The first time I ever set foot on a boat was in the fifth grade. My teacher, Mr. Goffin, was an avid sailor and somehow convinced the school to let him take us out for a sail on Lake Julian in North Carolina on his 17' masthead sloop. Though I didn't know the purpose of the lines or how to hold a course back then, boating was forever ingrained in me. I received the majority of my sea time required for my license application on a 32' CWS parasail boat. I worked out of John's Pass in Madeira Beach, Florida for two summers. I've spent the last six years in Tampa Bay, the Gulf, the Caribbean and up the Atlantic Coast boating and sailing on single and twin engine cruisers, console boats, parasail boats, jet boats, house boats, cutter and gaff-rigged sailboats, sloops, ketches and schooners from 16' up to 118'.
I hold a United States Coast Guard Captain's License as a Master of up to 100 gross tons. In addition, the Coast Guard has endorsed me to operate both inspected sailing and towing vessels. I'm a livery and safe boater course certificate holder and possess a valid TWIC (Transportation Worker Identification Credential), medical card and a United States passport.
Food for Thought
Over the years, I've seen many power and sail boat owners have blatant disregard for the safety of their vessels and the crew on board. I've witnessed anchors dragging because of an insufficient length of rode, antennas breaking off under bridges, passengers swimming near spinning propellers and fuel nozzles left on and overflowing. Many of these issues are easily avoidable with some planning and common sense. However, at times, the sea (and maybe your boat) can catch you off guard. Extreme and erratic currents, overheating from a clogged sea strainer and inaccurate depth charts are all examples of challenges boaters must face if they spend enough time on the water. In these cases, you will be glad you hired a captain who is quick to adapt to an ever-changing environment like the sea. Three key qualities that I strongly believe have contributed to my success are adequate preparation, constant awareness and the ability to identify and avoid unnecessary risks.
See where I've sailed on the map below. I've covered thousands of miles on Aquila, Viking, McKinna, Robalo, Amel, Irwin, Morgan, Baba, Jeanneau, Beneteau, Grand Soleil, C&C, Catalina, Hunter, Seamaster, Sea Ray, Pacemaker, Leopard, Luhrs, Hatteras and many more makes of sailboats and yachts.