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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

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • Blake Ponds

    Boatyard Technician

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    Blake PondsBoatyard Technician

  • 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.

  • Brendan Bennett

    Paint and Fiberglass Technician

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    Brendan BennettPaint and Fiberglass Technician

  • Rich Corbin

    Paint and Fiberglass Technician

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    Rich CorbinPaint and Fiberglass Technician

  • Scott Ryan


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    Scott RyanCarpenter

    Scott’s training in yacht carpentry began in 2008 at the Arques school in Sausalito, California where his skills for traditional wooden boat building were shaped. Following his graduation he launched into a career as a yacht carpenter, working one job at a time. Scott joined BBY with a sense of focus and it is evident in his quality of work. “BBY is one of the few places I’ve worked where the day goes by too fast.”

    Maintaining his connection to the waterfront while on the job is paramount as his love for the water is clear – he currently lives on a restored houseboat with his family. Outside of work you’ll find Scott chasing live music at the variety of venues around our area.