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Say Hello to Our Crew

The crew at Bennett Brothers Yachts is held together by a passion for the water. A group with over 150 years of combined experience dedicates 110% of their focus to each vessel that arrives for sales, storage or service. Bennett Brothers Yachts marine tradesmen stretch all disciplines and include career technicians and craftsmen whose experience sets the standard in yacht repair. Backed by a team of project managers and office staff that ensure you have an extraordinary experience, Bennett Brothers Yachts was acknowledged with the 2015 Excellence in Customer Care award by American Boat Builders and Repairers Association (ABBRA) at their annual conference.
  • Patricia Donovan Bennett


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    Patricia Donovan BennettPresident

    Paul and Patricia Bennett founded Bennett Brothers Yachts in 1986, creating a multi-faceted business excelling in the building of highly acclaimed custom yachts. With a focus on both power and sail, together, in Wilmington, North Carolina, they created a full-service boatyard for refits, repairs, and brokerage, growing known for excellent customer service worldwide. Patricia took the helm as president in 2007 to continue their shared vision of becoming the premiere service yard on the eastern seaboard after Paul lost his courageous battle with cancer. Patricia finds it incredibly rewarding to exhibit at the boat shows along the eastern seaboard and have so many clients stop by and share stories of their experience at Bennett Brothers Yachts over the course of many decades. . The clients come to Bennett Brothers Yachts from all corners of the world and are most adventuresome with plans to fish offshore or just cruise the Caribbean. Quite a few come to have their boat prepped for a circumnavigation. Oftentimes, they will share with Bennett Brothers Yachts their experience of running into another cruiser halfway around the world who had been to Bennett Brothers Yachts! Reputation is based on the relentless pursuit of excellence each and every day - a philosophy she instills in her team. Patricia is delighted to be working alongside her son, Connor, to continue the next generation of Bennett Brothers Yachts. An avid runner, Patricia participates in half marathons, often running alongside her two rescued dogs. Her family life is ever important and she now enjoys the accomplishments of her 4 adult children. Paul, Connor, Margaret and Brendan.
  • Connor T. Bennett

    The Next Generation

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    Connor T. BennettThe Next Generation

    Connor Bennett is “Assistant General Manager” and a yacht broker at Bennett Brothers Yachts. Connor has grown up in a life based on the water and the boating industry. Both Paul and Tricia instilled an undying love for the ocean in Connor. No matter the activity, you will always find Connor by the water. Connor started working summers at the family boatyard from a very young age. He began by prepping boats of all sizes for paint shoots. He also assisted in many day-to-day activities such as boat detailing, moving boats around the yard, and learned to operate the 70-ton travel lift while in high school. He left North Carolina to attend Kenyon College in Ohio in 2009 where he competed on the school’s Division III varsity lacrosse team. After spending a semester abroad in the Turks and Caicos Islands, he decided he couldn’t be landlocked again and transferred home to the University of North Carolina- Wilmington, where he earned an Economics degree from the Cameron School of Business in 2013. He continued to stay involved with Bennett Brothers Yachts through college, but also branched out and became a supervisor at a resort at Wrightsville Beach. Upon graduation he pursued his love of travel for a couple of years, chasing surf that led him all over the world. No matter where he went, he was always eager to come back and continue to work at the yard in between trips. Connor returned full time and has enjoyed learning the ropes working alongside Tricia as well as apprenticing to become a Certified Professional Yacht Broker under Terry Rose.

Our Crew

  • Al Noble

    Service Manager

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    Al NobleService Manager

    Legendary among boaters along the eastern seaboard and abroad, Al’s reputation of addressing your boat’s needs are honed by his history of working in and subsequently leading the largest departments at Bennett Brothers Yachts for nearly 25 years. Al’s uncanny ability to diagnose problems quickly and offer the optimal solution keeps customers happy and regularly returning to Bennett Brothers Yachts. A foundation of routine maintenance is a cornerstone of Al’s service philosophy advising that routine maintenance is imperative in keeping your boat in shape, leading to safe and enjoyable, sailing, cruising or fishing. Al strongly believes in maintaining the latest certifications and directs his team under ABYC standards. He prides himself in holding current ABYC and NMEA certifications and continuing his education on a regular basis. Al also holds various certifications in the latest electronic, mechanical, hydraulic, and navigation systems, including IMTRA and MEI bow thrusters. Outside of Bennett Brothers, Al is an avid sailor, kayaker and fisherman and maintains his 100 Ton Captains license. With tens of thousands of cruising miles under his belt, his water knowledge of Southeastern North Carolina and beyond ensures you are given advice from someone who truly understands your needs. When he is able to sneak away you will find he and his wife towing their camper to the mountains, chasing trout in Western North Carolina. Al firmly believes that Bennett Brothers Yachts is “Your boat’s boatyard.”
  • Jim McCarley

    Project Manager

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    Jim McCarleyProject Manager

