Drop the gender stereotypes and just call me Captain – sharing my passion for boating with women of all ages
I have been blessed with some wonderful friends in my life, men and women. It is particularly useful to have male friends around when you need a refrigerator moved or a fallen tree cut up and hauled off.
But when the job calls for launching or docking a boat, navigating through tight quarters, or simply taking the helm, I don’t feel the need to call on any friends. Just call me captain.
For too long, boating has been a male-dominated industry. As a lifelong Floridian who grew up on boats, I take great joy in sharing my passion for boating with women of all ages.
As the only child of two professional water skiers, I learned boating skills at a young age. There was never a question of whether I could do it; it was only a matter of how long it would take me to master a new task. I grew up believing women were fully capable of driving a boat and handling a trailer.
I purchased my first boat at age 24, splitting the cost with my then-boyfriend. A few years later, I bought out his half. Now, as owner of the Jacksonville and St. Augustine locations of Freedom Boat Club, I manage a fleet of more than 60 boats, not including two of my own.
Thirty years after buying my first boat, my enthusiasm for being out on the water has not diminished. In fact, it has grown along with my ability to share my passion with others. I am grateful to be able to provide the opportunity for others to experience the joys of boating without the hassles or aggravation.
Above all, through my business, I relish the chance to help women become confident, enthusiastic boaters.
I have one friend who literally sat in the back of the boat, clutching her purse and her 9-year-old daughter, the first time they went for a ride. A short while ago, she came into my office and greeted me with a “high five,” telling me how she had just taken the boat out and then pulled into the nearby dock to get gas. I have another woman who took her girlfriends out by herself, and she says previously she would have not even entertained the thought.
What is keeping you from experiencing the joys of boating? Don’t allow outdated gender stereotypes to get in the way of a great time.
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