The Family Yacht Club
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Steve....now on loan
to the United States Coast Guard
I finally really got to pursue my passion once I graduated high school. Up till then all of my boating experience had been with friends and family. I ended up landing a job at Zittelís Marina. There I really started to learn all different aspects of life on the water. But something was missingÖÖ.I had no boat of my own. Then I got a phone call from my cousin BJ. It was a job offer at Kitsap Marina for Safe Boats. I jumped at the opportunity. And within one week I was working for Safe Boats. The only thing that I didnít like was that I was driving to Port Orchard from Olympia, and then I found her. In the secured moorage section of Zittel's Marina a 1966 Owens went up for sell. Of course I immediately consulted my cousin BJ who was the resident expert on the matter and within another week I was the proud owner of a wooden boat. I took in the lines and headed north to Port Orchard to my new home.
For the next 6 months I lived
aboard and had some of the best times I have ever had. Many a night spent at
Blake Island with my cousin and the rest of the family. But there was also a
of work to be done. I realized how much work a boat can be when I woke up in the
middle of the night soaking wet. Nothing like trying to stop a major leak at 3
The next part of my boating life would take me through the next year. Things were starting to change at Safe Boats and I realized that I didnít want to work inside a warehouse instead of on the water. I had also been looking into other avenues of work were I could travel and have even bigger adventures on the sea. I then moved back to Zittels marina and spent the next year there. After one major haul out where I stripped all the paint off of the hull of my boat and redid everything from the keel up, I had one of the nicest wooden boats in the marina. If there is one thing my cousin BJ taught me is that hard work pays off. That and "work smarter not harder." I bought the Owens for $4,200 and turned around and sold it for $6,000. I proved that you could make money off of an old wooden boat; all you need is a little elbow grease.
After I sold the boat I went and talked to the local Coast Guard Recruiter. Young and single is the perfect time to go out to sea. The next thing I new I was whisked away to Cape May, New Jersey for boot camp. After that I got stationed on the Coast Guard Cutter Acushnet out of Ketchikan, AK. Now the real adventures have begun. Iíve spent the last year doing patrols as far north as the Artic Circle and as far west as the 180th. Nothing like 30-40ft seas on a 60 year old Coast Guard Cutter. I slipped right into the boatswains mate rating. But nothing would have prepared me more for the Coast Guard then the general nautical knowledge that my family had taught me.