Budget Marine was started in 1982 in St. Maarten and has since become the leading retailer and wholesaler of pleasure boat marine equipment in the Caribbean; experiencing sales of US$27 million dollars in 2015. The Group's chandleries are located in Sint Maarten, Saint Martin, Antigua (3 outlets), Trinidad (2 outlets), St. Thomas, Grenada, Bonaire, Tortola, Aruba and Curacao.
The headquarters facility in Cole Bay, St. Maarten serves as group service and distribution center and is the largest retail entity for this marine sector in the Caribbean. In St Martin the French-customer oriented L'ile Marine is located near Marigot.
The three Antigua stores are located near the Jolly Harbour boatyard, in English Harbour and in the North Sound Boatyard. The Trinidad store is situated in the heart of the busy Chaguaramas yachting area, with a satellite store at the Trinidad and Tobago Yacht Club in Bayshore. The St Thomas store is located in the Independent Boatyard on the East End. In Grenada Budget Marine is located in the Spice Island Marina Services boatyard on the True Blue side of Prickly Bay. In Bonaire Budget Marine is located close to the center of Kralendijk and Budget Marine Curacao can be found on Caracasbaaiweg, between town and the main water sports area of Spanish Water. In Tortola, BVI Budget Marine is located in and partnered with the Nanny Cay Boatyard, the largest and leading boatyard in the territory. In Aruba Budget Marine is located at Balashi, between the Aruba Yacht Club and the Varadero Marina and boatyard.
The market area targeted by Budget Marine includes the entire Eastern Caribbean Island chain from Puerto Rico in the north to Trinidad in the south. The marine leisure market is particularly strong with ocean-going sailing yachts, although the number of motor yachts has grown rapidly over the past few years. The area is well known for its charter boat industry and the majority of both private boat owners and large charter boat companies are important customers.
An extensive, 712-page color catalogue, packed with technical information is maintained in printed book form, digital format (memory stick) and on-line and used to promote mail-order business for the Group. Export sales are handled mainly from St Maarten and Trinidad. To further promote Budget Marine, advertisements are placed in many popular cruising guides, yachting newspapers, directories and magazines. Email newsletters and an active Facebook page help to keep customers well informed.
Promotional activities and sponsorships support many regattas, fishing tournaments and other boating events throughout the island chain, two major ones being the Heineken Regatta in St. Maarten and the Spice Island Billfish Tournament in Grenada. Assistance with marine environmental projects and a strong focus on youth sail training programs further enhance Budget Marine's presence in the Caribbean.
Budget Marine imports products from countries in over five continents, including the US, Canada, UK, Holland, France, Italy, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Columbia, Japan and Taiwan. Company buyers visit major international marine trade shows to ensure the latest in product coverage and the ability to respond to after-market needs of boat owners from all over the world. Budget Marine has established a reputation for product variety and quality at competitive pricing, which is the basis for the slogan, “WE STOCK WHAT SAILORS WANT”.