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Low Prices, Free Delivery, Expert Advice, Unbeatable Service.

About us...

Meet The Team
About Cactus Navigation
Cactus Installs

Meet The Team ...

Andrew Smythe MBA MA

Managing Director and Owner

Andrew spent much of his childhood sailing in his parents cruising boat, in and around his native Plymouth.
After school, he served an apprenticeship at a local marine electronics company, before joining Navico as a Sales Engineer.
Moving into sales and marketing, Andrew spent a lot of time overseas, establishing distributors and resellers in Australia, New Zealand, and in the Near and Far East. During his time at Navico, Andrew also completed an MA and MBA, specialising in the management of creativity and innovation and International Enterprise. Navico was acquired by the Norwegian Defence and Aerospace company, Kongsberg and Andrew became the UK head of Sales and marketing for all their Commercial Fishing and Leisure products. In 2000, Andrew started Cactus Navigation and Communication, initially in London, before relocating the business back to his home town, of Plymouth. In 2011 Cactus acquired Marine Electronic Services, making Cactus the biggest reseller of Marine Electronics in the UK.

David Williams

Head of Digital Business Development

David has been in the leisure marine industry for over 30 years, initially specialising in marine electronics and then later diversifying to a wider range of marine equipment and accessories. His extensive product knowledge is second to none and makes him a huge asset to the Cactus team. His other passion has always been in computing which lends itself perfectly to the development of our on line services and unsurpassed digital systems. He was responsible in the early 90's for developing one of the country's first marine on-line shops, his huge technical know-how and experience has helped Cactus develop its ever growing on-line presence to where it is today.

Jon Davis

Senior Marine Equipment Sales

Jon has over 30 years retail and sales experience. After school he joined the renowned management training program at John Lewis Partnership, and was soon responsible for the day to day running of several major departments within the Bristol branch, later he also over saw the successful move of his section from central Bristol to Cribs Causeway. A love of cars later lead him into the automotive industry when he joined a Mazda working as a senior sales adviser and business manager.
Jon joined Cactus 15 years ago and is responsible for retail sales. He has built up a vast product knowledge of marine electronics and marine equipment. No matter how large or small your vessel is, he will be able to accurately and efficiently advise the best solution for you.

Mateusz Wojtala MSc

Web Content, Digital Marketing and Sales

After completing a degree in Business Studies in his native Poland, Mateusz joined the Cactus sales team. Over the years, Mateusz has taken on more responsibilities and now heads up the generation of all new web content. During his time at Cactus, the company sponsored his Masters Degree in Marketing, specialising in Digital, Web and E commerce from Exeter University. Mateusz has also attended numerous supplier product training courses to further strengthen his product knowledge. Mateusz is passionate about technology and takes a keen interest in the latest IT and Electronic trends. He is currently studying for the British Marine Electronics Association qualifications in Electronic and Electrical Engineering.

Mike Williams

Technical & Installations Manager
Mike joined Cactus after a long career at Princess Yachts. During his time there, he worked on many of their most successful models and is extremely knowledgeable and experienced in all aspects of yacht construction.
His knowledge of high tech materials and composites is vast and Mike generally has the answer on the best way to undertake a particular installation or maintenance project. Needless to say, Mike’s attention to detail and quality gained from his time at Princess Yachts is evident in all he does.
Mike also has a good knowledge of mechanical engineering and engines, due to his keen interest in restoring maintaining classic motorcycles.
Mike is responsible for developing the servicing and installation work at Cactus.

Michael Angouras BSc

Warehouse and Logistics Lead

Mike has over 30 years’ experience in logistics and production and his involment in the marine industry stems from his love of surfing, which began when he joined leading manufacturing of wetsuits.
After a stint on the shop floor, he took time out to study for his BSc before returning to the company as a production manager. After a number of years, Mike was sent by the company as part of a team to establish production facilities of sports equipment in a number of different factories across South West China and Thailand. After returning from the Far East, Mike moved into logistics working for a subsidiary of ACER Computers dealing with the shipment of spares across Europe and the Middle East. He also oversaw a later relocation to Poland. After this, Mike joined the production team at Princess Yachts, before leaving to become the production manager of a Plymouth company specialising in the manufacture of power supplies used in the offshore industry.
Mike is currently working on a plan to develop a range of Cactus branded marine products.

