Newport Shipyard Personalities: Tom & Betsy Whidden

Tom Whidden, known aptly in the sailing world as "the Dean" has been spotted numerous times this summer at Newport Shipyard on his new boat NorthLight. Most of you will know the significance of the name but for those who don't, Tom is the guiding light of North Marine Group. He has raced in more America's Cup races than anybody. He modestly refers to himself as only the "adult supervision" when he lends his legendary talent to a racing program.

While Tom is eminently likable in his own right his wife Betsy doubles that quotient and together they are indomitable. We aren't quite sure what makes them keep coming back to Newport Shipyard...we think it's the breakfast burritos at Belle's.

Their loyalty to the Shipyard knows no bounds. NorthLight was stealthily "branded" with a Shipyard flag during the Opera House Cup...and because it was gamely flown for the rest of the summer they have earned their title of Shipyard personalities.

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Newport Shipyard Personality: Ashley Forbes

The boys off S/Y HANUMAN have nominated Ashley Forbes for Shipyard Personality.

Known affectionately by the yacht crews as Ash, Captain Forbes (USCG 200ton license), or "that blonde who runs the ships store," Ashley is a definite fixture of Newport Shipyard. Along with her sidekick dolphin Josie (pictured below), Captain Forbes runs a tight ship in the stores, using her uncanny knowledge of marine catalogues to help crewmembers source pretty much anything they need. This varies from obvious essentials such as sandpaper, to more obscure items, like rose-scented kiwi love gloves (wash mitts to non-yachties) for Mark from S/Y Clevelander. 

Often confused with being a member of the Marketing department, due to her almost constant presence at any Shipyard drinks event, Ashley easily makes customers smile with her dry sense of humor and self-depreciating wit. Despite her self-acclaimed lack of athletic ability, Ash in fact plays forward for the Shipyard soccer team, and modesty aside, admits to ‘probably scoring more goals than the rest of the team put together this season.’ 

If you haven’t already had the pleasure of meeting her or seeing her on the soccer field, make a point of visiting the ships store some time and attempt to order the most random thing you can think of to catch a glimpse of that puzzled and confused look that we all know and love.

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Newport Shipyard Personality: Newport Shipyard Outfitters

Newport Shipyard Outfitters just opened at the end of Bannister's Wharf. David Ray is thrilled to have such "style" in the neighborhood. 

The Shipyard logo continues to be seen -- literally -- all over the world in sailing hotspots thanks to all of you. We're fully stocked with items like Shipyard tees, belts & jackets, Peter Beaton striped sailor tops (only place in Newport), Havaiana flip flops, Kaenon sunglasses, Shipyard Sea Bags from recycled sail cloth, and chandlery items that fit the bill.


Check it out, 7 days a week, 10am-9pm. Follow us on FaceBook, too!

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Newport Shipyard Personality: Lauren Woods

For anyone who has been to Newport Shipyard during the last two years, or to Newport Shipyard Outfitters since its opening earlier this summer, surely you have met the newest addition to the Shipyard family, Lauren Woods.
A Middletown native, Lauren has become the 'go-to' person for Newport Shipyard retail gear and accessories at both our onsite Ship's Store and at our new retail space on Bannister's Wharf. A warm, friendly, hard-working, and extremely organized young lady with a degree in marketing, Lauren is also dockmaster Eli Dana's 'better' half. If you haven't met Lauren, be sure to introduce yourself the next time you're at the Shipyard.

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Newport Shipyard Personality: ABBRA

Newport Shipyard was awarded the 2009 American Boat Builders & Repairers Association (ABBRA) Boatyard of the Year award at the ABBRA annual awards celebration in Tampa, FL, on January 29, 2010. The Boatyard of the Year award was one of three awards given to recognize individuals and companies from the boatbuilding and repairing industry for their excellence throughout 2009.

Awarded to the service or repair yard that demonstrates excellence in all facets of business through commitment to customer relations, quality management, and positive vendor and employee relations, the Award of Excellence was given to Newport Shipyard for its dedication to exceptional support, refitting, and servicing of superyachts up to 300’ as well as the impressive pool of craftsmen, talent, and experience found at Newport Shipyard.

“The team at Newport Shipyard was very excited to receive this award as was I," said Charlie Dana, Newport Shipyard's president. "Being recognized by an association dedicated to the marine industry is always an honor and we're thrilled to be selected as the Boatyard of the Year in 2009 by ABBRA."

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