MEET THE BLUEWATER MARINE BROKERAGE TEAM:
Our extremely knowledgeable team has years of experience in both design, all types of construction, and the most advanced construction techniques in the industry to build yachts, patrol boats and small craft. Jef Benkelman, Ed Murray, and Brendan Burke form a team with over 100 years of combined experience across a broad range of different aspects of the marine industry including running vessels, management, construction, production manufacturing, and refits.
Jef Benkelman - Owner
Jef Benkelman, founded BlueWater Marine Brokerage in 2009. He has been involved in the marine industry as a technical advisor for over 25 years, with an extensive background in all aspects of boatbuilding, construction methods, advanced composites and their processing.
Initially based in Florida, Jef has expanded his consulting business to encompass a national and international market, helping boat builders and owners worldwide build lighter and stronger boats. His expertise includes the composite spectrum from open molded GP polyester resin and woven roving to oven cured pre-preg epoxy boats from 16’ to 180’ in all applications; pleasure, commercial, and military. In addition, Jef has applied his boatbuilding expertise as a Florida licensed yacht broker for over 20 years, and has worked with companies such as Cheoy Lee, Garlington, Cabo Yachts, Tribute, Affinity, Hells Bay, Correct Craft, Mikelson, Donzi, Huckins, and many more; in multiple capacities.
Jef has been married for 35 Years, has three children, and grew up in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and
Edward (Cookie) Murray
Cookie has been on the Board of Directors of Blue Water Distributors for 10 years and brings a passion, moral and ethical code that forms the foundation of BlueWater Marine Brokerage.
As either project manager or consultant, he has also been involved, in different capacities, managing the design and construction of a half dozen custom sport fishing boats from 36’ to 90’.
Growing up on Singer Island, Florida as part of the legendary 'Murray Brothers' family, Cookie's fishing and boating career spans 35 years. He has been married for 30 years and has two children.
Brendan Burke has been in the marine industry for 40 plus years. He specializes in yacht sales including custom boat builds and complete or partial refits.
In 1972, his passion for boats and fishing brought him to Islamorada in the Florida Keys. During his time there he worked with legendary sport fishing captains. In 1980 he began captaining boats, fishing from Cape Breton Nova Scotia to Victoria Brazil and all the hot spots in between. In 1990 Brendan became one of the pioneers of Costa Rican Bill Fishing. In 1991, Brendan set a world record catching 1,414 billfish in 232 days. In 1993, Power and Motor Yacht Magazine named Brendan one of the top 15 captains in the World.
Brendan grew up on the South Shore of Long Island, New York.