Saltwater In Her Veins – Lisa ‘The Boatanista’ Almeida and Her Lifelong Passion for Boating

Lisa Boatanista

The Boatanista joins Anchors Aweigh Boating Podcast to share her unique passion for the boating lifestyle

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Anchors Aweigh Boating PodcastAnchors Aweigh is a podcast for all boaters, from aspiring to experienced. Featuring in-depth conversations with boating experts and industry leaders, and packed full of tips, tricks, gear, and industry info, boaters of all levels will come away with new skills and knowledge each episode.

For some people, boating isn’t just a recreational activity, it is a way of life. They are on a boat before they can remember, and can’t imagine a life not spent on the water. It is an activity that is passed down from generation to generation and many of the fondest family memories take place on boats.

We started boating with our daughter when she was 6 months old and are thrilled she will get to experience growing up on the water (it would have been sooner but we had to wait for the ice to melt).

Lisa ‘The Boatanista‘ Almeida was on a boat at 3 weeks old (!) and has followed that passion into a hugely successful career in the industry.

Born and raised a Floridian, who claims to bleed salt water, Lisa turned a successful career in Sales and Marketing into her current role as the Owner of Freedom Boat Club, Jacksonville and St. Augustine. Lisa is a member of the Captains Club, The Jacksonville Power Squadron, The Jacksonville Marine Association, and serves on the City of Jacksonville’s Boating Committee. She has done many charity boat rides for underprivileged children, and was instrumental in saving the Jacksonville lighted boat parade.

In 2016 Boating Industry included Lisa in their list of Women Making Waves.

Lisa’s passion for boating and enthusiasm is inspiring. In this podcast episode we covered so much – ‘boat-gating’ at Jaguars games, advice for boating with pets, empowering women boaters, and more.

Podcast Highlights with Lisa Almeida

Here are some highlights from my Anchors Aweigh podcast interview with Lisa.

Be sure to click on links to listen to the full podcast interview at the end!

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On getting her boating start…

Boating is a part of my DNA and I didn’t really even have a choice because my parents were competitive water skiers and they competed at Cypress Gardens. Three weeks after I was born they would put me in a carrier and tie me up underneath the bow.

On the feeling of being a confident boater…

One of my favorite stories was in Fernandina Beach. They have a shrimp festival every year. I was driving and we were coming in and I heard somebody on the dock say ‘watch out, there’s a lady at the helm.’ We came in, I spun it around and backed up, and they gave me a standing ovation. It was awesome!

On her personal boats…

I have a 32 Monterey cruiser with twin Mercs on it which I absolutely love. I have a 22 Sea Ray Sundeck which is an awesome boat. Because you know one is never enough!

On boating to Jaguars games…

It is one of my favorite things for my members to experience. We don’t tailgate, we boat-gate. Everybody brings food, we put a tent on the dock, and it’s really awesome when we’re going underneath the bridge and you see the bumper-to-bumper traffic and we don’t have any. Why go by car when you can go by boat?!

On her boating destination bucket list…

I want to go to Put-In-Bay in Ohio and I also want to do the Columbus Day Regatta in Miami, where thousands of boaters come together. That’s really when my heart is the most open and it’s the most fun, everybody is just one big happy family.

On her favorite boating activity

We have an island here called Fort George Island that is a big barrier island. The beaches are gorgeous and everybody just goes and rafts up together and anchors and it’s kind of like you took your boat to the beach with a party of your 500 best friends.

On essentials for beginners…

Definitely Navionics or something like that on your iPhone is a must. Being a BoatUS member and a Sea-Tow member, I recommend both because they each bring different things to the table, is also very helpful.

On her favorite boating ‘book’…

My West Marine catalog! My friends tease me that I would rather go to West Marine and walk around than go to the mall and it is the truth!

On her career change…

Now I understand the difference between loving what you do and having a passion for what you do. I work all the time and I never feel like I’m at work. Even when I’m on my boat on the weekends I’m on my laptop working but it doesn’t ever feel like work. I want everyone to get on the water and experience the joy of boating with your friends and your family!

On boating with pets…

It’s really fun to bring your animal on board, but you also want to remember that you’re in charge of them. Number one – your dog should have a life jacket that fits them well and makes them comfortable. When you’re coming down to the dock you want to have them on a leash. Then you have got to have water and a water bowl for them. They make a bottle that actually has a ball on it that the dog can lick and water will come out of it.

On success in the boating world…

I think of Carl Blackwell from Discover Boating and the reason that he comes to mind is because his whole goal is to make people aware about boating and learning about boating. I think about John Giglio, CEO and President of Freedom Boat Club. John’s done an amazing job growing the business, we’re at 120 locations.

Final advice for someone thinking about boating…

Stop thinking about it and do it! It doesn’t have to be a dream. Just make it happen, make the decision. There’s lots of support out there, just do it! Get your family out having fun. They’re not on their iPhones, they’re not on their iPads, they’re laughing and joking and you are creating family memories that are going to last forever!

Listen to the full Podcast:

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Listen on iTunes: Lisa Almeida – December 13, 2016 (free)


Listen on Google Play: Lisa Almeida – December 13, 2016 (free)

or Click Play below to listen online here:

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Matt O'Hara

View posts by Matt O'Hara
Matt O’Hara is the owner, along with his wife Rebecca, of Freedom Boat Club Lake George and the Queen Boat Co marina. After a 10-year career in media sales in Boston, MA Matt and Rebecca decided to relocate and open their own Freedom Boat Club, where they could share their love of boating and Lake George by helping others get on the water. The best part of the new career has been the joy they see families having on the water day in and day out, making memories that will last a lifetime. Matt has combined his background in media with his move to the boating industry to launch Anchors Aweigh, a podcast for boaters.
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