T-H Marine Supplies, LLC., a division of OneWater Marine (NASDAQ: ONEW), is announcing that it has acquired YakGear, Inc. (“YakGear”) of Houston, Texas, an industry-leading supplier of kayak equipment, paddle sports accessories, and boat mounting accessories. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Marking T-H Marine’s second acquisition of 2022 and its 16th add-on acquisition overall, YakGear will function as a standalone division of T-H Marine that will continue to operate at its current facility in Houston, Texas.
“Since 2006, YakGear Founder and President Bill Bragman and his team have done a remarkable job providing accessories to kayak, canoe, and stand up paddle board enthusiasts, earning YakGear’s reputation as a household name among their audience,” said Jeff Huntley Sr., Chief Executive Officer for T-H Marine. “We’re thrilled to add the YakGear team, including Jerron Wosel, YakGear’s Director of Procurement and now President of the YakGear division, and their expansive portfolio of paddle sport products.”
Along with its extensive line of marine accessories, YakGear has exclusive distribution agreements to provide Railblaza® products in the United States and agreements for other countries abroad. While RAILBLAZA USA will operate as a separate entity to maintain its Amazon presence and some private label sales, T-H Marine’s YakGear division will retain sales of RAILBLAZA products to most customers, including direct online sales, OEM boat or kayak builders, big box retailers, distributors, online retailers, and specialty stores. These products will now be extended to T-H Marine’s extensive customer list, including OEMs and aftermarket channels, with the YakGear team putting their experience to work in the process.
“For 16 years I’ve woken up each morning with the singular purpose of making YakGear a major force in the Paddle Sport Industry, so it’s an honor to take what we’ve done and pursue even more opportunity with T-H Marine,” stated Bill Bragman, founder and President of YakGear, Inc. “It was particularly important for me to find the right synergy because YakGear and all its employees are a family. We know T-H Marine will be a mutual extension of that, where they’ll continue our tradition of providing great products and great customer service to the Paddle Sport and Marine Industries just like they have done as a family-run business over the last 45 years.”
Built upon a multi-channel presence that caters to an exploding boater demographic, YakGear has taken a modernized approach to aftermarket sales. This mirrors T-H Marine’s escalation of access to the consumer-facing side of its brands since launching their first ecommerce website nearly 10 years ago. For T-H Marine and the OneWater alike, YakGear also complements opportunities for exposure to more audiences and new footholds with paddle sports retailers and consumers.
“The OneWater family looks forward to welcoming the YakGear team as we continue to diversify our suite of aftermarket marine products,” said Austin Singleton, Chief Executive Officer for OneWater. “YakGear is T-H Marine’s second acquisition of 2022, underscoring the ability of T-H Marine’s acquisition engine to add horsepower to OneWater’s business model, aftermarket diversification, and growth strategy. Between T-H Marine’s leading omni-channel presence in the marine industry and YakGear’s position in the world of kayaking and paddle sports, we believe the combined forces are poised for further success.”
“It’s a win-win with each company we bring into the fold, putting our resources behind their great products and providing business owners what they need to take some chips off the table, retire, or move on to other opportunities,” Huntley added. “With a successful blueprint of previous acquisitions, we create an avenue for business owners to find reassurance and trust in going through this process, while ensuring that their legacies are a top priority as they join T-H Marine. Together, we can continue to grow in value to all our customers, pair our offerings with a strategy of new product innovation and meet demand opportunities as the industry-leading manufacturer of quality marine products and accessories.”