Sailing has consistently provided me the very best memories and opportunities. It seems like every path I take always leads me back to sailing and racing. Here at Swiftsure, it is a great feeling to have joined a crew of like-minded sailors.
From the time I moved to the Pacific Northwest from the East Coast in sixth grade, I’ve been drawn to the water. In the early days, I was interested in both power and sail. However, it wasn’t long before the lure of competitive sailing took hold and stayed with me. That interest remains with me today.
As a way to pay for my education at Western Washington University, I worked as a deckhand on commercial fishing boats. The pay was good, and it gave me the chance to do five trips up and down the Inside Passage and across the Gulf of Alaska.
But it was competitive sailing that really grabbed me. I raced on everything from International 14s and skiffs to one-design boats to 77-foot offshore racers. My first ocean crossings were in 1986 racing aboard an Olson 40 in the Vic-Maui Race and doing a return delivery on a Santa Cruz 40. The exhilaration one gets doing an ocean delivery was imprinted forever.
Family life and technology sales took me away from sailing for about 10 years. When I was able to step back into the sailing and racing community, it felt like coming home. I found myself happily involved with several high-powered dinghy and big-boat programs, including the Melges 32 Banshee, Bieker 35 Terremoto, Bill Buchan’s Peterson 44 Sachem and John Buchan’s 77-foot Glory.
The realization hit me one day that I could take my love for sailing and stop treating it as just a pastime and actually build it into a career. So, when the opportunity presented itself for me to sell both new boat lines and brokerage boats, I jumped at it. The course change suited me perfectly.
Every day is an exciting challenge, from learning the myriad details of new boat lines to the uniqueness of each used boat I represent. I’ve found my offshore miles to be essential in being able to understand a boat’s strengths and weaknesses and, just as importantly, how to communicate them to clients. My racing experience has proven invaluable to understanding real world situations, while my experience on the commercial side has given me an important perspective to our waterways and safety at sea.
Relationships mean everything to me and most of my clients become great friends. The satisfaction that I get from representing or finding the perfect boat for a new or seasoned boat owner is truly gratifying for me. Then being able to apply my knowledge to assist a client through the buying or selling process allows me to feel I have contributed in a small way towards a positive outcome and hopefully a new client, friend and relationship for the future.