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Hamilton Marine is the largest boating supply company north of Boston. Hamilton Marine currently has 5 locations: Portland, Rockland, Searsport, Southwest Harbor and Jonesport, Maine in addition to an online store which sells boat building supplies, marine hardware and accessories for professional boatbuilders, commercial fishermen, and recreational boaters.
Hamilton's Portland Store


Hamilton Marine was founded in 1977 by Wayne Hamilton; who after being injured and unable to work as a longshoreman in Searsport, ME started selling supplies to local fishermen out of his garage. The business expanded rapidly and the company outgrew 2 locations and by 1992 they opened their second store in Portland, ME. Today Wayne, along with his wife Loraine who is also the Vice President, own one of the largest chains of marine stores in the northeast and he has been featured in Wooden Boat, Boat Builder Magazine, Commercial Fisherman and several other magazines and newspapers.


Wayne Hamilton, President & CEO
Loraine Hamilton, Vice President
Steve Graebert, COO

Family Involvement

Over the years many family members have been involved in the business. In addition to his wife, Loraine, Wayne’s brother, 2 of his brother-in-laws, 1 sister-in-law, 2 nephews, 1 niece, and 1 cousin have worked for the business at one time. Denis Hall, Wayne’s brother-in-law is the head of purchasing, Richard Knowles, his cousin is the head of receiving and his nephew Derek is currently the warehouse manager at their Portland store. The presence of family members has been a source of continuity and has served as a connection to the past which is important for a growing firm. Family members help keep the culture of the business alive and bring a sense of belonging and openness that can be lost as a business expands.

Continuing Success

A big part of Hamilton’s secret to success is the man himself. Wayne Hamilton is a tireless worker, endlessly energetic, always coming up with new ideas and new ways of doing things. But he’s also the first to credit the hard work of others that has led to his success: “people are what’s most important, all I ever did was get things off the ground.” Letting go is one of the most difficult things to do for any entrepreneur but it is much less so if you know that you have the right people in place and that your business will live on even after you’re gone.