Jim Plagenhoef has had a long career in the marine manufacturing industry since 1977. After graduating that year from Trinity College in Hartford Connecticut, he spent five years working on cruising and racing sailboats throughout the US, Europe and the Caribbean, honing his sailing expertise in numerous racing campaigns and series regattas.
In 1982, Jim joined the Defender/Courageous 12 meter program and began the first of his two Americas Cup campaigns. Soon after his arrival at the Defender camp, Jim was appointed the team manager of the winch systems and winch development program. After the 15-month campaign, Jim joined the staff of Barient Winch Company in California, to apply his practical knowledge and hands-on experience to Barients winch manufacturing division.
At Barient, Jim soon gravitated to the custom winch development program and began rebuilding the companys custom winch division. At that time, Barient had virtually no presence in the custom yacht market. During his nine year tenure, Jim was responsible for the start-up, organization and development of Barient Custom Winches as a separate division of Barient, transforming it into a dominant market force in the winch systems and hardware industry to serve exclusively the needs of the large custom yacht market.
In 1986-1987, Jim took an eight-month sabbatical from Barient Custom Winches to compete in his second Americas Cup campaign in Australia. He sailed with Tom Blackaller aboard the technologically innovative racing yacht USA.
In 1992, Barients parent company, International Marine Industries (IMI) merged Barients custom winch production facility with Lewmar Marine, which had become a subsidiary purchase of IMI a few years earlier. Jim moved to Connecticut to serve as Sales Manager of the International Custom Sales Department for all IMI products. This product line included Barient and Lewmar winches and deck hardware, Navtec rod rigging, Brooks and Gatehouse electronics, Sparcraft, Isomat and Francespar masts, and Kenyon Stoves and refrigeration systems.
In late 1993, Jim left IMI to join the newly formed spar division of the Omohundro Company. Omohundro was leading the way to the new era of carbon fiber spar manufacturing. Jims expertise as a professional racing sailor combined with his astute business experiences managing the development of custom winch, spar and hardware manufacturing divisions for Barient and IMI gave Omohundro capable business expertise to lead the development of Omohundros high tech spar manufacturing capabilities into the custom megayacht sailing market.
Since 1996, Jim has branched out to start his own entrepreneurial business to provide his sales and technical expertise to a wider spectrum of the marine industry. Jim provides independent sales representation to several outstanding marine companies, consultation on new construction and refit projects and is active in the sales of new and used yachts. His many years of sailing and sales and marketing efforts have taken him all over the world where he has built personal relationships with many marine industry professionals in the shipyards, design firms and equipment supply companies as well as with many yachtsmen and their crew personnel. This extensive network of personal contacts gives him a broad background of knowledge of many of the industrys finest yachts and technical specifications.
In March of 1999 he joined Waite & Morrow Associates to become the third member of this innovative brokerage and new construction project development firm. Jims professional sailing background combined with his extensive experience in the technical development and application of custom systems and equipment makes him a resourceful and knowledgeable addition. Jim lives in Maine where he runs the Portland, Maine, branch office of Waite & Morrow Associates as well as traveling extensively throughout the United States and Europe to provide field sales.