“WESMAR is impressive,” says Fellows, an experienced executive and skilled leader, with a manufacturing, industrial and underwater product background.
“It is not every day someone can purchase a company with great potential and a 52-year-old-brand known worldwide. I’ve been looking for a company to purchase for the past year. My background includes innovative and specialized underwater products for the oil and gas industry, and I believe it fits with WESMAR’s underwater product focus,” he said at a recent WESMAR company meeting.
WESMAR has an established international network of loyal dealers, customers that include private and public, government and municipalities including sonar, bow thrusters, stabilizers serving a wide range of markets.