North Sails LOFT NEWS
WHO WE ARE: JOHN BAXTER
Get To Know Your Local Sales Expert
What background do you have in sailing?
I grew up in a sailing family. My parents, sisters, and brother Mark are avid sailors. Mark is also part of the North Sails team. I started in Chicago and spent 10 years sailing in Florida. I did my first SORC when I was 15 and the rest is history! I have been fortunate to sail all over the world in events like the Sydney Hobart, SORCs, California to Mexico races, San Francisco Big Boat Series, Superyacht regattas and in several National and World Championships.
What boat/classes do you have experience?
Over the years I have done a lot of different sailing on many different designs. Cruising boats to racing boats, and a lot of the Offshore One-Design classes which include the Farr, Mumm30, 40, Corel-45, J/111, J/109, J/105, and the Beneteau 36.7 and 40.7. These One designs have really made for some great racing.
What got you into the marine industry?
Spending my teenage years in Florida I had the opportunity to sail a ton. I became good friends with Peter Grimm (Who now also works for North Sails based in Ft Lauderdale). I started working for him when I was 14 and it grew from there. I sold my first set of sails to a cruising boat client when I was 16 and I was hooked on helping clients enjoy the most from their boats.
How long have you been involved in the marine industry?
37 years today. Over that time I have run race boats, worked in rigging, sold sails, made sails. I have been fortunate to work directly with and alongside of some of the best sailmakers in the world. The actual sailmaking side has helped me within the sales side as I have become familiar with every important detail involved in the sailmaking process.
What do you love most about sailing and what keeps you coming back?
Helping sailors get better and helping customers solve problems is what I enjoy most. Each customer is different and looking for different solutions, which makes it fun and exciting to take on new projects and challenges each day. Our industry is constantly evolving and today its evolving at a faster pace. I learn things every time I get on a boat and every day I spend on the water or making sails. If you ever stop learning, this industry will leave you in the dust!