Rebecca Smythe

Finance and Purchasing Lead

Rebecca had a long career in Finance starting in Barclays Bank in retail banking, before moving to London and joining Barclays Life Assurance division. During her time with Barclays Life, Rebecca completed her Financial Planning Certificate stages 1, 2 and 3 and became a qualified Financial Adviser. Rebecca later moved to the Barclays Pension Review Unit at Richmond, initially investigating compliance cases, before managing a team investigating sales carried out by Barclays Life Advisors.
Rebecca then joined the Financial Ombudsman Service in Canary Wharf, initially becoming an adjudicator but later joining a specialist team, which worked closely with the Chief Ombudsman and members of the Executive Team, Legal department, and all other Ombudsmen.
Since relocating back to Plymouth, Rebecca joined Cactus and she manages the Purchase Ledger, banking, liaising with suppliers and keeping customers updated with the progress of their orders.

About Cactus Navigation

Read what our customers have to say about us

Cactus MD Andrew Smythe talks about the founding principles of the company and what makes us the No.1 choice for marine electronics and chandlery.

Who We Are
Cactus is a privately owned business operating with an office and warehouse in Plymouth in the UK. Cactus MD Andrew Smythe says: ‘I started the business after many years in the marine industry first as an electronics installation engineer and later as a sales and marketing manager for one of the manufacturers, working the UK and overseas. Before I started Cactus, marine electronics were either sold from mail order chandlers who sold at low prices but lacked the specialist knowledge or the local technical dealers who had the knowledge but were on the whole expensive. My idea was to offer good technical expertise and low prices, hence our slogan and guiding principle Strong on Price and Advice!’

We Guarantee Not To Be Beaten On
The Cactus price promise guarantees you the best price, even in the event you have seen a price cheaper elsewhere. We try to keep our promise as simple as possible and not have lots of exceptions or caveats, so in a nutshell, we will always match or better a price providing the product is from an official source, like for like and it’s not a discontinued product or promotion we can no longer source.

We Are A Real Business
Cactus is a brick and mortar business with premises and a warehouse in Plymouth full of stock. Next time you are looking at online chandlers and retailers look carefully at their address (if they put it on their site, many don’t) thanks to Google maps you can even take a look at their premises. You will see many of the retailers on the net are just one man bands working from home. But why does that matter? Well without premises they can’t hold decent levels of stock, in fact, most of these companies don’t hold stock, and instead they source from distributors who ship the goods for on their behalf. Many have no idea what they are selling and most importantly have no infrastructure in place to deal with returning goods or service work.

Free Installation Advice
Unlike many web retailers our sales team are marine engineers, so as well as being able to guide you through all the options they can talk intelligently about all aspects of the installation. They can tell you the kit and tools you need, positioning antennas and display even how best to run cables. Our advice makes sure you get the right kit and you get the most out of it. If you don’t want to install the equipment yourself, we can recommend a reliable company who will be able to deal with the project.

We Are There For You If You Get A Problem
If you have a problem we don’t hide behind an email address or restrict the times you can call us. If something you have bought from us isn’t working to your satisfaction, let us know and we will get it sorted.

We’ve Been In The Business For A Long Time
Cactus is now in its 3rd decade of trading, we know the solutions and products that work and ones that don’t. If you have an idea for a unique application or installation let us know, chances are we’ve already been there and done it with another customer. Over the years we have supplied equipment to tens of thousands of customers with boats ranging from day sailors to superyachts. Nearly all become repeat customers because they like our pricing, customer service and business approach. We like to a build a rapport with our customers and get feedback on how their kit has performed; consequently, we are able to give great advice. This advice doesn’t just save money, in one case recently it actually saved the life of a customer and his family in the Southern Ocean.

Cactus Is A Solid Business
Our growth and expansion have been consistent over the years. In an industry where businesses come and go all the time, our strong credit rating and healthy balance sheet, make us one of the safest places to buy from. Remember your product warranty is always with the retailer, so if you get a problem you need to feel safe that the company you bought from is still in business.

We Are An Authorised Dealer For All The Brands
Cactus is one of only a few internet retailers / chandlers that is a dealer and service agent for ALL the major brands. We are not tied to a few suppliers which mean we can offer genuine unbiased advice. Unlike many online stores, we are happy to talk you through a problem.

Cactus Installs...

With a combined experience in Marine Electronics of over 100 years, Cactus staff certainly know their stuff.

Stocking products from every electronics manufacturer at prices that are checked daily across the entire industry you can be safe in the knowledge of getting the products best suited to your boat and at the best price. Whether it be an upgrade to an existing system, a complete refit or a new build, we are on hand to provide unsurpassed, unbiased technical knowledge and advice on the best solution for your vessel.

And for our customers local to Plymouth and surrounding areas we can install your products too! Our own engineers and partners are fully trained, insured and offer a professional, competitive service. For more information about our installation services or to get a quote please call our sales team on 01752 548845.