    A Wilmington native, Jim enjoys walking into the doors at Bennett Brothers Yachts downtown location and seeing the progress that has developed on the riverfront with the growth of the Cape Fear river location. The tight-knit family atmosphere at Bennett Brothers assists in ensuring his job as a project manager is seamless. Off property and inshore you can see Jim casting his fly rod in the numerous marshes that New Hanover county offers. Chasing the bite ends when Chelsea Football Club plays where you will find him keeping tabs on the score with his wife and 3 hound dogs alongside. Jim brings with him years of experience in the industry having worked at titans such as Jarrett Bay, Scout Boats and Hatteras. Jim has worked on both the production and repair side of some of the East Coasts' best known vessels. If it is a powerboat, Jim knows it inside out and in some cases, was involved in building it!
  • Rolf Gronneberg

    Purchasing Manager

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    Rolf GronnebergPurchasing Manager

    Hailing from Newport RI, Rolf brings over 20 years of marine purchasing experience to Bennett Brothers Yachts. His background includes working with the fishing industry as parts manager for a repair and repower facility and most recently as purchasing manager for a boatyard catering to pleasure boats. His move to Bennett Brothers Yachts comes with a desire to continue his career in the maritime industry while living near his family in the south. He has spent many years sailing the waters of Narragansett Bay and now you will find him walking “The Loop” at Wrightsville Beach, out on the water with his daughter and son-in-law, or relaxing in the sun with a good book.
  • Janice Chance


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    Janice ChanceController

    Janice brings to Bennett Brothers Yachts her over 25 years experience in Accounting, Finance, and Computers in both the public and private sectors. Since joining the team in 2011, she has converted Bennett Brothers accounting system to a cloud-based program, and has streamlined many of the processes that allow Bennett Brothers Yachts to operate with efficiency. Janice graduated from UMASS Dartmouth. Janice spends time with her family outside of work, doing all things outdoors. She is an avid four-wheeler, who can tell you a story or two about getting a quad out of the mud.
  • Dustin Frye


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    Dustin FryeOperations

    Born and raised in North Carolina, Dustin has spent countless years at the coast where boating and sailing influenced his career path to enter the maritime industry. From cruising the Bahamas with his family as a child to leading the sailing club at the University of North Carolina Wilmington where he graduated in 2011. Dustin continued to follow his passion after university and instructed sailing along the North Carolina coast and ultimately in the British Virgin Islands. A calling back to the Tar Heel State influenced Dustin to join the team at Bennett Brothers Yachts in 2013 where he has performed a variety of roles from working the yard to his current position ensuring the day to day operations at Bennett Brothers run smoothly. If you walk in the front door you will most likely be greeted by Dustin who is eager to show you around the facilities, sharing with you why Bennett Brothers is “your boat’s boatyard.” When the wind picks up you will find him on the water running Wrightsville Performance Sailing, a J/80 based sailing charter and school where he shares the passion and excitement of sailing to locals and visitors.
  • Joel Topie

    Mechanical Department Manager

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    Joel TopieMechanical Department Manager

    Biography coming soon!
  • Paul Cole


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    Paul ColeMechanic

    Hearing the firing of a diesel or gas power plant motivates Paul as a Mechanic at Bennett Brothers Yachts. Goal oriented, Paul thrives in the final moments of a job, ensuring all necessary steps are completed accurately and thoroughly before the vessel is delivered. Paul understands that reliability of work is essential, knowing that the mechanic work done on any vessel could wind up anywhere in the world. Outside of Bennett Brothers, Paul enjoys painting, from landscapes to portraiture, and is equally as comfortable on a wakeboard in the Intracoastal waterway. Family is essential in Paul’s life and he is excited to begin the journey of fatherhood with a newborn on the way.
  • Eli Topie


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    Eli TopieMechanic

    Biography coming soon!
  • Josh Topie


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    Josh TopieMechanic

    Biography coming soon!
  • Jim Johnston

    Senior Systems Specialist

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    Jim JohnstonSenior Systems Specialist

    His tenured skillset in mechanical, electrical, generator, and refrigeration systems make him a “go to” guy for Bennett Brothers Yachts. His background in sailing gives him his “jack of all trades” mentality, and can be seen working on complex rigging projects with our rigger, Ian Fanning, as well. He was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, but has lived all over. When not at work, he devotes his time to his family and friends.
  • Phil Nevels

    Systems Specialist

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    Phil NevelsSystems Specialist

    Phil has sailed around the world to over 20 countries while he was in the Navy, allowing him to experience numerous culture and educations. He learned about electronic systems at the Naval Training Center and then went on to learn about navigation systems. You can find him around BBY’s boatyard working hard on electrical systems and creating fixtures for install. As well as being a certified communications technician, Phillip has a bachelor’s degree in Geo-sciences and an associate’s degree in Psychology. When he is not here fixing boats Phillip loves to be at home with his wife and three kids grilling, fishing and watching Panther’s football.
  • Ian Fanning


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    Ian FanningRigger

    Hailing originally from England, Ian is Bennett Brothers ” go to” sailboat rigging expert. From splicing line to building new rigs, Ian enjoys measuring twice and swaging once while maximizing the performance of your sailboat. Ian’s sailing experience on the J/40 and Farr 40 shaped his perception of what is valued in a rig. When not bending on sails or servicing your windlass, Ian enjoys cross-stepping to the nose of his longboard at Wrightsville Beach or catching a Manchester United game. Most importantly, Ian enjoys spending time with his two daughters on the soccer field with his wife alongside.
  • Chris Blizzard

