Gartside Marine Engines was started by Ben Gartside in 1988 with the goal of providing the boating public with an honest, no nonsense service location where they could be sure to receive high quality work for a sensible price.
Over the years we have grown, with a second location opening in 2005 at the Oak Bay Marina. We now cover the whole of the Saanich Peninsula and Victoria area with prompt efficient service.
Having grown up in a boatyard and been an active member of the sailboat racing community, it was natural for Ben to work with boats and, funnily enough, all current Gartside Marine Engines staff are boaters too!
We actively encourage youth into the marine industry, hiring students from the local schools’ ACE IT program as well as offering work experience. Our employees all receive training from the Quadrant Marine Institute apprenticeship program.
Gartside Marine Engines supports local community organisations, including Easter Seals, Saanich Marine Rescue Society, Sidney Piranhas Swim Club, Goldstream Nature House, The Shriners – Firefighters Burn Fund.
Ben grew up in the family boat yard in Cornwall, in the UK, and started his career in the marine industry at a Yanmar main dealership in 1980. When the family moved to Sidney in 1982 he took apprenticeship training in Marine Diesel Repair, subsequently opening Gartside Marine Engines in 1988.
Ben has always been supportive of training and raising the level of professionalism in the industry. He is a founding director of theQuadrant Marine Institute and teaches a number of the marine systems units in their apprenticeship program.
Ben was a member of the Marine Industry Workforce Development Committee that developed the current MMT (Marine Mechanical Technician) apprenticeship program in BC, and is himself a certified MMT.
Ben also delivers weekend maintenance and troubleshooting seminars for boat owners – he believes everyone should have a working knowledge of their mechanical systems to keep them safe on the water.
Oak Bay Site Manager
Charles grew up in Sooke, a small commercial fishing and logging town on Vancouver Island. He started his career as a mechanic after taking an industry prep program in the auto shop at high school. After working in the auto industry for two years, he decided to change direction and become a marine mechanic. Charles has been in the industry for 16 years, eleven of which have been with Gartside Marine Engines. He is presently the Shop Manager and Head Technician at our Oak Bay shop. Charles is a certified Marine Mechanical Technician with the Industry Training Authority (ITA) and holds certifications in gas, diesel and outboard propulsion systems. He is a factory trained Volvo, Tohatsu and Suzuki technician. He served as a gas and outboard consultant for the ITA when they were developing their new MMT (Marine Mechanical Technician) program; this program now runs through BCIT. In his spare time Charles likes to hunt, fish, build custom high performance engines and race his Mustang at the local speedway.
The team at Gartside Marine Engines have long years of experience and are certified marine technicians (with one or two in training). Regular OEM factory product training takes place, to keep up to speed with the latest technology.