Any Boy Scout would feel right at home in Captain's Nautical Supply, even without a boating badge. The Captain's merchandise motto is 'Be Prepared,' and mixed among the nautical charts and navigation equipment are compasses, binoculars and barometers for landlubbers. 'People think we only have things for boaters, but that's never been true,' says Drew Smith, the company's vice president. 'We also offer supplies for hikers, backpackers and hunters.'
Originally geared toward commercial boaters, the Seattle-based business opened in 1897 as the Max Kuner Co. The name was changed in 1968. Six years later, Lance Howard opened a Captain's in Portland. 'It's a relic of the history of Portland,' says Howard, who's still on board as company president. 'It's the only store of its kind in the area.' Last August, Captain's moved from its longtime spot near Powell's City of Books to a larger store at 333 N.W. Broadway. In addition to providing more floor space for telescopes, antique parts and clock repair, the new location offers off-street moorage. For cars only, of course.
Ñ Shanna Germain