    Senior Yard Technician

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    Chris BlizzardSenior Yard Technician

    A Wilmington native, Chris is an integral part of ensuring boats come in and out of Bennett Brothers Yachts with efficiency and ease. He left the coast for college to attend Appalachian State University. After graduation, Chris quickly moved back to the ocean, and began working as a tradesman. He went back to school for Marine Diesel Mechanics, and became a great fit at Bennett Brothers Yachts. Not a single boat comes in the yard without Chris’s involvement. He is also in charge (of maintenance) of the hardest working employee at Bennett Brothers, our 70 Ton Travel Lift. His all around knowledge and can-do attitude makes him a model employee and an inspiration to the rest of the team. Growing up in Wrightsville Beach, Chris can be found fishing, boating, or surfing after work and on the weekends.
  • Michael Saxon

    Yard Technician

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    Michael SaxonYard Technician

    Michael is energized by the quality of work at Bennett Brothers Yachts. Joining the team in 2015, Michael is an essential ingredient in ensuring your boat is safely blocked in our yard. Michael’s skills only start with hauling, a variety of tasks keep Michael occupied at Bennett Brothers from applying bottom paint to assisting the paint and fiberglass crew and beyond. Living aboard his 45’ powerboat, Michael breathes boating and is eager to continue a career in the maritime industry. Local music and the offerings of historic downtown Wilmington fill his weekends.
  • Robert Ponds

    Yard Technician

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    Robert PondsYard Technician

    Biography coming soon!
  • Joe Rose

    Senior Paint and Fiberglass Technician

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    Joe RoseSenior Paint and Fiberglass Technician

    A 35 year veteran of the trade, with 15 years at Bennett Brothers Yachts, Joe is comfortable no matter how big the job. Joe’s capabilities extend well beyond basic fiberglass repairs and paint shoots. Prior to joining Bennett Brothers Yachts in 2000, he worked at Tartan, Palmer Johnson, and several other builders. Joe’s experience led him to be an integral part of most of our custom builds. He constantly emphasizes the importance of preparation with his team, ensuring the job is done right the first time. Joe has expertise in molding, framing, custom lay-up, one-off specialty projects, as well as paint matching and large paint jobs. Joe’s restoration and collection of classic ski-boats and outboards are continually a topic of conversation. When not at work, Joe can be found at his home in Rockingham, North Carolina spending time with his wife and family.
  • Clark Rooks

    Paint and Fiberglass Technician

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    Clark RooksPaint and Fiberglass Technician

    Clark hails originally from Rocky Mount, North Carolina and moved coastward to pursue a degree at Cape Fear Community College in the fiberglass boat manufacturing program. Clark enjoys the variety of projects that come up the river to Bennett Brothers Yachts, both power and sail. Learning from senior craftsman Joe Rose brings continued education to Clark’s daily schedule. Outside of Bennett Brothers you will find Clark enjoying his Larson 230 with his Australian cattle dog, Diesel, by his side.
  • Dale Jones

    Memorial: November 30, 1957 - September 20, 2016

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    Dale JonesMemorial: November 30, 1957 - September 20, 2016

    Dale Edward Jones’ time with the Bennett Brothers Yachts’ team was unforgettable. A leader in his field and an immeasurable asset to our team, his dedication, work ethic and awe-inspiring moral compass set the standard. He will be missed by the entire Bennett Brothers Yachts’ family and his legacy will continue with the impact he made on our organization. Details on Dale’s memorial service: Saturday, October 1st, 2016 Bennett Brothers Yachts 1701 J.E.L. Wade Drive Wilmington, NC 28401 Visitation with the family will begin at 3:00. The family encourages visitors to bring stories and memories of Dale to share. Obituary shared by the Jones’ family: “Dale Jones passed away Tuesday night [September 20th] from heart complications. By his side he had his friend and loving wife of 40 years. He was a well-respected and loved man in both the boating and the horse community in Pender and New Hanover and Craven Counties. Instead of sending flowers, food or cards we ask that you donate to a cause that Dale was passionate about and that is the Coastal Therapeutic Riding Program. You can do this by visiting the website at” Shared memories and condolences may be sent to the family by selecting "Share a Memory" HERE Dale’s Professional Biography: Starting his career with Hatteras Yachts, where he moved through the ranks over his ten years there, Dale eventually progressed to Shift Supervisor. A desire to branch out on his own fostered the creation of Marine Electronics Design, where he headed a team of technicians for a period of thirteen years, specializing in the design and installation of electronics systems. Following Marine Electronics Design, he managed a team at a Computer Numerical Controlled machine shop in the region. Dale always stayed current with the latest trends in the marine electronics industry, you would often find him within the pages of the latest Marine Electronics Journal. His commitment was proven through his various certifications, including his FCC General Radiotelephone Operator’s License with Radar Endorsement. Outside of work, Dale cared for his four horses, and was a very experienced equestrian. Family was integral in Dale’s life demonstrated by the quality time spent with his wife and grandchildren on his Burgaw farm.