By Stan Stewart.
At the very beginning of Blacksmith Lane across the road from a car park on the estuary is ‘Longshore Marine’ a shop that is clearly about fishing and boats. One or two Kayaks are usually on the footpath outside the front window. Inside there is the usual array of rods and reels found in a fishing shop; but at the back of the premises there is something different - chandlery. Chandlery means supplies for boats and ships. For example, clips and hooks and wires for moorings, for boat repairs, and all kinds of handles for facilities used on boats. Longshore Marine is the ‘go-to’ shop for all things nautical in Whitianga.
Stuart has been in these premises for 13 years. Selling fishing gear and chandlery is not all he does. He is President of the Whitianga Volunteer Coastguard. He is also on the Board of the Whitianga Social Services. Boats, kayaks and fishing may be one of his enthusiasms, but helping the community is another.
As with other businesses in Whitianga, he has had to survive three years of lockdowns and the past summer of no summer. Add in broken roads and horrible weather, it is a tough environment for anyone trading in Whitianga. Rather than saying it has been tough, Stuart prefers to say, “It has been challenging.”
He believes the time is right for a ‘Buy Local’ campaign. He feels this is a slogan all the businesses in Whitianga could get behind. He is well aware there are savings to be had when buying some items in Auckland. “However,” he says, “If the item doesn’t quite fit a job in Whitianga then replacing the item with an Auckland dealer can be a hassle”. One of his acquaintances purchased an item from China. It arrived with amazing speed, but on inspection it did not quite fit the requirement here. Returning the product to China was not possible. That brings Stuart back to his suggestion for this and many other reasons, ‘Buy Local’.
As well as kayaks for sale, you can hire a properly fitted out kayak, for half a day or a full day from Longshore Marine and it can be an ideal adventure and loads of fun. One of the best kayak adventures in our area is to be dropped off at the river at Coroglen. Paddling with the flow from there to Whitianga is a very enjoyable leisurely kayak trip. This adventure can take as long as the hirers desire. Meander and it can take three hours, or it can be as short as you want it to be. Sounds like top fun!
Take a good look at the Fishing and Chandlery supplies at Longshore Marine.
Caption: Stuart Brown of Longshore Marine.