The SailPack is more than just NC State sailors. The support and membership of our alumni, friends, and local businesses help to support the great things happening for the Sailing program at NC State. Over the next few months, we'll be introducing you to some of these awesome SailPack members and we hope you'll support them because they support us!
Nautical Wheelers' shop at 411 Broad Street in Oriental. Photo (c) TownDock.net
Today we'd like to introduce you to one of our premier business members, retail store and community staple, Nautical Wheelers! If you're familiar with sailing in North Carolina, then you've undoubtedly heard about the Sailing Capital of NC, the charming maritime hamlet of Oriental. Located at 411 Broad Street in the heart of Oriental, Nautical Wheelers is one of the most unique retail stores you'll ever visit. It's location alone on the corner of Hodges and Broad Streets, just a few blocks from the water, is noteworthy as the shop occupies the fully-restored, historic Edmundson House which dates to 1904.
Customer service is a hallmark of the experience of shopping at Nautical Wheelers
Avid sailors and shop owners Bill and Camilla Wheeler, originally from Winston-Salem and both graduates of a college-to-remain-nameless located just a few towns west of Raleigh, have been coming to Oriental since 1994 and moved to this wonderful sailing town shortly thereafter. Opening the shop in 2010, they love the sailing community and the small town atmosphere of Oriental and are extremely proud to start a small business in the town they call home. Their philosophy is that the customer comes first. "If we take care of our customers, the business will be successful."
Nautical Wheelers carries top-of-the-line designer brands including keystone vendors such as Columbia Sportswear, Merrell, Ten Thousand Villages, ExOfficio Sportswear, Aventura Sportswear, Fresh Produce, Carve Designs, Spartina 449, Wolverine and Tilley. In addition to in high quality outdoor and marine clothing, Nautical Wheelers features a mix of NC-made art and accessories, as well as a dynamic and fully-curated wine selection, perfect to stock up for relaxing evenings on the water. Nautical Wheelers also features it's own shoe shop with Merrell, Keen, Olukai, Rainbow, Columbia, Sperry Topsider, Dansko, Cudas, Sebago and Crocs brands.
"We've been really lucky to have the support of Nautical Wheelers and the encouragement of both Bill and Camilla Wheeler. It's a really great shop and an absolute must-visit when you're in Oriental," said NC State sailing head coach Dana Magliola. "You'll find that it's part-shop and part where you find out what's happening in Oriental."
The sense of community and location of Nautical Wheelers makes this shop more than just retail space. From book signings, to wine tastings, to community events, there's always something happening at Nautical Wheelers. Their support of sailing in Oriental, as well as through their support of the NC State Sailing program is also remarkable. Whether it is through sponsoring local regattas or even hosting visiting sailors (including our own NC State sailors), owners Bill and Camilla are highly visible advocates for celebrating the sailing heritage and growing sailing community in Oriental.
“Nautical Wheelers is thrilled to support NC State Sailing and help introduce collegiate sailors to Oriental, as well as Oriental to collegiate sailing. NC State has many sailors and alumni with local connections to Oriental and many of the nearby sailing camps," said Nautical Wheelers owner Bill Wheeler. "We're proud to support the SailPack's continued growth into a nationally-competitive program and hopefully bring collegiate training and even collegiate regattas to Oriental sometime in the future.”
Shop owner Camilla Wheeler. Photo (c) TownDock.net
When they have a chance to get out of the shop, which as anyone in retail would agree is rare, the Wheeler can be found enjoying the often-perfect sailing conditions in Oriental aboard their own sailboat, the "Dorothy May", or cheering on their daughters Emma and Kara, both college sailors, or enjoying the performances of their son Will, an avid and talented actor.
The always-popular sidewalk sale at Nautical Wheelers
Visit the Nautical Wheeler's website for more information on their shop or to shop online, and drop by the Nautical Wheelers' Facebook page for updates and news about one of our favorite shops. Nautical Wheelers is open Monday through Sunday, 10AM-5:30PM.
If you're interested in supporting NC State Sailing as a Business Member, visit our Membership Page for more details and benefits. The SailPack Foundation supports sailing at NC State and throughout NC and is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.