South Florida Intercoastal

Faces in the Industry: Sandy Hoekstra-Handrahan

By: MIASF Staff

Date posted: Aug 25, 2020 Tue

Tell us where you are from and how long you’ve lived here.

I was born and raised in South Florida.  I am the youngest of 7 with 5 brothers and 1 sister!  I am proud to be a native of Florida – you just can’ t beat the lifestyle!  We have such stunning beaches and so much to do in and around our water ways.

Where do you work, what is your job title, and what does your job entail?

I am the owner and founder of Yacht-Mate Products Inc.  Since 1999 we have provided the boating industry with a variety of water treatment products. 

Products range from our Dock-Mate Softeners for washing down the vessels to Fill Fast pre filters (new technology) to Blue Water Clear Mate RO for dockside spot free water to Viqua UV’s for sterilizing the water coming from the fresh water tanks to various 3M or Watts products to purify the drinking water which reduces/eliminates the need for bottled water on-board, which is costly, takes up storage space, promotes waste & unfortunately tends to end up in our waterways!  We also provide MSD systems (small and compact) for sewage treatment.  We offer a few lines of water makers such as Tecnicomar and Blue Water Desal.  We have systems & products for odor control as well, like Gelair, Hydroyxl Generators, Clean Exhaust systems and so much more! 

In 2018, I partnered with Robert Bertolo to form a new company, Fire Water Marine Services.  We inspect and certify the fire & safety equipment on-board.  We have our ABS & Lloyds certifications! 

How did you initially become interested in the marine industry?

I have been working in the water filtration business since 1991!  When I was given an opportunity to work with someone on the marine side of that industry I was immediately intrigued!  It seemed like there was a lot of opportunity for water treatment in this sector, so a partner and me started Yacht-Mate Products!  I have been on my own since 1999.  I have since been successful in introducing a lot of new products to the marine industry.

What is your favorite or most valuable benefit of membership in MIASF?

First is the networking events & activities that are available through the association that we as companies can participate in.  The other important benefit is the advocacy that keeps us all informed and active in the political side of our industry & of course, the biggest and best boat show, FLIBS, which kick starts every year off with a bang!

Describe any other community organizations or events with which you are involved.

We participate with not only the MIASF, but the Mariners Club, The Triton events and USSA.  I was a judge in the Plywood Regatta for a few years and really miss the Ft Lauderdale Billfish Tournaments and Golf Tournaments.

Tell us about your hobbies and what kinds of things you do for fun.

Well of course love to go boating, fishing, and diving.  I also love to ride my bicycle for daily exercise.  I live in Pompano Beach next to the 5-mile track that circles the blimp base.  I typically get 10 miles in a day!  My husband and I just got a new Harley so love to go on rides and explore more of Florida.