Growing up on the water near Gig Harbor, Washington, I spent most of my free time on the water – sailing, waterskiing, fishing, and spending family vacations exploring the San Juans, Gulf Islands and Desolation Sound aboard my family’s 30 foot sailboat. My first sailing experience was sitting on my Dad’s lap in a Millimeter sailboat at the age of two and it didn’t take long before I was hooked.
I have sailed everything from dinghies to big boat sleds, but will always foremost enjoy the fast paced action of small boat sailing. It would be hard to forget winning my first El Toro regatta with seven straight bullets at the age of ten. I went on to campaign Byte and Laser dinghies on the Northwest junior circuit. It’s not unusual to see me cruising the lake on my Thistle or racing Lasers at Shilshole on Thursday evenings. Sailing as regular crew on keelboats of all sizes, I snap up any chance I get to go sailing – whether it’s a casual Monday night or offshore distance racing. In the 2006 and 2012 Vic-Maui races I crewed on the Santa Cruz 52 VOODOO CHILD and J/145 DOUBLE TAKE, in both races we won line honors and took first overall trophies. Deliveries across the Atlantic, up and down the West coast and years of cruising Pacific Northwest waters on both power and sailing vessels add to my ability to help customers step into a yacht that fits their needs.
With my background in boating, it has always been an easy choice for me search for a way to make a living in the marine industry. My high school and college summers were spent teaching junior sailing and winters were spent working at a local marina and on the floor of the North Sails loft in Seattle. After graduating from the University of Washington Business School with a concentration in Finance, I furthered my experience in the industry working for the Northwest Marine Trade Association and Seattle Boat Show. I enjoy merging my experience in the industry and my passion for boating here at Swiftsure Yachts. Since joining Swiftsure Yachts in 2007, I have been involved in transactions from Sweden to Malaysia and everywhere in between. I am a Certified Professional Yacht Broker and licensed California Yacht Broker and volunteer my time on the board of directors of The Sailing Foundation and the Northwest Marine Trade Association.
I savor getting out on the water any chance I get, whether it be cruising with my wife aboard our 31 foot cold molded Wylie sailboat or fly fishing for searun cutthroat from our 15 foot cedar skiff. The bottom line is that I have never spent a bad day on the water. The ocean has the ability to make every day completely different from the last – and they’re all equally fun, exciting and beautiful. Whether it is the camaraderie of a racing crew, the solitary beauty of an empty anchorage, or the challenge of a heavy weather sail change at midnight, boating offers a great variety of experiences. No matter what activity interests you, I am excited to help you transition to your next endeavor.
View my LinkedIn profile here: www.linkedin.com/in/ryanhelling
Read about a few recent adventures here: