Our Story

Captain’s Supplies, originally named Max Kuner Company, opened its doors in 1897 just a few doors down the hall from the U.S. Customs Office in Seattle, WA. Max Kuner was drawn to Seattle during the Klondike Gold Rush. Seattle was the nearest major, deep water, railhead seaport in the continental United States and business was booming. 

The son of a German immigrant, Max Kuner took advantage of the navigation needs of ships calling on the port. He provided Nautical Optician services, made watches and specialized in nautical charts and maps. When Max died in the 1930’s his wife Anna took over the business until her death in 1943. The company was sold to employee watchmaker Tom Williamson who carried the tradition until his death in 1949. 

Seattle native, WW II veteran and UW graduate, Leonard Schrock, returned from the war where he was a compass adjuster for the Navy. He opened a small shop in Downtown Seattle on Dock Four at Fisherman’s terminal. When Tom died, Leonard bought Max Kuner Company from the Williamson Family. At that time, the store was located off the pedestrian viaduct opposite the Ferry Terminal at Marion Street and Alaskan Way. For nearly 5 decades after, the company had two stores, one in Downtown Seattle and the other at Fisherman’s Terminal. In 1979 the name was changed to Captain’s Nautical.

In 1996 the two locations were consolidated into one location near Fisherman’s Terminal and Ballard Bridge. Leonard served customers in that store well beyond his ninetieth birthday. In 1997, Captain’s Nautical celebrated its hundredth birthday.

Today, Captain’s Nautical is Captain's Nautical Books & Charts. However our mission stays the same: to be a global premium marine outfitter providing reliable equipment and expertise for mariners, adventurers and outdoor enthusiasts.